Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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Foggy
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

Post by Foggy »

Hay, they won't be called cockroaches any more. They'll be called "clients". :lol:
Buckle up, peeps, this ride is gonna get BUMPY. :shock:
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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Antarctic Emperor Penguin Colony Faces Collapse
After three years with very few new chicks, the birds are abandoning one of the biggest breeding sites on the continent, satellite images show.
Apr 25, 2019
JEF AKST

An emperor penguin population in Antarctica’s Weddell Sea that used to be tens of thousands of birds strong is on the brink of collapse, according to a study published today (April 25) in Antarctic Science. Satellite images of the area show that, while the colony consisted of up to 25,000 animals prior to 2016, in the last three years those numbers have dropped to almost zero.

“We’ve never seen a breeding failure on a scale like this in 60 years,” study author Phil Trathan, head of conservation biology at the British Antarctic Survey, tells the Associated Press. “It’s unusual to have a complete breeding failure in such a big colony.”

“Since we know little about the population trends of emperor penguins in most colonies, this is not good news,” Dee Boersma, a penguin ecologist at the University of Washington in Seattle who was not involved in the research, tells Science.

The decline of the so-called Halley Bay colony stems in large part from the loss of large numbers of emperor penguin chicks, which drowned in 2016 after the sea ice they’d been living on was destroyed in a storm. “The sea-ice that’s formed since 2016 hasn’t been as strong,” study author Peter Fretwell of the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge tells the BBC.

The lack of reproduction since the catastrophe is “unprecedented,” Fretwell and Tranthan report. Many of the colony’s adults have made the 55-kilometer trek to an adjacent colony, whose numbers have grown 10-fold as it has received the migrants.


https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opin ... apse-65798
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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:eek2:
CNN

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One million of the planet's eight million species are threatened with extinction because of humans, a landmark UN study says
https://t.co/pGFOErOkEf
Their landmark report paints a bleak picture of a planet ravaged by an ever-growing human population, whose insatiable consumption is destroying the natural world.

The global rate of species extinction "is already tens to hundreds of times higher than it has been, on average, over the last 10 million years," according to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), a UN committee, whose report was written by 145 experts from 50 countries.

Shrinking habitat, exploitation of natural resources, climate change and pollution are the main drivers of species loss and are threatening more than 40% of amphibians, 33% of coral reefs and over a third of all marine mammals with extinction, the IPBES report said.

"The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever," said Sir Robert Watson, IPBES chair, adding that "transformative change" is needed to save the planet.
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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Further to Volki's post.

New York Times
Civilization Is Accelerating Extinction and Altering the Natural World at a Pace ‘Unprecedented in Human History’

WASHINGTON — Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded.

The 1,500-page report, compiled by hundreds of international experts and based on thousands of scientific studies, is the most exhaustive look yet at the decline in biodiversity across the globe and the dangers that creates for human civilization. A summary of its findings, which was approved by representatives from the United States and 131 other countries, was released Monday in Paris. The full report is set to be published this year.

Its conclusions are stark. In most major land habitats, from the savannas of Africa to the rain forests of South America, the average abundance of native plant and animal life has fallen by 20 percent or more, mainly over the past century. With the human population passing 7 billion, activities like farming, logging, poaching, fishing and mining are altering the natural world at a rate “unprecedented in human history.”

At the same time, a new threat has emerged: Global warming has become a major driver of wildlife decline, the assessment found, by shifting or shrinking the local climates that many mammals, birds, insects, fish and plants evolved to survive in.

As a result, biodiversity loss is projected to accelerate through 2050, particularly in the tropics, unless countries drastically step up their conservation efforts.
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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Koalas are now ‘functionally’ extinct

https://metro.co.uk/2019/05/16/koalas-n ... t-9565982/
The Australian Koala Foundation has confirmed that, with only 80,000 members of the species left in the wild there isn’t enough to support a new generation.

They’ve declared the marsupial ‘functionally extinct’ which means the population has dropped so low it no longer has any effect on its surrounding environment. Koalas have too few breeding adults left to support the species and any kind of genetic disease or pathogen would put the final nail in the coffin.

Koalas are dying out due to effects caused by climate change.

Rising temperatures are causing heatwaves that kill thousands of koalas through dehydration. The species has also suffered hugely from deforestation. According to the Australian Koala Foundation, there are no koalas left at all in 41 out of 128 Federal environments where they have known habitats.
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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:shock:
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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:brokenheart: :crying:
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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Malaysia's last male Sumatran rhino dies

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/27/asia ... index.html
It is unclear precisely how many Sumatran rhinos remain, but experts at the International Rhino Foundation believe there are fewer than 80 still in the wild.

BORA describes the rhinos as "functionally extinct," meaning that the few animals remaining are insufficient to save the species from dying out.

Tam's death means there is only one Sumatran rhino, a female called Iman, left in Malaysia.

The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) considers the creatures to be critically endangered as a result of poaching and habitat fragmentation.
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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U.S. biologists probe deaths of 70 emaciated gray whales

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa- ... SKCN1T22WY
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declared the whale die-off an “unusual mortality event,” a designation that triggers greater scrutiny and allocation of more resources to determine the cause.

So far this year, 37 dead gray whales have turned up in California waters, three in Oregon, 25 in Washington state and five in Alaska, say officials of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. Five more were found in British Columbia.

The most recent dead whale in Alaska was spotted last week near Chignik Bay on the Alaska peninsula.

Many have little body fat, leading experts to suspect the die-off is caused by declining food sources in the dramatically warming waters of the northern Bering Sea and Chukchi Sea off Alaska.
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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Frogs are dying off at record rates, an ominous sign the 6th mass extinction is hitting one group of creatures hardest

https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/0 ... /23744390/
Human activity has killed off 680 mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, and fish species since the 1500s. As much as half of the total number of animal individuals that once shared the planet with us are already gone.

That death toll is likely to rise dramatically over the next decades.

A recent report from the United Nations found that between 500,000 and 1 million plant and animals species face imminent extinction. At least 10% of insect species and more than 33% of all marine mammals and reef-forming coral are threatened, it found.

But one group is expected to suffer most of all: Amphibians. An estimated 40% of amphibian species face extinction, according to the UN report. A study published in the journal Current Biology estimated that at least 2,000 amphibian species are in danger of extinction.
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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‘Frightening’ number of plant extinctions found in global survey
Study shows 571 species wiped out, and scientists say figure is likely to be big underestimate


https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... 1560182017
They found 571 species had definitely been wiped out since 1750 but with knowledge of many plant species still very limited the true number is likely to be much higher. The researchers said the plant extinction rate was 500 times greater now than before the industrial revolution, and this was also likely to be an underestimate.

“Plants underpin all life on Earth,” said Dr Eimear Nic Lughadha, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, who was part of the team. “They provide the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat, as well as making up the backbone of the world’s ecosystems – so plant extinction is bad news for all species.”

The number of plants that have disappeared from the wild is more than twice the number of extinct birds, mammals and amphibians combined. The new figure is also four times the number of extinct plants recorded in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list.

“It is way more than we knew and way more than should have gone extinct,” said Dr Maria Vorontsova, also at Kew. “It is frightening not just because of the 571 number but because I think that is a gross underestimate.”
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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last minute rescue
‘Lazarus’ snails saved from extinction by plastic bags
Rhys Blakely, Science Correspondent
June 13 2019, 12:00pm, The Times

For decades it was assumed that the greater Bermuda land snail was extinct, a victim of predatory carnivorous snails introduced to the territory by man.

Now, thousands of them are set to be released into the wild after a tiny group of survivors were found making a last stand, living inside plastic bags dumped in a single dank, dark alleyway in the heart of the Bermudan capital of Hamilton.

About 200 snails were found in 2014 and over the past three years, a team of conservationists, scientists and invertebrate experts from Chester Zoo have bred a new population.

In the coming days, some 4,000 will be reintroduced to a Bermudan wildlife sanctuary.


TheTimes paywall https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news ... -sqsch58fl
A more detailed article but difficult to quote from
Bermuda land snail: An animal 'back from the dead'
By Helen Briggs BBC News
13 June 2019

Thousands of critically endangered snails have been released into the wild after being rescued from the edge of extinction, with a little help from a British zoo.

The greater Bermuda land snail was thought to have disappeared for many years until an empty shell turned up in the territory's capital city, Hamilton.

Live snails were then found among litter in a nearby alleyway.

Some were flown to Chester Zoo for a unique breeding programme.

More than 4,000 snails raised at the zoo have now been taken back to the island and released.


https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-48527398
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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US beekeepers lost 40% of honeybee colonies over past year, survey finds
Study marks worst winter on record for beekeepers, despite intensive push to stem losses


https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... rvey-finds
Beekeepers across the US lost four in 10 of their honeybee colonies over the past year, as the worst winter on record for tracked bee populations raised fresh concerns over the plight of the crucial pollinators.

:snippity:

Researchers said the numbers were concerning given the intensive efforts to stem the loss of honeybees, which pollinate an estimated $15bn in US crops each year, enabling the farming of foods including apples, melons, cherries, almonds and blueberries.

Alarm over honeybee numbers has grown since 2006, when a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder became widely known. This problem, in which the majority of worker bees abandon the colony, has since receded but beekeepers are now faced with more general die-offs linked to disease, pesticide use and habitat loss.

“It’s disconcerting that we’re still seeing elevated losses after over a decade of survey and quite intense work to try to understand and reduce colony loss,” said Geoffrey Williams, assistant professor of entomology at Auburn University.
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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“He’d started to explain what he called the jackpot ... they were headed into androgenic, systemic, multiplex, seriously bad shit, like she sort of already knew, figured everybody did, except for people who still said it wasn’t happening.”

—William Gibson, The Peripheral
“It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times.”
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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Trump doing his bit to hasten extinction. :madguy:
Kyle Griffin
@kylegriffin1
· 5m
The Trump admin will issue a permit to a Michigan trophy hunter to import the skin, skull and horns of a rare black rhinoceros he shot in Africa after applying for a permit required by the Fish and Wildlife Service to import endangered species.
https://nbcnews.com/politics/politics-n ... s-n1050836
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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Will anyone keep an eye om the party donations of this guy?
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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Researchers unearth 'new' mass-extinction
New analysis brings total of species extinctions to six
The scientists say that the event in question—known as the end-Guadalupian biodiversity crisis—took place around 260 million years ago and its severity has previously been underestimated.
"The end-Guadalupian crisis was considered by many to be only a minor extinction event," Rampino told Newsweek. "The latest data, however, suggest that around 60 percent of marine species became extinct, and possibly an equal number of non-marine species. So the end-Guadalupian crisis was apparently a major mass extinction."
This event affected life on land and at sea, occurring around the same time as a huge volcanic eruption that produced the Emeishan Traps—a vast rocky formation that lies in what is now southwestern China.This eruption was likely one of the main drivers of this mass extinction event, according to the researchers.
https://www.newsweek.com/seventh-mass-e ... nt-1458474

"Notably, all six major mass extinctions are correlated with devastating environmental upheavals -- specifically, massive flood-basalt eruptions, each covering more than a million square kilometers with thick lava flows."
Scientists had previously determined that there were five major mass-extinction events, wiping out large numbers of species and defining the ends of geological periods: the end of the Ordovician (443 million years ago), the Late Devonian (372 million years ago), the Permian (252 million years ago), the Triassic (201 million years ago), and the Cretaceous (66 million years ago).
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 105555.htm
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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Maybe I"m a cold-hearted b---ch, but I become much more distraught over the fate of the animals, insects, birds etc than over humans. At least in humans' case, our species is doing it to ourselves. As a friend recently posted, we are the most intelligent species on earth, and we are destroying our only home. What the hell is wrong with us? (that's rhetorical. I'm on my second Old-Fashioned.)

Edited to add: I am very very sympathetic to those in poor nations who are suffering from climate change. Most of those countries have very low carbon footprint per person ratio, and really aren't contributing to climate change, yet in many cases are the ones who are receiving the brunt of it.
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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Kenya's rare white female giraffe 'killed by poachers'
Death of giraffe and her calf leave just one male specimen alive

Agence France-Presse
Wed 11 Mar 2020 00.00 GMTLast modified on Wed 11 Mar 2020 18.20 GMT

Kenya’s only female white giraffe and her calf have been killed by poachers, conservationists have said, in a major blow to conservation of the rare animals found nowhere else in the world.

The bodies of the two giraffes were found “in a skeletal state after being killed by armed poachers” in Garissa in eastern Kenya, the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy said in a statement.

Their deaths leave one surviving white giraffe – a lone male borne by the same slaughtered female, the conservancy said.


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“We are the only community in the world who are custodians of the white giraffe,” said Mohammed Ahmednoor, the manager of the conservancy.

“Its killing is a blow to tremendous steps taken by the community to conserve rare and unique species, and a wakeup call for continued support to conservation efforts.”

The white giraffe stirred huge interest in 2017 when she was first spotted on the conservancy and again when she birthed two calves, the latest in August last year.


https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... y-poachers
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Re: Sixth Mass Extinction Event

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Smooth Handfish Extinction Marks a Sad Milestone
For the first time the IUCN Red List has officially declared a marine fish alive in modern times to be extinct

By David Shiffman

For centuries humans believed the ocean was so vast that it was impossible to do it measurable harm. But we now know human activities can destroy critical marine habitats, dangerously pollute seawater and make sea environments more acidic. Overharvesting has disrupted food chains and directly pushed many ocean species into the critically endangered category—and has driven some animals, including Steller's sea cow, into total extinction. This past March the smooth handfish, Sympterichthys unipennis, officially became the first modern-day marine fish to be declared extinct.

This is a preview. https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... milestone/
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