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Study: 41 percent of Earth's amphibians destined for extinction

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By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online
12/15/2014 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

'In pushing other species to extinction, humanity is busy sawing off the limb on which it perches'

A grim report as published in "Nature" magazine warns that the planet Earth's many animal species are irrevocably headed towards extinction. Forty-one percent of all the world's amphibians are set "to go the way of the dodo" bird unless the governments of the world make a concerted effort to turn back the tide. Mass extinction of animal species only paves the wave for the elimination of the human race, experts warn. As ecologist Paul Ehrlich puts it: "In pushing other species to extinction, humanity is busy sawing off the limb on which it perches."

The issue of widespread extinction is exacerbated because of the huge gaps in scientists' knowledge about the planet's biodiversity.

The issue of widespread extinction is exacerbated because of the huge gaps in scientists' knowledge about the planet's biodiversity.

Highlights

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
12/15/2014 (4 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Extinction, animals, habitat, study


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In addition to amphibians, 26 percent of mammal species and 13 percent of birds are similarly threatened.

Many species are already critically endangered and close to extinction, including the Sumatran elephant, Amur leopard and mountain gorilla.

St. Anthony of Egypt, patron saint of animals is honored with this beautiful badge pin!

Also in danger of vanishing from the wild are animals that are currently rated as merely being endan

Also in danger of vanishing from the wild are animals that are currently rated as merely being endangered: bonobos, bluefin tuna and loggerhead turtles, for example.


Also in danger of vanishing from the wild are animals that are currently rated as merely being endangered: bonobos, bluefin tuna and loggerhead turtles, for example.

Human activities alone are the reason for this species genocide. The continuing spread of agriculture is destroying millions of hectares of wild habitats every year, leaving animals without homes. Invasive species, often helped by humans, is also devastating native populations. Pollution and overfishing are likewise destroying marine ecosystems.

"Habitat destruction, pollution or overfishing either kills off wild creatures and plants or leaves them badly weakened," Derek Tittensor, a marine ecologist at the World Conservation Monitoring Center in Cambridge says. "The trouble is that in coming decades, the additional threat of worsening climate change will become more and more pronounced and could then kill off these survivors."

The issue of widespread extinction is exacerbated because of the huge gaps in scientists' knowledge about the planet's biodiversity. Estimates of the total number of species of animals, plants and fungi alive vary from two million to 50 million. In addition, estimates of current rates of species disappearances vary from 500 to 36,000 a year. "That is the real problem we face," Tittensor adds. "The scale of uncertainty is huge."

In the end, however, the data indicate that the world is heading inexorably towards a mass extinction, which is defined as one involving a loss of 75 percent of species or more. This could arrive in less than a hundred years or could take a thousand, depending on extinction rates.

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