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EcoHealth

, 6:153 | Cite as

Biodiversity and Human Health

  • A. Alonso Aguirre
Book Review

Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity, Eric Chivian and Aaron Bernstein (editors), 2008, New York: Oxford University Press, 542 pp, ISBN: 978-0-19-517509-7

The rate of species loss today is approaching catastrophic levels. Scientists project that over the next two decades, more than one million species of plants and animals will become extinct. E.O. Wilson has estimated, “The rate of loss may exceed 50,000 a year, 137 a day…this rate, while horrendous, is actually the minimal estimate, based on the species/area relationship alone….” (Kellert and Wilson, 1993, p. 16). Over-exploitation of species, habitat fragmentation and destruction, and exotic species introduction have been the most important factors of biodiversity loss; we refer to them as the “Evil Trio.” More recently, three other factors have proven devastating to populations and ecosystems, adding to the list: pathogen pollution, global toxification, and global environmental change linked to climate; we...

References

  1. Aguirre AA, Ostfeld RS, Tabor GM, House CA, Pearl MC (editors) (2002) Conservation Medicine: Ecological Health in Practice, New York: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  2. Jenouvrier S, Caswell H, Barbraud C, Holland M, Strœve J, Weimerskirch H (2009) Demographic models and IPCC climate projections predict the decline of an emperor penguin population. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 106:1844–1847Google Scholar
  3. Kellert SR, Wilson EO (1993) The Biophilia Hypothesis, Washington, DC: Cambridge Island Press/ShearwaterGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© International Association for Ecology and Health 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wildlife TrustNew YorkUSA

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