Sixth mass extinction leads to biological annihilation, latest report says

Gerardo Ceballos, Paul R. Ehrlich and Rodolfo Dirzo looked at the delicate problem of species extinction, this time studying the populations of vertebrate species, in terms of number of animals and extent of settlement, and no longer just of number of species in the process of being used.

Car according to these scientists, quantifying the decline of species is reductive and minimizes the erosion of biodiversity. They therefore chose another angle of study, another “pulse” of species extinction, by studying populations and analyzing the number of individuals and the extent of their distribution.

"The emphasis on species extinction can give the impression that terrestrial biodiversity is not dramatically and immediately threatened, but is just slowly entering a major erosion episode, which can be tackled." later. "

Their findings are alarming. According to them, the defaunation we are witnessing will have "cascading negative consequences on ecosystems and services essential to the maintenance of civilization".

“The disappearance of populations is a prelude to that of species […] A detailed analysis of the decline in animal numbers makes the problem much clearer and worrying. "

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The populations of vertebrate species are therefore in sharp decline, in terms of the number of animals, but also of the size of the territory. We are talking about defaunation with catastrophic consequences. “The disappearance of populations” would be “a prelude to that of species”. We are witnessing a general erosion of biodiversity.

  • 32% of vertebrate populations are in decline.
  • 40% of mammalian species have seen their territory shrink by 80% in the last century.
  • 43% of the lions have disappeared since 1993.

All continents are affected by this spectacular erosion. More than 50% of the animals would have disappeared in 40 years. The primary cause of this phenomenon would be human activity:

  • Loss and degradation of habitat resulting from human activity.
  • Overexploitation of species: Hunting, fishing, poaching.
  • Pollution
  • Proliferation of invasive species

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