America's Sprawl Threatens Plants, Animals
p; Washington - Urban sprawl is gobbling up open spaces in fast-growing metropolitan areas so quickly that it could spell extinction for nearly 1,200 species of plants and animals, environmental groups say.
The National Wildlife Federation, Smart Growth America and NatureServe projected that over the next 25 years, more than 22,000 acres of natural resources and habitat will be lost to development in 35 of the largest and most rapidly growing metropolitan areas.
According to the groups, as many as 553 of the nearly 1,200 at-risk species are found only in those areas.
"The bottom line is that these species are at risk of extinction due to habitat destruction," said John Kostyack, a National Wildlife Federation attorney and report co-author. "And in these metro areas, the leading cause of habitat destruction is sprawl - development of homes and office buildings and roads in outlying forests and farm fields."
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