Air quality monitoring stations could help track and preserve threatened species

Tuesday, June 6, 2023 - 09:13 in Earth & Climate

Air quality monitoring stations can pick up traces of the eDNA left behind by fungi, plants, and animals including badgers, dormice, newts, and more. Deposit Photos Earth is facing a biodiversity crisis, with species extinction accelerating at a startling pace. Policy action is finally catching up with the dilemma, as the United Nations reached a historic deal to protect 30 percent of the Earth’s wilderness by 2030 in December 2022. Addressing this crisis will face an uphill battle– including the infrastructure needed to quantify these losses. [Related: Why you can’t put a price on biodiversity.] This crucial data may now come from a surprising source: air quality monitoring stations. In a study published June 5 in the journal Current Biology finds that for decades, thousands of these ambient air quality monitoring stations all...

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