A general research study by Stanford, Princeton and UC Berkeley reveals that the world is on the brink of the 6th mass extinction of biological species. The BBC reports that according to scientists the main reason for this is the changes in climate caused by the indiscriminate deforestation of our planet and human activity.
According to the world-famous scientists from the 3 leading US universities, humanity will be one of the 1st biological species to vanish from the face of the Earth.
The study shows that approximately 400 vertebrate animals have gone extinct within the past 110 years. This rate of die offs of entire populations is 114 times greater than normal. Categorical proof of human blame for the disappearance of animals is the fact that less than 80 biological species had gone extinct in the 10 000 years prior to the Industrial Revolution, even though the cataclysms then were significantly more severe.
Based on data by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), 41% of all amphibians and 25% of mammals are also under threat of extinction. If we continue to lose species, we risk the destruction of ecosystems and environment needed for the survival of man.
"This issue needs to be given higher priority in the political agenda of governments and not remain just on the environmental department level, " says Simon Stuart, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.
"If we allow this process to continue it will take millions of years for life to be restored and it's possible that our kind will become extinct ahead of time, " adds Gerardo Beballos, one of the authors of the study.
"All over the world we are seeing the last surviving specimens of some species. We ourselves are sawing off the branch we're sitting on, " warns Prof. Paul Ehrlich from Stanford University.
According to the IUCN, one of the animals under the highest threat of extinction on a worldwide scale is the lemur. Each year its population drops on average about 15%. On the island of Madagascar, this primate's natural habitat, nearly 94% of all lemurs are threatened due to the destruction of their habitat and killing by the local population who consider their meat a delicacy.