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US NewsHundreds of vulnerable species put at greater risk by Amazon wildfires

08:50  09 september  2019
08:50  09 september  2019 Source:   inews.co.uk

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The Giant anteater, the Crowned Eagle and the Giant Armadillo are among 265 endangered species of plants and animals being put at even greater risk of extinction by the Amazon wildfires , researchers have found.

The 2019 Amazon rainforest wildfires season saw a year-to-year surge in fires occurring in the Amazon rainforest and Amazon biome within Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay

Hundreds of vulnerable species put at greater risk by Amazon wildfires © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

The Giant anteater, the Crowned Eagle and the Giant Armadillo are among 265 endangered species of plants and animals being put at even greater risk of extinction by the Amazon wildfires, researchers have found.

With more than 43,000 fires recorded in the Brazilian part of the Amazon so far this year, the WWF has looked at the dangers posed to the wildlife in one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world.

They found that dozens of highly vulnerable species are being put under further pressure with the Grey Tinamou and the White-lipped Peccary among the species most threatened, WWF said.

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The Amazon rainforest—home to one in 10 species on Earth— is on fire . As of last week, 9,000 wildfires were raging simultaneously across the vast rainforest of Brazil and spreading into Bolivia “Basically, the Amazon hadn’t burnt in hundreds of thousands or millions of years,” says Magnusson.

A fire burns a tract of Amazon jungle as it is cleared by loggers and farmers near Porto Velho, Brazil, in Aug. Scientists and environmental groups have expressed alarm after new data revealed there were 28 percent more fires in Brazil's Amazon rainforest this July compared with the same time last year.

Video: Footage shows Amazon fire gaining strength (Reuters)

Apart from threatening some much-loved species the fires have sparked an international outcry because the Amazon is the world’s biggest carbon sink - with the potential to curb or exacerbate climate change, depending on how many trees are burned and how many are protected.

“Although these fires are on the other side of the planet, their impacts are global. We can’t stop a climate catastrophe without saving the Amazon,” said Sarah Hutchison, of WWF-UK.

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The Amazon is on fire : Wildfires continued to burn at a record rate in Brazil's Amazon rainforest. Aerial picture showing smoke from a two-kilometre-long stretch of fire billowing from the Amazon rainforest The rainforest, a fragile ecosystem that formed over millions of years, is in great danger

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Hundreds of vulnerable species put at greater risk by Amazon wildfires
Hundreds of vulnerable species put at greater risk by Amazon wildfires
Hundreds of vulnerable species put at greater risk by Amazon wildfires
Hundreds of vulnerable species put at greater risk by Amazon wildfires
Hundreds of vulnerable species put at greater risk by Amazon wildfires
Hundreds of vulnerable species put at greater risk by Amazon wildfires
Hundreds of vulnerable species put at greater risk by Amazon wildfires
Hundreds of vulnerable species put at greater risk by Amazon wildfires
Hundreds of vulnerable species put at greater risk by Amazon wildfires
Hundreds of vulnerable species put at greater risk by Amazon wildfires
Hundreds of vulnerable species put at greater risk by Amazon wildfires
Hundreds of vulnerable species put at greater risk by Amazon wildfires
Hundreds of vulnerable species put at greater risk by Amazon wildfires
Hundreds of vulnerable species put at greater risk by Amazon wildfires
Hundreds of vulnerable species put at greater risk by Amazon wildfires
Hundreds of vulnerable species put at greater risk by Amazon wildfires

“We in the UK have a role to play in halting the deforestation - largely to clear land to produce food - that is the root cause of the fires. The UK Government must end the importation of products that cause deforestation and forbid their sale in the UK,” she added.

Role for UK leaders

Ms Hutchison is calling for UK politicians to work with other countries to tackle the global deforestation emergency at a United Nations climate summit attended by world leaders in New York later this month.

Most of the fires are being set illegal by farmers and miners to make room for cattle, soya and mineral extraction. Although thousands of fires occur every summer the number has roughly doubled this year after President Jair Bolsonaro signalled that his government would largely turn a blind eye to illegal fires set by farmers and miners.

Hundreds of vulnerable species put at greater risk by Amazon wildfires © Thomson Reuters Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Global politicians such as French President Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson have called on the Brazilian government to take strong action to curb the blazes, along with celebrities such as the film star Leonardo Da Caprio. Sports stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Novak Djokovic have also added their voice to the chorus.

MSN UK is committed to Empowering the Planet and taking urgent action to protect our environment. We’re supporting Friends of the Earth to help solve the climate crisis, please give generously here or find out more about our campaign here.

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