Score for 2006. People = 16,306 Animals = 1

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The World Conservation Union, which warns of a “global extinction crisis” has come out with their annual Red List of species in danger. I try to stay up to date on this because one of my hobbies is predicting the future impact down the food chain. The article is here.

Of the 41,415 vulnerable species on the list, 16,306 are in danger of disappearing forever, up from 16,118 last year. At least 785 plant and animals species have already been wiped out, and now the white-headed vulture, found in sub-Saharan Africa, could follow them into oblivion.

A quarter of all mammals, a third of all amphibians and one in eight birds on the 2007IUCN Red List are in jeopardy. More than 180 species have been added since 2006 to the ranks of those classified as endangered, critically endangered or vulnerable.

With all of the “worldwide government efforts” to protect the environment and reverse the trends, only one creature actually improved their position on the list – the Mauritius coral.jpgEcho Parakeet. Instead of being “critically endangered” now they are just endangered. Warming oceans are responsible for coral and sea weedmaking the critical list for the first time. 10 kinds of sea weedare believed to be gone for good.

 

Gorillas and orangutans face a particularly grim future after the discovery that more than 60% of Western Lowland Gorillas in Africa have been wiped out by the Ebola virus and the commercial bushmeat trade, and forest clearance for oil palm plantations, along with illegal logging, continue to seriously threaten the survival of orangutans in Sumatra and Borneo.lizard1.jpg

Many serious pests are controlled by other creatures as their food source. As an example, when we wipe out the birds, lizards and frogs we can expect that insect populations will grow. They in turn will devastate more crop land and ultimately our food sources will become more scarce and our food prices will skyrocket.

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Several lizards in California’s central valley, one of the largest food producing areas in the world, are on the list. So is the California garter snake that helps control the rodent populations in the same area.

I don’t expect people to really do anything meaningful to reverse these trends. The rich are too greedy and the poor are too needy. And in the end we will all suffer together.

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2 Comments on “Score for 2006. People = 16,306 Animals = 1”

  1. Capt Fogg Says:

    One of the biggest factors threatening Florida flora and fauna is the introduction of invasive species. What was sandy dunes filled with pines or wetlands full of mangroves are now dense, dark, foetid places because of imported Brazilian peppers – brought here because someone thought they looked like holly. There are a dozen native species of holly. Millions and millions of acres have been eaten up by invasive trees and vines, choking out native animals and plants.

    People who think it’s cool to have huge iguanas and monitor lizards and Brazilian pythons and then turn them loose have created havoc and there seems to be little we can do but watch the deer and the puma and the bobcat and the birds disappear.

    We are like a disease upon the planet.

  2. expatbrian Says:

    I watched a documentary about the Cane Toad in eastern Australia. Unbelievable population growth, no way to control it. It was introduced by the government to eat a destructive beetle in the cane fields. Unfortunately, it didn’t like eating the beetle. You would have thought someone might have checked that out first.


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