Sixth mass extinction: The era of ‘biological annihilation’

We read, with no small concern, a recent CNN article by John D. Sutter, columnist. He notes several statistics that should not be ignored, such as, “three-quarters of all species could disappear in the coming centuries.”

That is a scary thought.

For those of us with DLG Naturals, who live and work in Botswana, home of some of Africa’s most majestic animals, including the elephant, the idea of losing elephants, for example, is depressing.

Anthony Barnosky, executive director of the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve at Stanford University, “On the one hand, you can say, ‘All right, we still have around 400,000 elephants in Africa, and that seems like a really big number. But then, if you step back, that’s cut by more than half of what their populations were in the early part of last century. There were well over 1 million elephants (then). And if you look at what’s happened in the last decade, we have been culling their numbers so fast that if we kept up with that pace, there would be no more wild elephants in Africa in 20 years.” (Emphasis added).

And that is just elephants.

Already gone:
In 2008, the Chinese River Dolphin.
In 2000, the Pyrenean Ibex.
In 1989, the Golden Toad.
And earlier in the recent past: Tasmanian Wolf, Bubal Hartebeest, Quagga Zebra, Cape Lion, Caribbean Monk Seal.

Probable upcoming extinctions:
Javan Rhinoceros, Snow Leopard, Tiger, Asian Elephant, Vaquita Porpoise, Mountain Gorilla, Sumatran Orangutan, Leatherback Turtle.

Several well recognized animals are at high risk, including the Panda, Polar Bear, Wolves, Jaguar. and others.

“…there is little disagreement among scientists that humans are driving an unprecedented ecological crisis. And the causes are well-known. People are burning fossil fuels, contributing to climate change. They’re chopping down forests and other habitat for agriculture, to the point 37% of Earth’s land surface now is farmland or pasture, according to the World Bank. The global population of people continues to rise, along with our thirst for land and consumption. And finally, but not exclusively, poachers are driving numbers of elephants, pangolins, rhinos, giraffes and other creatures with body parts valuable on the black market to worryingly low levels.”

The article concludes that time remains to remedy the situation. However, a desire to find solutions is required, and that desire is in question.

One thought on “Sixth mass extinction: The era of ‘biological annihilation’”

  1. We assume this is being said tongue-in-cheek… at least, we hope that is the case. As you know, “meat eaters” depend on meat being available. Lions, tigers, elephants, pandas, wolves, rhinos and most other animals are not routinely found on man’s menu. So, what difference does the loss of one or more of these animals mean for our meat-eating habits? Very little on the short term. But, at our present rate of loss, we could lose 2/3 of all animal species by 2020.
    “The analysis, the most comprehensive to date, indicates that animal populations plummeted by 58% between 1970 and 2012, with losses on track to reach 67% by 2020. Researchers from WWF and the Zoological Society of London compiled the report from scientific data and found that the destruction of wild habitats, hunting and pollution were to blame.”
    At what point does “the law of the jungle” add Homo sapiens to that list?

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