The sixth wave of extinction. Man killed 60% of the animals

Шестая волна вымирания. Человек убил 60% животных

Scientists believe that the planet began the sixth wave of mass extinction, but the first, which occurs due to one particular type of person.

Mankind has destroyed more than half of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles on the planet in less than half a century – in the period from 1970 to 2014, according to the report Living Planet Index, which was prepared by scientists from 59 countries.

“Earth is losing its biological diversity at a rate previously observed only during mass extinctions”, – noted in the study.

Environmentalists urge the world to develop new indicators for sustainable development. Корреспондент.net tells details.


New mass extinction on Earth

The report prepared by the world wildlife Fund, Zoological society of London, based on analysis of data on 16704 populations representing four thousand species. The study of the world fauna is held every two years.

Scientists believe that the planet began the sixth wave of mass extinction, but the first, which occurs due to one particular type of person.

Two main reasons:

  • the destruction of natural habitats for agricultural purposes
  • killing animals for food

Because of hunting disappeared, at least 300 species of animals. In addition, populations affected by chemical pollution, animal trade and the spread of invasive species.

Remained 12 years. Catastrophic melting of the poles

Шестая волна вымирания. Человек убил 60% животных



In the report 2018 ecologists came to the conclusion that only a quarter of the earth’s surface is now not affected by human activities, and this percentage is closer to ten percent by 2050.

Changes caused by rising food production, energy demand, land and water.

The authors warn that the destruction of wildlife also threatens the future of humanity, as the increasing pace of growth in the consumption of resources is destroying the environment, which influences the quality of air and water.

Plastic is a killer. The world refuses to tubes

“We blindly go to the edge of the abyss”, – said the Executive Director of WWF on science Mike Barrett, commenting on the report.

Шестая волна вымирания. Человек убил 60% животных
Deforestation / Getty

The highest damage people have caused animals of South and Central America, where populations of vertebrates have declined by 89 percent. The reason for this is deforestation.

Globally the rate of deforestation has slowed down due to the rebuilding effort. However, this does not apply to tropical forests, where there remains the greatest biodiversity on Earth.

Extinction is near. Scientists warned humanity

Шестая волна вымирания. Человек убил 60% животных



Every two months, man destroys more than a thousand square kilometers of tropical savanna known as Cerrado.

How has planet Earth and what to expect

WWF experts remind that tropical, moderate and boreal (taiga) forests are the richest ecosystem: while they cover about 30 percent of the planet’s surface, are home to 80 percent of the land living organisms.

Among the habitats most affected rivers and lakes, where populations of wild species was reduced by 83 percent.

Covering no more than one percent of the Earth’s surface, freshwater ecosystems – lakes, rivers and wetlands are the habitat of more than 100 thousand known species of fish, shellfish, reptiles, insects, plants and mammals, the report said.

Шестая волна вымирания. Человек убил 60% животныхDead fish / Getty

Since 1950, the oceans were extracted from more than six billion tons of marine and freshwater fish and invertebrates, according to the study. The ocean is also highly contaminated plastic found even in the deepest parts of the oceans, for example, in the Mariana trench.

Last report was criticized for the fact that some data is controversial because of Africa and South America there are practically no adequate information, and the bulk coming from Western Europe.

Then the authors of the Living Planet said that the environmental team uses the best available research.

“It is true that in some regions and for some groups of animals, like tropical amphibians, we do not have enough data. But that’s because there are none at all. It is highly likely that the types, a condition which is poorly investigated, are in an even more difficult situation than the rest – I wonder if they are better than the data that we have,” replied Robin Freeman of the Zoological society of London.

The world of excess. The tragic consequences of population growth

The representative of WWF Mike Barrett, commenting in the Guardian newspaper criticism of the report, noted that their indicators show the same picture – the decline of wildlife populations, which reduces the chance of serious error.


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