The sixth mass extinction event on Earth, a “biological annihilation” of wildlife, is already happening, and it is even worse than researchers feared, according to a new scientific report. The researchers involved in the new study found one-third of thousands of common animal species are in a population decline.
The scientists issuing the warning about a sixth mass extinction of wildlife on Earth came to their conclusion by analyzing the extensive loss of both common and endangered species over the course of the past several decades. The researchers found that “billions” of both local and regional populations of animals have disappeared.
Overconsumption and human overpopulation are at least partially to blame for the emerging biological annihilation, according to study results shared by the Guardian. The loss of such a significant percentage of the wildlife population threatens the very survival of human civilization, the researchers involved in the study also staunchly maintain.
There is but a short window of time to correct the decline of wildlife, the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, (PNAS) also reports. The scientific researchers deem the biological annihilation the study describes as a “frightening assault” on the very foundations upon which human civilization is built.
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico professor Gerardo Ceballos led the wildlife impact study. Ceballos said the massive decline in wildlife populations not only prompted the stern warning and severe manner in which the threat to human civilization is described in the report, but he added not using such “strong language” would be unethical.
— CNN (@CNN) July 11, 2017
This is not the first study about a mass extinction event facing Earth in recent years. Prior reports also indicated a plethora of animal species have been going extinct or becoming endangered at a substantially faster rate in our modern era than they did during earlier centuries.
Unlike other studies on the topic, the new report does not declare extinctions still remain somewhat rare when the loss of biodiversity is factored into the data. The broad scope of the new study determined many common species of wildlife are declining worldwide due to reductions in their respective ranges, yet remain grazing and breeding in some regions.
Almost half of all land mammals have reportedly lost approximately 80 percent of their ranging area during the last century. The team of researchers involved in the biological annihilation study also concluded billions of amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles had been lost on a global scale.
“The resulting biological annihilation obviously will have serious ecological, economic and social consequences. Humanity will eventually pay a very high price for the decimation of the only assemblage of life that we know of in the universe,” according to the findings in the report claiming a sixth mass extinction event is approaching.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) July 11, 2017
Halting the decline in wildlife populations will be an uphill battle, according to the PNAS report. The scientists said all the data they compiled indicates an even more “powerful assault” on biodiversity is going to occur over the next 20 years. The impact of the loss of animals paints a “dismal picture” of the future of human life, according to the scientific research team.
What do you think about the sixth mass extinction claims in the report about biological annihilation?
[Featured Image by Underworld/Shutterstock]