100 World Heritage Sites under pressure; Shaun Smillie; IOL

USA – Yellowstone National Park

Across the planet, a study has revealed that more than 100 natural World Heritage Sites are under threat from increasing human encroachment and deforestation.

In the study an international team of researchers from the University of Queensland, Wildlife University of Northern British Columbia and the International Union for Conservation of Nature found that the human footprint over these protected sites had increased by 63% over the last two decades.

The only continent that didn’t see any increase was Europe.

One of the big surprises was the discovery that the Yellowstone National Park had lost six percent of its forest. This loss has been attributed to the arrival of the pine beetle and global warming.

Other sites, particularly in Asia, were found to be in an even poorer state.

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