Study in Nature on main causes for biodiversity loss
A study published on 11 August 2016 in Nature found that by far the biggest drivers of biodiversity decline are overexploitation (the harvesting of species from the wild at rates that cannot be compensated for by reproduction or regrowth) and agriculture (the production of food, fodder, fibre and fuel crops; livestock farming; aquaculture; and the cultivation of trees).
This does not, however, mean that drivers such as urban development or pollution etc. with their different industrial influences are neglectable. They also play an important role. The authors Sean L. Maxwell, Richard A. Fuller, Thomas M. Brooks and James E. M. Watson also make clear the challenges of data limitations, but they think the overall picture would not change with more data.
A summary including a chart that visualises the results ("Big killers") can be found under: http://www.nature.com/news/biodiversity-the-ravages-of-guns-nets-and-bulldozers-1.20381