The passage below is excerpted from a WSJ summary of a New Scientist article dated May 12, 2007.
While rain forests are being burned and cut down by loggers and farmers at a rapid rate, the damage is far from irreversible, say Helene Muller-Landau of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis-St. Paul and Joseph Wright of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Many tropical species can survive in isolated patches of forest after a mass clearing and then flourish once trees regrow. What’s more, they say, as people continue to abandon rural areas and migrate to cities, forests are likely to regrow in their wake.
They predict that extinction threatens less than 20% of the tropical Americas’ forest species, 21% to 24% of Asia’s and 16% to 35% of Africa’s, far below the 80% figure predicted by other studies.
For the full summary, see: