Endangered species One species’ extinction can wipe out many more animal extinction articles 2020
Out of those examined, 515 species — 1.7 percent of those studied — were found to be on the brink of extinction, meaning fewer than 1,000 individuals were left alive. These species include the vaquita, the Clarion island wren, and the Sumatran rhino. And half of these 515 species have fewer than 250 individuals left. If nothing is done to protect them, most of them will go extinct over the next 20 years. The new study examined 29,400 species of vertebrates that live on land — mice, hawks, hippos, snakes, and the like. These species from all over the world were cataloged by the . And as humans build closer to areas that were once wild, they face higher risks of exposure to threats such as animal-borne disease and wildfire. So the economic and health costs of runaway extinctions could be immense. The new study is part of a steady stream of grim news for endangered species. In 2019, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services released a massive 1,500-page report on global biodiversity. The report concluded that up to 1 million species are at risk of extinction, including 40 percent of all amphibian species, 33 percent of corals, and about 10 percent of insects. Endangered species One species’ extinction can wipe out many more animal extinction articles 2020
Endangered species One species’ extinction can wipe out many more animal extinction articles 2020
The species teetering on the edge of eternal loss often live alongside other endangered species, even if they are present in greater numbers. The species on the brink then serve as loud sirens of the possible bigger threat to other life in their environs. As species within a pond, forest stand, or watershed die off, others soon follow. “We are in no sense simply a part of the global ecosystem anymore, living in a broad, wide world,” said Raven. “e are one species, totally dominant, among the millions of others that exist.” Scientists have observed these kinds of rippling for decades in places like the Amazon rainforest, watching what happened when species went extinct in a given area or when a habitat fractured into pieces. So researchers are now looking closely at which animals are teetering on the edge of existence to see just how dire the situation has become, and to figure out what might be the best way to bring them back. It’s true that species do go extinct naturally, but the rate of extinction now is thousands of times higher than the expected background rate. It can be difficult to tease out whether an organism disappeared as a direct consequence of human activity or because a species it depended on was wiped out by people, but both types of losses stem from humanity. “We can’t easily reverse the trend but can learn as much as we can in the time we have left,” Raven said. With the accelerating pace of destruction, scientists are racing to understand these fragile bits of life before they’re gone. “This means that the opportunity we have to study and save them will be far greater over the next few decades than ever again,” said Peter Raven, a coauthor of the study and a professor emeritus of botany at Washington University in St. Louis, in an email. It’s worth pausing to reflect on what “extinction” means: a species completely and forever lost. Each one is an irreparable event, so the idea that they are not only happening more often but also might be sparking additional, related extinctions is startling. And these extinctions have consequences for humanity, from the losses of critical pollinators that fertilize crops to absent predators that would otherwise keep disease-spreading animals in check. menu more-arrow no yes Vox homepage Contribute Contribute Newsletters Newsletters Site search Search Search Vox main menu Biden Administration Coronavirus Recode The Goods First Person Crossword Podcasts Video Explainers Culture Politics & Policy Science & Health World Identities Technology Energy & Environment Business & Finance More Biden Administration Coronavirus Recode The Goods First Person Crossword Podcasts Video Explainers Culture Politics & Policy Science & Health World Identities Technology Energy & Environment Business & Finance ✕ Will you help us hit our goal? We’re aiming to add 4,500 contributions in the next 30 days, to help keep Vox free. × “Extinction breeds extinctions”: How losing one species can wipe out many more Humans are causing a mass extinction. And humans can stop it. Since humans are causing most of the destruction that is driving extinctions, humans can change their behaviors in ways to protect life. One of the most effective steps people can use to protect endangered species is to protect the environments where they live, shielding them from mining, drilling, development, and pollution. In many cases, species interact with others in complicated and often unforeseen ways that aren’t recognized until they are gone. For example, if a plant-eating insect dies off, the plants it eats could run rampant and choke off other vegetation. Meanwhile, the birds that feed on the insect could be without an important food source. Each of these subsequent changes could have myriad other impacts on distant species, and so on and so on. The disruption can continue until the ecosystem is hardly recognizable. Share All sharing options Share All sharing options for: “Extinction breeds extinctions”: How losing one species can wipe out many more Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email The Ethiopian wolf, Canis simensis, is an endangered species. Fewer than 1,000 individuals are left in the wild. Roger de la Harpe/Universal Images Group via Getty Earth is now in the middle of a mass extinction, the sixth one in the planet’s history, according to scientists. Why everybody’s hiring but nobody’s getting hired America’s broken hiring system, explained. Gabby Petito’s disappearance, and why it was absolutely everywhere, explained Web sleuthing was a tricky true crime hobby. Then Gabby Petito went missing. At the UN, animal extinction articles 2020 Biden is still trying to convince the world America is back But the test isn’t whether America is back — it’s whether it can help build the world Biden says it wants to build. One Good Thing: Reservation Dogs is groundbreaking. It’s also incredibly funny. FX’s series, now available on Hulu, is the rare TV comedy that knows what it is from its first scene. Jeff Bezos commits $1 billion to conservation as Amazon destroys the world The former Amazon CEO said his recent trip to space further inspired him to protect the planet. Sign up for the newsletter The Weeds Understand how policy impacts people. Delivered Fridays. However, the threats to so many species have been building for years and they can’t be reversed overnight. It will take a sustained global conservation effort to protect the precious few and restore them to the multitudes that once swam, flew, and walked the earth. The findings also highlight how life can interact in unexpected ways and how difficult it can be to slow ecological destruction once it starts. “It’s similar to climate change; once it gets rolling, it gets harder and harder to unwind,” said Noah Greenwald, the endangered species director for the Center for Biological Diversity, who was not involved in the study. “We don’t know what the tipping points are, and that’s scary.” Through destroying habitats, spreading disease, raising livestock, dumping waste, overharvesting, overfishing, and climate change, the 7.5 billion humans on this planet have become their own force, unlike any that exists in nature. There is tremendous biodiversity on earth right now. The number of species — birds, trees, ferns, fungi, fish, insects, mammals — is greater than it ever has been in the 4.5 billion-year existence of this planet. But that also means there is a lot to lose. Another tactic is building corridors for connecting fragmented ecosystems, creating larger contiguous areas. That can allow the synergy between species to grow and build a more resilient ecosystem that could better withstand the disappearance of a species and restore those in decline. And now a new study reports that species are going extinct hundreds or thousands of times faster than the expected rate. Conservation policies have already proven effective at thwarting some permanent losses, like the Endangered Species Act in the United States. It’s even spurring the recovery of several species, like the bald eagle. And there is still time to rescue other species that are on the brink. But saving what’s left will require concerted action, and time to act is running out.
“You do not want to get into a deep depression. You want to get involved and do the very easy things we can do to prevent us from destroying the planet,” said Stuart Pimm, a professor of conservation at Duke University and president of Saving Nature , an environmental conservation nonprofit. “The important story is there is a lot we can do about it.” In moments like this — as people grapple to understand variants and vaccines, and kids head back to school — many outlets take their paywalls down. Vox’s content is always free, in part because of financial support from our readers. We’ve been covering the Covid-19 pandemic for more than a year and a half. From the beginning, our goal was to bring clarity to chaos. To empower people with the information they needed to stay safe. And we’re not stopping. To our delight, you, our readers, helped us hit our goal of adding 2,500 financial contributions in September in just 9 days. So we’re setting a new goal: to add 4,500 contributions by the end of the month. Reader support helps keep our coverage free, and is a critical part of sustaining our resource-intensive work. Will you help us reach our goal by making a contribution to Vox with as little as $3? As these ecosystems degrade or collapse, humans stand to lose a lot of functions from nature they take for granted, like forests that generate rainfall for aquifers or mangroves that shield coasts from erosion. Many land vertebrates, for instance, are critical for spreading the seeds of trees. Without them, the makeup of a forest could transform. However, the fact that human activity is driving the vast majority of these extinctions means that changing human activity can help pull back vulnerable species from annihilation. “We can definitely make a difference. We can slow the pace of extinction,” Greenwald said. “We know how to do that. We can set aside more area for nature.” Species at the edge of extinction include the Sumatran rhino , the Clarion island wren , the Española Giant Tortoise , and the Harlequin frog . PNAS But these species on the precipice of the abyss are not spread evenly across the world; they’re concentrated in biodiversity hotspots like tropical rainforests. That makes sense because tropical forests have the most variety of species to begin with and they have the highest rate of habitat destruction. “About two-thirds of all species are estimated to occur in the tropics, and we know less about them than those in other parts of the world,” said Raven. “et more than one-quarter of all tropical forests have been cut in the 27 years since the ratification of the Convention on Biological Diversity. what animals will go extinct in 2021