Whoa! Extinct? Species? Whaaaaaaa?
Yes you heard correctly. We are currently in a time period that has been dubbed ‘THE Sixth Mass Extinction’ where species from all corners of the globe become extinct everyday. Depending on what Google Source you wish to believe the number of species becoming extinct everyday ranges from 16 – 150 species. If, in this case, we take the conservative number then that means the number of species that go extinct every year (we will exclude leap years) will equal 5840 species.
What does this mean for us – the people – the ones that matter the most?
In short – this rapid rate of extinction is an early warning sign of the health of the planet. Everything is connected in some way or another. If one species becomes extinct then it can be ‘game over man’ for another species that relies on that species for some part in its survival. If another species relies on this species then there is a ‘knock-on’ effect down the food chain.
So, if I was to give an example (which I will do if you read on)………., RIGHT NOW – we can take the everyday Bird of Prey (i.e. eagle) that requires (in this example) small mammals to eat. Those small mammals might rely on a particular source of food plant that it eats to survive. That plant may only occur in a particular area. If that area is changed (i.e. mined) in some way and it affects that plants survival to the point of extinction then the mammal that relies on the plant to survive will also cease to exist. This will ‘knock-on’ to the Bird of Prey, which will also become extinct.
This example is focused on species that specialists and would only predate/eat one particular species. However, the same principle goes for all food-chains/webs around the globe.
Can we, as an ‘intelligent’ species, allow these extinctions (which is predominantly due to us (I won’t go into if this ‘extinction event’ is because of humans or not in this post)) to occur? That question is an ethical one which is up to the individual person to decide. When enough of people agree that we can’t we can form groups (large or small) and help contribute to the overall well begin of the planet.