Academic journal article Science and Children

How Our Purchases Affect Endangered Species

Academic journal article Science and Children

How Our Purchases Affect Endangered Species

Article excerpt

The things we consume--from iPhones to cars to IKEA furniture--have costs that go well beyond their purchase price. Unless you buy sustainably sourced food or goods, however, it can be hard to know just how consumer purchases affect species--until now.

Researchers have developed a technique that allows them to identify threats to wildlife caused by the global supply chains that fuel our consumption. They've used this technique to create a series of world maps that show the threat to species across the globe.

The researchers calculated the percentage of threat to a species in one country due to consumption of goods in another, with a focus on 6,803 species of vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered marine and terrestrial animals.

One way to see how the hotspot maps work is by looking at the effects of U.S. consumption across the globe. For terrestrial species, the researchers found that U.S. consumption caused species threat hotspots in Southeast Asia and Madagascar, southern Europe, the Sahel, Southern Mexico, Central America, Central Asia, and into Southern Canada. …

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