Sixth human-caused mass extinction began on Earth

(ORDO NEWS) — Biologists in France and Hawaii have presented evidence of a mass extinction of invertebrates.

Biologists from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the National Museum of Natural History in Paris have presented evidence of the start of a new human-caused mass extinction. The researchers presented their findings in the journal Biological Reviews.

As scientists write, the sixth mass extinction so far affects certain groups of organisms that are in distress. This explains why the rate of extinction of animals listed in the IUCN Red List (“Red Book”) does not differ from the background.

The list of rare and endangered species of living organisms includes only a small part of invertebrates assessed by conservation status. Estimates of the true rate of extinction of organisms in this group are much higher than the background value.

According to researchers, since about the 16th century, mollusks have lost 7.5-13 percent of their two million species. This is 150-260 thousand species, which is several orders of magnitude more than the number listed in the Red Book (882 species).

However, there is no evidence that the marine biota has reached the same crisis as the non-marine one. Island species suffered much more than continental ones.

The authors of the work do not agree with the statement that a new extinction is the natural order of things. At present, man is the only significant force capable of exerting a significant impact on the Earth’s biosphere.

As experts conclude, in the face of a growing crisis, scientists should apply the methods of preventive archeology, collect and document as many species as possible before they disappear.


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