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Unreported yet massive deforestation driving loss of endemic biodiversity in Indian Himalaya

Pandit, M. K., Sodhi, Navjot S., Koh, Lian Pin, Bhaskar, A. and Brook, Barry W. (2007). Unreported yet massive deforestation driving loss of endemic biodiversity in Indian Himalaya. Biodiversity and Conservation,16(1):153-163.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Unreported yet massive deforestation driving loss of endemic biodiversity in Indian Himalaya
Author Pandit, M. K.
Sodhi, Navjot S.
Koh, Lian Pin
Bhaskar, A.
Brook, Barry W.
Journal Name Biodiversity and Conservation
Publication Date 2007
Volume Number 16
Issue Number 1
ISSN 0960-3115   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-33846971981
Start Page 153
End Page 163
Total Pages 11
Place of Publication Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Deforestation is a primary driver of biotic extinctions in the tropics. The impacts of deforestation in tropical biodiversity hotspots are of particular concern because these regions contain high concentrations of globally endemic species. However, the effects of large-scale deforestation on native biotas within the biodiversity hotspot of Himalaya remain poorly documented. Here we report on an alarming trend of deforestation in the Indian Himalaya and project the likely consequential extinctions of endemic taxa (species and subspecies) by 2100 across a broad range of taxonomic groups, including gymnosperms, angiosperms, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. With the current level of deforestation, by 2100 only about 10% of the land area of the Indian Himalaya will be covered by dense forest (> 40% canopy cover)-a scenario in which almost a quarter of the endemic species could be wiped out, including 366 endemic vascular plant taxa and 35 endemic vertebrate taxa. We also show that inaccurate reporting of forest cover data by governmental institutions can result in underestimations of the biological impacts of deforestation, as well as potential miscalculations in land-use decisions (e.g., the construction of hydroelectric dams). Large-scale conservation efforts, including forest protection and reforestation, are urgently needed to avoid the impending deforestation-driven biodiversity losses in the Himalaya.
Keywords extinctions
hot spots
deforestation
species-area-relationship
endemic species
TROPICAL FORESTS
BIRDS
ASIA
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10531-006-9038-5   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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