Some interesting points about habitat destruction are at birderblog today. Here's a summary:
"In tropical rain forests, for example, land conversion exceeds habitat protection by a ratio of 2 to 1. ... But in Mediterranean habitats ... the disparity is 8 to 1. We have protected only one acre of land for every eight we have lost. ... And in temperate grasslands ... we have protected only one acre for every 10 we’ve lost."
In other words, the attention paid to tropical rain forests has helped (if not as much as it could), but it has distracted "westerners" from their own local destruction of habitats, ones that they barely recognize as being habitats. I'm going to keep this in mind the next time I read about how horrible it is that rain forests are being burned for farmland: what about the grasslands in the Great Plains?