Another scientific study criticises humans for their destruction of mammalian diversity

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Buffalo skulls

There has been a spate of scientific studies in recent years about the impact of human activity on the extinction of the species. In this study, recently published on the Science Advances website, a group of scientists have come to the conclusion that the destruction of wildlife species by human activity is speeding up. They focused on mammalian diversity. What they mean is the range of wild animals who are mammals and their rate of extinction due to human behaviour.

Buffalo skulls

Buffalo skulls. Photo in public domain.

They state that since 126,000 years ago, at least 351 mammal species have gone extinct. The telling point is that 80 of the species have gone extinct since 1500 CE (Common Era or A.D.). Their argument is that the extinction rates of the past will look slow compared to what they are today and will be for the future. They state that an extinction rate of around 1700 times the earlier levels will take place.

They point to two regions where there will be much higher extinction rate in the future: Africa and Eurasia. In Africa they see predicted future human population growth leading to higher extinction rates on the continent and therefore pose a serious threat to the biodiversity of these regions.

Extinction rate increases are in line with human arrival times in Australia and the Americas.

I think you have to take a commonsense viewpoint. I don’t think it takes scientists to tell us that the as soon as settlers arrived in North America they were hard at it slaughtering animals like buffalo and birds. Less than 100 bison remained in the wild by the late 1880s. Hunters say it is a lie. They would because they love to maintain their rate of killing. They don’t want anyone to undermine the pleasure they get from killing animals.

The passenger pigeon was shot to extinction in North America. Birds are not mammals but this is an example of how the introduction of humans into a region leads inevitably to wildlife destruction.

There is an endless series of animal species destructions by people. Either through population growth which is rapid in America, poaching, industry, commercialisation, you name it humans do it and there is a natural disregard for lesser nonhuman animals. That’s what this scientific study is saying in my view although clearly I’m simplifying it.

The basic point being made is that as human population grows rapidly on the planet they will have a greater impact upon mammalian diversity. And what they say is that the impact of humans is much greater upon wildlife than climate change. Although climate change is caused by humans so it is an adjunct to profligate and careless human behaviour.