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Wildlife Disappearing as Mass Extinction Event Looms

A recent report by WWF has revealed that more than two-thirds of the world’s wildlife could be gone by 2020 if worldwide action isn’t taken soon.

 

Wildlife Disappearing as Mass Extinction Event Looms

By Natalie Kyriacou

 

The World Wide Fund for Nature said there has been a 58% overall decline in the numbers of fish, mammals, birds and reptiles worldwide since 1970. This sums up that global wildlife is vanishing at a rate of 2% annually.

This mass extinction event – labelled as the Sixth Mass Extinction – will have dire consequences for planet earth. There have been five mass extinction events in the history of planet earth, including the mass extinction that killed the dinosaurs. However, this time, humanity is responsible.

The rapidity of species extinction and the consequences of global warming are impacting the earth at an unparalleled scale and rate. The great evolutionary events and wipeouts in the earth’s historical record which have taken place over millions of years are now rivalled by the current chapter; the reign of humanity, which has succeeded in extinguishing wildlife on earth in mere centuries.

In the context of evolutionary history, humanity has produced almost instantaneous planetary-scale disruption, quite possibly leaving us in the middle of one of the greatest mass extinctions in the history of life on earth.

Having recognized that humans have become a planet-altering species with immense and increasing influence on the earth, it is now vitally important to moderate and eventually reverse the harmful trends that we have inflicted upon our planet.

The Future of Planet Earth

“For decades scientists have been warning that human actions are pushing life toward a sixth mass extinction. Evidence in this year’s Living Planet Report supports this. Wildlife populations have already shown a concerning decline, on average by 67 per cent by the end of the decade. While environmental degradation continues, there are also signs that we are beginning a transition towards an ecologically sustainable future. Despite 2016 set to be another hottest year on record, global CO 2 emissions have stabilized over the last two years, with some arguing they may even have peaked. Rampant poaching and wildlife trafficking is devastating ecosystems, but the U.S. and China have recently committed to a historic ban of domestic ivory trade. Perhaps more importantly, the interdependence between the social, economic and environmental agendas is being recognized at the highest levels through the revolutionary approach adopted in defining the new set of the world’s Sustainable Development Goals,” says WWF’s Living Planet Report. Read more here.

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