The natural processes of speciation and extinction are well known. In fact, we have already had six major extinction events on our planet, some of which ended with the extinction of 95 % of the world species. These processes occur naturally during millions of years in response to climatic and physical changes on earth. We are currently living a seventh massive extinction event, but in contrast to the past six, this one has been exponentially accelerated by human activities. For the high rate of landscape transformation, the excessive use and irresponsible extraction of natural resources, and the introduction of exotic species in fragile systems, among others, we are responsible for 36% of the world’s species currently being under a level of threat (IUCN). Worst still, is that we lack information on a high percentage of the planet’ species. In other words, we do not know their state, their ecology or the impacts we could potentially be having on them.
SELVA’s focal species research area seeks to help fill this information gap for threatened species in the Neotropics, one of the planet’s greatest biodiversity treasures. We want to provide humanity with the tools necessary to prevent and to mend the damage that has been caused.
“From time immemorial, nature has fed us, cured us, and protected us. But today the roles have switched. We need to feed nature, we need to cure it and protect it if we want to secure a healthy and prosperous future for our children.” (IUCN)
The Manager of SELVA’s Focal & Threatened Species research area is Maria Isabel Moreno ().