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This Sept. 15, 2009 file photo shows a deforested area near Novo Progresso in Brazil's northern state of Para. 

Andre Penner / AP Photo

Cutting up forests into ever-smaller bits starts a die-off of species that lasts decades -- an "extinction debt" incurred today and paid by future generations, says a study on forest fragmentation.

"It's our grandchildren and maybe more," said McGill University's Andrew Gonzalez, one of the co-authors of a paper published Friday in the journal Science. "It's several generations of human beings down the line."

Biologist Gonzalez and his colleagues have published what they say is the first study that...

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This Just In

February 2017 | Report