Policy ForumConservation

Biodiversity Risks from Fossil Fuel Extraction

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  25 Oct 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6157, pp. 425-426
DOI: 10.1126/science.1237261

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Despite a global political commitment to reduce biodiversity loss by 2010 through the 2002 Convention on Biological Diversity, declines are accelerating and threats are increasing (1). Major threats to biodiversity are habitat loss, invasion by exotic species and pathogens, and climate change, all principally driven by human activities. Although fossil fuel (FF) extraction has traditionally been seen as a temporary and spatially limited perturbation to ecosystems (2), even local or limited biodiversity loss can have large cascade effects on ecosystem function and productivity. We explore the overlap between regions of high marine and terrestrial biodiversity and FF reserves to identify regions at particular risk of ecosystem destruction and biodiversity loss from exposure to FF extraction.