The Earth is the sixth in the history of the planet, mass extinction of species, the extent of which can only be compared with the death of the dinosaurs, said the study of Mexican and American scientists. About it writes BBC.
Experts analyzed the data about the endangered animals and found that the fate of 515 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians hangs in the balance. This means that in the wild remained less than a thousand individuals each.
The first mass extinction occurred about 540 million years ago, the last of the fifth to 66 million years ago, when, according to the most authoritative theory, the fall of an asteroid led to the death of the dinosaurs.
But if prehistoric crises of the biosphere was caused by natural catastrophes, the current is mainly due to human activities, primarily deforestation and poaching.
“We entered a phase of the sixth mass extinction, said one of the study’s authors, Professor of the National University of Mexico Gerardo Ceballos. — As shown by our studies and observations, this is such a serious crisis that our actions in the coming 10-50 years will determine the future of mankind.”
Who is in danger?
He has two biologist Professor Paul Ehrlich from the American Stanford University and Dr. Peter Raven of the Missouri Botanical gardens in St. Louis, summarized the data from the International Union for conservation of nature and the Fund’s “Life of birds”. The results of a study published in the American journal “proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”.
The researchers concluded that the rate of extinction of species exceeds the natural is about one hundred times. Endangered species live on all continents except Antarctica, but more especially in the tropics and subtropics.
Threatened, among others, were:
living in the Brazilian jungle monkey Golden Tamarin;
Ethiopian Jackal (kaberu);
engsci gavial (a crocodile living in India and some neighboring countries);
coloring dendrobates (black and green poison frog, which lives in Colombia and neighboring countries;
Spanish Imperial eagle (bird of the hawk family);
zheltouhy South American parrot.
Scientists believe the decline of biological diversity a serious threat to the foundations of human civilization as climate change and environmental pollution, and these phenomena are connected.
They call the preservation of endangered species moral obligation of humanity.
“I agree with the authors that the problem of conservation of species, deserves no less attention than climate change,” says Professor Diane Fisher from University of Queensland in Australia.
According to her, many people simply do not know how a large part of the wildlife may disappear forever.
Professor Chris Johnson from the University of Tasmania believes that such on the Earth not seen since the extinction of dinosaurs 66 million years ago.
“The threat to species diversity in the world today is growing rapidly due to processes such as the destruction of animal habitats and climate change,” he says. And predicts that those 515 species are represented in nature, they are less than a thousand individuals, will soon disappear.
“The study shows the terrifying scale and pace with which we are destroying life,” said Professor Ian Ritchie from Deakin University in Australia.