A survey by the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle and from the University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa, has found that the earth is undergoing a mass extinction. This would be the sixth of such events in history.
However, this mass extinction event is different from the rest. The previous ones were due to natural circumstances like meteors, while humans mainly caused this one. The researchers add that if you count slugs and snails, the earth has lost about 15% of animal species from the 1500s.
The study found that the planet has lost between 7.5% and 13% of the species that were once on it. This figure is about 150,000 to 260,000 species that live in the air, sea, or land.
Many people are in denial of the mass extinction
According to a research professor and a lead study author, Robert Cowie, many documents indicate the loss of certain plant species and declining numbers of other species. Despite the evidence, most people refuse to acknowledge mass extinction.
Bowie adds that this denial is partly due to the lack of consideration for invertebrates when they account for a large number of the population. If people include invertebrates in the number of species that are now extinct, they will realize that a mass extinction is underway.
The habitats of the species determine the rates of extinction. For instance, those living in water are experiencing a lower extinction rate than those on land. Moreover, species that live on islands seem to disappear faster. Plants, on the other hand, are less susceptible to extinction.
Humans can take part in preventing made extinction
Cowie states that people denying mass extinctions have become more of a problem than those who deny science and climate change. Others look at it as a natural course of life on earth thus don’t see the need to remedy it. Another group doesn’t think humans have enough power to control mass extinction.
Cowie refutes this. He states that humans can manipulate the biosphere. He adds that humans are the only species capable of consciously taking care of biodiversity, unlike other animals that cannot alter their external factors or adapt quickly.