ENVIRONMENT 1 million species under threat of extinction because of humans, biodiversity report finds

  
Via:  perrie-halpern  •  2 weeks ago  •  35 comments

ENVIRONMENT 1 million species under threat of extinction because of humans, biodiversity report finds
“We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.”

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


By Denise Chow

A sweeping report assessing the state of the natural world found that humans are having an “unprecedented” and devastating effect on global biodiversity, with about 1 million animal and plant species now threatened with extinction.

A summary of the report’s findings was released Monday by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, which was established in 2012 by the United Nations Environment Programme and includes representatives from 132 countries.

Robert Watson, the panel’s chair and a professor of environmental sciences at the University of East Anglia in the U.K., said evidence collected over the past five decades from roughly 15,000 scientific and government studies paints “an ominous picture.”

“The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever,” he said in a statement. “We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.”

The report, which did not list individual species, found that 25 percent of mammals, more than 40 percent of amphibian species, nearly 33 percent of sharks and 25 percent of plant groups are threatened with extinction. Based on these proportions, the researchers estimated that approximately 1 million animal and plant species could die out, many “within decades.”

Since the 16th century, humans have driven at least 680 vertebrate species to extinction, including the Pinta Island tortoise. The last known animal of this subspecies, a giant tortoise nicknamed Lonesome George, died at the Galapagos National Park in Ecuador in 2012. A subspecies of the Javan rhino went extinct in 2011, and the western black rhino and northern white rhino are extinct in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

“The essential, interconnected web of life on Earth is getting smaller and increasingly frayed,” Josef Settele, the report’s co-chair, said in a statement.

RAPID DETERIORATION


Extinctions have occurred throughout the planet’s history, but the report found that human actions threaten more species now than ever before, with the global rate of species extinction over the past 50 years already “at least tens to hundreds of times higher than it has averaged over the past 10 million years.”

This quickening pace should be cause for alarm, according to David Wagner, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut, who was not involved with the report.

“It’s happening faster than organisms can respond evolutionarily,” Wagner said. “That means new species generation won’t be able to keep pace with the loss of species.”

This could have serious consequences for the stability of ecosystems around the world, which in turn could directly affect human health, experts say. The interactions between animals, plants, humans and the environment make up a complex web. Disruptions to any part of this biological architecture can have significant, cascading effects.

For instance, humans need food to survive. More than three-quarters of the world’s food crops rely, at least in part, on the activities of bees, wasps, butterflies and other pollinators, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The new U.N. report found that 10 percent of insect species are under threat.

“When you lose a species, think of it like a fabric, and you’re taking and plucking one of the strings,” said Brett Scheffers, a conservation ecologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville, who was not involved with the report. “Over time, the fabric gets looser and less stable. These are the types of changes we’re observing where entire ecosystems collapse.”

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Perrie Halpern R.A.
1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    2 weeks ago

What happens when entire food chains breakdown?

Soylant Green.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
1.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1    2 weeks ago

For all of you too young to know what Soylent Green is, here is a clip to aid you.

 
 
 
Raven Wing
1.1.1  Raven Wing  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1.1    2 weeks ago

I remember it well. And at the rate mankind is killing off the wildlife that the human race depends on for survival in more ways that just a food source, that movie may very well become a fact of life.

 
 
 
evilgenius
1.2  evilgenius  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1    2 weeks ago
Soylant Green.

Umm.... From soylent.com

New Soylent Squared.

Small in size, big nutrition. Each bar is engineered with 5g of plant protein and 36 essential nutrients. Fuel Good. Fuel Complete.

Are we sure it's plant protein?

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
1.2.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  evilgenius @1.2    2 weeks ago

I've been wondering about that since they introduced it. 

Hummmmm......

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
1.2.2  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  evilgenius @1.2    2 weeks ago

I can see the next major protein product being named "SOY'N'ANT GREEN" after the two main ingredients.

 
 
 
charger 383
2  charger 383    2 weeks ago

That was a scary movie, Shows a bad possible future.  I thought overpopulation was a problem before I saw it,

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
2.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  charger 383 @2    2 weeks ago

Very much a cautionary tale. One of the few sci fi of the era that I actually could see becoming our future. 

 
 
 
Ender
3  Ender    2 weeks ago

Sometimes I think humans are a plague upon the earth.

Like invasive ants or bacteria. A virus.

There are some people that would kill the last of a species, just to say they did it.

 
 
 
It Is ME
3.1  It Is ME  replied to  Ender @3    2 weeks ago
Sometimes I think humans are a plague upon the earth.

Like invasive ants or bacteria. A virus.

There are some people that would kill the last of a species, just to say they did it

Time to "Nuke" the Human Population so the "Animals and Plants can be saved ?

Seems to me, Even the K-T extinction theory was worse than anything a human could conjure up, and here we still have new plants and animals showing up even now. Creatures come, creatures go, but there will always be creatures at one point or another.

 
 
 
Ender
3.1.1  Ender  replied to  It Is ME @3.1    2 weeks ago

Time to stop thinking that every available piece of land needs to be developed or exploited.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
3.1.2  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Ender @3.1.1    2 weeks ago

There I agree. 

The planet does have its limitations. 

 
 
 
It Is ME
3.1.3  It Is ME  replied to  Ender @3.1.1    2 weeks ago
Time to stop thinking that every available piece of land needs to be developed or exploited.

Take a few crisscrossing country flights. You'll see Green as far as the eye can see. It just seems like All available spaces are taken up, when mass amounts of Humans congregate in little enclaves for ease of use and for times sake.

 
 
 
Ender
3.1.4  Ender  replied to  It Is ME @3.1.3    2 weeks ago

Even in my area the spread continues. Once wooded areas are now new subdivisions or strip malls.

The landscape has changed greatly over the decades.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
3.1.5  Trout Giggles  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3.1.2    2 weeks ago

Space IS limited....

 
 
 
It Is ME
3.1.6  It Is ME  replied to  Ender @3.1.4    2 weeks ago
The landscape has changed greatly over the decades.

The U.S. has Approx. 2.3 billion acres of land mass, with approx. only 66 million acres are hard developed . That is approx. 3 percent of the total land area in the U.S..

We have a looooong way to go yet !

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
3.1.7  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  It Is ME @3.1.6    2 weeks ago

We are not talking about the US alone. The rain forest is still being cut down, (they actually provide most of the earth's 02 and biodiversity). Then there is all the illegal hunting of endangered animals. We could be addressing that.

 
 
 
It Is ME
3.1.8  It Is ME  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @3.1.7    2 weeks ago

Which Rain forest ? There are a few on this planet.

 
 
 
Ender
3.1.9  Ender  replied to  It Is ME @3.1.6    2 weeks ago
The U.S. has 2.3 billion acres of land. However, 375 million acres are in Alaska and not suitable for agricultural production. The land area of the lower 48 states is approximately 1.9 billion acres.

By far the greatest impact on the American landscape comes not from urbanization but rather from agriculture. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, farming and ranching are responsible for 68 percent of all species endangerment in the United States.

Developed Land-Despite all the hand wringing over sprawl and urbanization, only 66 million acres are considered developed lands. This amounts to 3 percent of the land area in the U.S., yet this small land base is home to 75 percent of the population. In general, urban lands are nearly useless for biodiversity preservation. Furthermore, urbanized lands, once converted, usually do not shift to another use.

Rural Residential Land-This category comprises nearly all sprawl and subdivisions along with farmhouses scattered across the country The total acreage for rural residential is 73 million acres. Of this total, 44 million acres are lots of 10 or more acres.

Developed and rural residential make up 139 million acres, or 6.1 percent of total land area in the U.S. This amount of land is not insignificant until you consider that we planted more than 80 million acres of feeder corn and another 75 million acres of soybeans (95 percent of which are consumed by livestock, not tofu eaters) last year alone. These two crops affect more of the land area of the U.S. than all the urbanization, rural residential, highways, railroads, commercial centers, malls, industrial parks and golf courses combined.

Cropland-About 349 million acres in the U.S. are planted for crops. This is the equivalent of about four states the size of Montana. Four crops -- feeder corn (80 million acres), soybeans (75 million acres), alfalfa hay (61 million acres) and wheat (62 million acres) -- make up 80 percent of total crop acreage. All but wheat are primarily used to feed livestock.

The amount of land used to produce all vegetables in the U.S. is less than 3 million acres.

Range and Pasture Land-Some 788 million acres, or 41.4 percent of the U. S. excluding Alaska, are grazed by livestock. This is an area the size of 8.3 states the size of Montana. Grazed lands include rangeland, pasture and cropland pasture. More than 309 million acres of federal, state and other public lands are grazed by domestic livestock. Another 140 million acres are forested lands that are grazed.

https://www.westernwatersheds.org/watmess/watmess_2002/2002html_summer/article6.htm

512

https://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2012/march/data-feature-how-is-land-used/

I still stick by sprawl because of what I can see happening. We have millions upon millions of acres used just for livestock and feeding them.

 
 
 
It Is ME
3.1.10  It Is ME  replied to  Ender @3.1.9    2 weeks ago
We have millions upon millions of acres used just for livestock and feeding them.

Keeping the animals Alive I see !

The percentage of hardscape, compared to Greenscape, is still miniscule compared to the overall area of these united States.

Cut down a Tree, Plant a Tree: "Americans plant approximately 1.6 billion trees every year."

How much "Land would it take up, to turn the entire United States into this total "Green" Dream ? 

 
 
 
Ender
3.1.11  Ender  replied to  It Is ME @3.1.10    2 weeks ago

From what I can tell, the attitude is screw it, it doesn't matter.

 
 
 
It Is ME
3.1.12  It Is ME  replied to  Ender @3.1.11    2 weeks ago
How much "Land would it take up, to turn the entire United States into this total "Green" Dream ? 

There isn't enough money on the planet to make a difference in what the "planet" is going to do with itself.

Hell, we replant, and plant, and plant, and artificially inseminate animals to keep life going all the time.

Animals and plants STILL go extinct all the time. Other species replace those that went extinct. MASSIVE Extinctions have gone on waaaaaay before man even existed.  It's the "Cycle of Life" !

 
 
 
 
Greg Jones
5  Greg Jones    2 weeks ago

99% + of all species has gone extinct since life began on Earth.

I can't believe that supposedly rational and intelligent people actually believe in and worry about such slanted studies.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
5.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Greg Jones @5    2 weeks ago

How are they slanted studies, Greg? We know what the populations of these animals were before and we know what they are now. You need a specific number of animals to maintain healthy stock. This is all fact.

 
 
 
Kavika
5.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @5.1    2 weeks ago
''This is all fact.''

Some posters don't need no stinkin' facts.

 
 
 
Sparty On
6  Sparty On    2 weeks ago

The best we can hope for is to minimize our impact as humans.   We consume the earths natural resources and basically discharge waste.   That's the nature of the beast.

For those that take issue with that feel free to do the earth a favor and end your existence.   Since that is more or less the only way for an individual to have a "net positive" impact on Mother Earth.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
6.1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Sparty On @6    2 weeks ago

Well, short of ending one's life, we can try to be mindful. Hunting rare animals to please a few people is not being mindful. Ruining their environments isn't either.

 
 
 
Sparty On
6.1.2  Sparty On  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @6.1    2 weeks ago
Well, short of ending one's life, we can try to be mindful.

I agree which is what i intended with my first sentence.

That said, it is incredibly arrogant IMO when we tell other nations what they can and can't do with the natural resources in their lands.   I'm all for conservation and encouraging it whenever possible but i stop at forcing it.

In the end it really isn't any of our business.   Wars have started over less.

 
 
 
βΔĐ₣ƗŞĦ ĦΔŇĐ Ø₣ ĐØØΜ
7  βΔĐ₣ƗŞĦ ĦΔŇĐ Ø₣ ĐØØΜ    2 weeks ago

It was once proposed on this forum by a mythical thinker that the only solution would be mass suicide to save these species.

 
 
 
katrix
7.1  katrix  replied to  βΔĐ₣ƗŞĦ ĦΔŇĐ Ø₣ ĐØØΜ @7    2 weeks ago

That would definitely help.  We could also go for a Rainbow Six scenario ...

I don't know if you ever read Rainbow Six, but I loved the ending.  Funny how the people who think we need to drastically reduce the human population via killing people off always manage to convince themselves that they personally should be among those who are not culled.

 
 
 
Sparty On
7.2  Sparty On  replied to  βΔĐ₣ƗŞĦ ĦΔŇĐ Ø₣ ĐØØΜ @7    2 weeks ago

You mean Jim Jones and the HALE-BOPP dingalings had it right the whole time?

Damn .....

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
7.3  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  βΔĐ₣ƗŞĦ ĦΔŇĐ Ø₣ ĐØØΜ @7    2 weeks ago

Come on BF. You are an animal lover. Are you not for minding what is left of our natural resources where they reside and vanity hunting?

 
 
 
βΔĐ₣ƗŞĦ ĦΔŇĐ Ø₣ ĐØØΜ
7.3.1  βΔĐ₣ƗŞĦ ĦΔŇĐ Ø₣ ĐØØΜ  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @7.3    2 weeks ago

I recycle and i only vacation at places that are environmentally self sustainable to minimize my impact. I also ride an eco friendly  combustible engine two wheeled vehicle half the week that gets 42 MPG when i don't drive like an ass.  I take pictures of animals, the only shots i take. (quail don't count, i eat them)

I'm a tree huger and i am not scared to admit it.

I also repack my brass.

 
 
 
Sparty On
7.3.2  Sparty On  replied to  βΔĐ₣ƗŞĦ ĦΔŇĐ Ø₣ ĐØØΜ @7.3.1    2 weeks ago

Well repack that brass twice ..... that'll teach that brass!

 
 
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