As habitat fragmentation increases, so does extinction risk: study

Researchers have long assumed that when animals are left without large areas of intact habitat, they are at greater risk of extinction: fragmentation leaves animals confined to ever-smaller areas, restricting movement and gene flow and leaving species vulnerable to threats ranging from poachers to climate change.

A study published July 3 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) set out to quantify this risk for more than 4,000 land-dwelling mammal species across the globe — and found that species with more fragmented habitats were at greater risk of extinction.

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