SOURCES: Adapted from Peter J. Bryant, "Extinction and Depletion from Over-Exploitation," The Origin, Nature and Value of Biological Diversity, the Threats to its Continued Existence, and Approaches to Preserving what is Left [A Hypertext Book] (Irvine, CA: School of Biological Sciences University of California, Irvine, 1997). Timothy Flannery, The Future Eaters: An Ecological History of the Australian Lands and People (Melbourne: Reed Books, 1995).

Table 9: Causes of biodiversity loss

• Unsustainably high rates of human population growth and natural resource consumption (increasing world population means that more and more consumers are making more and more demands for an infinite variety of wildlife and wildlife products)

• Steadily narrowing spectrum of traded products from agriculture and forestry, and the introduction of exotic species associated with agriculture, forestry, and fisheries

• Economic systems and policies that fail to value the environment and its resources

• Inequity in ownership and access to natural resources, including the benefits from use and conservation of biodiversity

• Inadequate knowledge and inefficient use of information (deficiencies in knowledge and its application)

• Legal and institutional systems that promote unsustainable exploitation

SOÜRCE: ünited Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), "Six Fundamental Causes of Biodiversity Loss," Global Biodiversity Assessment (Cambridge: UNEP, 1995), p. 924.

Table 10: Mechanisms of biodiversity loss

• Large-scale habitat destruction (which now extends to even the remotest corners of the Earth)

• Introduced species (bioinvasions)

• Over-exploitation of plant and animal species (with sophisticated weaponry, over-efficient harvesting technologies, and modern transportation systems to ensure the supply, many wildlife populations are simply collapsing under the pressure)

• Pollution of soil, water, and atmosphere

• Industrialized agriculturei and forestry

• Global climate change

SOURCES: Adapted from WRI, IUCN, UNEP, FAO, UNESCO, Global Biodiversity Strategy: Guidelines for Action to Save, Study, and Use Earth's Biotic Wealth Sustainably and Equitably (Washington, DC: WRI, 1992), pp. vi, 244.

NOTE: (i) "Industrial agriculture" here means the entire food system, including packaging and delivery.

Table 11: Projection of species loss for 2100 ce

1000 1500 2000


1000 1500 2000


SOURCE: Francesca Grifo and Joshua Rosenthal, "Causes and Consequences of Biodiversity Loss," Biodiversity and Human Health (Washington, DC: Island Press, 1997), p. 40.

Table 12: Exhaustion of fur seal hunting in the Southern Hemisphere, 1780-1820
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