Biodiversity Crisis Will Lead To Extinction
By: Ella Wang
The great biodiversity of our world is quite literally the fuel that allows it to thrive. The population of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians are the imperative to the survival of humanity. However, we are at risk of losing all of it.
According to NCEL (National Caucus of Environmental Legislators), one-third of the nation’s wildlife is at risk of extinction. The populations of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians are declining at a rate of 68%. Furthermore, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently removed 23 species from its Threatened and Endangered Species List because they were believed to be extinct.
Ironically, we say we want to protect our wildlife, yet humans are a main cause as to why we are losing so many species.
"The choices we’re making in terms of what we eat, what we wear, where we travel, the types on consumer goods -- including consumer electronics that we buy -- how many children we have -- all of those things are putting pressure on the natural world,” David Quammen, author of "Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic,” said in an article from ABC News.
One human impact is the altering of habitats. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) approximates that 77% of the land and 87% of the ocean has been altered by humans. This resulted in a loss of 83% of wild mammal biomass, and around half of the world’s plant biomass. IPBES also claims that more than a million wildlife species are endangered with extinction, ultimately leading to the new study: Earth’s sixth mass extinction.
Overexploitation (overfishing, overhunting and overharvesting) is another human impact on the loss of species. Billions of people worldwide rely on about 50,000 wild species for food, energy, medicine and income, according to New York Times.
“Half of humanity benefits from and makes use of wild species, and often without even knowing that they’re doing so,” Marla R. Emery, one of the co-chairs of the scientific reports on the biodiversity crisis, which was conducted by the IPBES, said in the New York Times.
Humanity has already lost a great amount of biodiversity in the past two centuries as a result of industrial development. Further loss of biodiversity is bound to lead to an irreversible situation: an uninhabitable planet.
Link to articles: