Categories: Extinction

Humans are eating big mammals to extinction

Giant Salamander. Photo in public domain.

It is an extraordinary thought; humans are literally eating large mammals to extinction. What I mean is that we are using these mammals as sources of food and were doing it to such an extent that 60% of large mammals are in danger of disappearing.

In addition their habitats are being destroyed and their food chains are being decimated. But the worst of these is that we are using them as a source of food.

Researchers surveyed 300 species of large mammals and nearly all of them were at risk in part because of “direct harvesting for human consumption of meat or body parts”.

William Ripple, of Oregon State University said: “We are in the process of eating mega fauna to extinction”.

Specific species at risk include the Chinese giant salamander. This animal can grow to nearly 2 m in length and is considered to be a living fossil. It is one of only three species in a group of species which is 170 million years of age. It’s being eaten to extinction because it is considered a delicacy in Asia and is hunted for meat.

Rhinoceroses, as we know, are being poached for their horns because they believe the horns are a medicine. Whale sharks’ flesh is prized, also in Asian markets, where there is a large demand for shark-fin soup. These animals are being driven to the brink of extinction by human consumption.

Somali ostrich, leatherback turtles and beluga whales are also within this category.

“Direct harvest for human consumption of meat or body parts is the biggest danger to nearly all of the large species,” said Prof Ripple.

The researchers concluded that nine mega fauna species had become extinct or vanished in the wild in the past 250 years. Because of humans’ ability to kill large animal safely, 2% have been driven to extinction and for vertebrates of all sizes the figure is 0.8%.

Modern fishing techniques are also affecting large marine species. There it is, humans are having a catastrophically damaging effect on wildlife. And of course as the human population relentlessly grows the situation can only deteriorate.

My thanks to The Times newspaper as the source of this information.


Recent Posts

Colourful creatures have colonised Great Britain because of climate change

Climate change has caused dozens of colourful species to colonise new areas of Great Britain over the past 10 years,…

1 day ago

Alsatian and crow are best mates!

P.S. I think this is a crow but it might be a bird of the crow family. And I think…

1 day ago

Border collies most in need of behavior therapy due to boredom

We are told that the much loved border collie is sent for behavior therapy more often than any other dog…

2 days ago

Chimpanzees like to share experiences and it helps them bond just like humans

As is the case for humans, chimpanzees like to share experiences together and it helps them to bond. Sharing experiences…

2 days ago

Thin beef steaks grown in labs available to diners by 2021

An Israeli company based in Rehovot, a city in the Central District of Israel, about 20 km south of Tel…

3 days ago

Kim Basinger at an anti-dog meat rally in Seoul, Korea

The actress Kim Basinger joined animal-rights activists at an anti-dog meat protest in South Korea near the National Assembly in…

7 days ago