- Deforestation has stacked up a list of species that are likely to go extinct in the next 40 years.
- Extinction after habitat destruction takes longer than previously thought.
- There is a window of opportunity in Brazil to protect species before they're gone.
As deforestation has accelerated in the Brazilian Amazon over the last 40 years, scientists have been watching for an equally rapid rate of extinctions among animals that are losing their habitats.
But so far, no species have disappeared from the region as a whole, and only a small percentage of those predicted to be at risk have gone extinct on a local basis. Instead, there has been a delay between forest loss and species loss, putting the Amazon in debt.
It owes extinctions and nature will come soon to collect.
Over the next 40 years, found a new study, if deforestation and development occur at their current rate, up to 90 percent of predicted local extinctions will finally occur.
The silver lining is that there may be a window of opportunity for protecting threatened species before they're gone. Conservationist's eyes are now turned to the Brazilian government, whose upcoming rulings about deforestation regulations and development issues will determine whether many species stay or go.