NATURE – The threats of old are still the dominant drivers of current species loss, indicates an analysis of IUCN Red List data by Sean Maxwell and colleagues.
There is a growing tendency for media reports about threats to biodiversity to focus on climate change. Here scientists report an analysis of threat information gathered for more than 8,000 species. These data revealed a contrasting picture. They found that by far the biggest drivers of biodiversity decline are overexploitation (the harvesting of species from the wild at rates that cannot be compensated for by reproduction or regrowth) and agriculture (the production of food, fodder, fibre and fuel crops; livestock farming; aquaculture; and the cultivation of trees).