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Not batty conservation

Noah had it easy. To weather the storm of impending disaster that would wipe-out life on earth, he simply protected a male and female of each species on the ark.

Protecting contemporary biodiversity from the deluge of human activities that threaten life on earth is more difficult and requires a global network of reserves that includes all species. In the most recent issue of Ecology Letters, scientists at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, and Texas Tech University analysed the extent and adequacy of protected areas in the New World for conserving biodiversity.

They found that the current reserve system comprises reserves that are too few, too small, and that fail to protect the most vulnerable species. For instance, ~60% of 1413 reserves in the New World are

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. October 2003.

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