Future fires threaten 4,400 species worldwide

Endangered species include both animals and plants. In their study, scientists

noted that worldwide 19% of birds, 16%mammals, 17% of dragonflies and 19% of leguminous plants are thus classified as endangered, endangered or vulnerable and free from fire.

Species threatened with increased frequency or intensity of fires include the orangutan in Indonesia and the Malian wren in Australia. A total of 4,400 species are under threat of extinction.

Research publishes journal Science.

“Recent fires have burned many ecosystems fromrainforests of Australia, Southeast Asia and South America to the tundra beyond the Arctic Circle. In the past, fires were rare or absent in these regions, ”emphasizes study lead author Luke Kelly.

However, some species and ecosystems are threateneddanger, even when there are no fires or their number is decreasing. For example, frequent localized fires are an important part of the ecosystems of the African savannah, and their decline can lead to invasion of shrubs that displace wild herbivores, such as wildebeests, who prefer open areas.

It is important to understand the processes that affect the decrease or increase in the frequency of fires, the scientists note in their article.

Researchers have identified three main groupsFactors that influence fires and biodiversity change: global climate change, land use and invasive species. Scientists emphasize that people and governments need to confront a variety of environmental changes that lead to disasters and the extinction of rare species.

“The time has come for new, more daringenvironmental initiatives. New actions include large-scale restoration of habitats, reintroduction of mammals, reduction of fuel consumption, creation of green spaces with low flammability and control of wildfires that are natural in some regions. People's role really matters: fighting indigenous fires will improve biodiversity and human well-being in many parts of the world, ”concludes Kelly.

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