Dinosaurs died about 66 million years ago and, ever since then, many other species have perished. In fact, it was estimated that 50 percent of the species of the planet have disappeared within the last 2,000 years.
A recent study published in the journal Science Advances, on Friday, reveals that the species populating the planet are disappearing 100 times faster than it would be normal if nature took is usual course.
This means we are in the midst of a mass destruction, the sixth of its kind over a period of 450 million years. The experts call it extremely dire because it threatens to exterminate the human species as well.
A team of researchers from Stanford University, the University of California and Princeton University looked at the data available on the extinction of various vertebrates and compared the speed at which species disappear now with the rate of species lost before human activity became so aggressive.
They reached the conclusion that the average rate of species loss within the last 100 years is almost 114 times higher than the one recorded without harmful human activity.
However, this rate might be even higher, given the fact that the experts employed a past extinction rate two times higher than the one estimated.
“We emphasize that our calculations very likely underestimate the severity of the extinction crisis because our aim was to place a realistic lower bound on humanity’s impact on biodiversity,” wrote the study.
The study also concluded that more than 400 vertebrates have disappeared since 1900, while such a massive loss would normally be seen within 10,000 years.
The causes for such massive loss are quite diverse, ranging from overhunting, destruction of the natural habitat, pollution and many other activities
The theory is supported by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which states that 26 percent of the mammals inhabiting the Earth and 41 percent of all amphibian species are threatened.
“If it is allowed to continue, life would take many millions of years to recover and our species itself would likely disappear early on,” said lead study author Gerardo Ceballos from the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico.
Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that measures are taken to conserve the species that are currently threatened to become extinct by changing some of our destructive ways – such as excessive exploitation and consumerism, eliminating illegal trade and hunting and protecting their natural habitat.
2Image Source: theguardian