Human beings have inhabited the planet for hundreds of thousands of years, however, our pollution and exploitation of resources are driving a lot of species to extinction. Indeed, an article published by researchers at University College London on The Conversation points out that the species extinction process is accelerated up to 1,000 times and future rates are likely to be 10,000 times higher.
The scientists Elizabeth Boakes and David Redding highlights that although evolution has historically eliminated certain species, the current situation could represent serious dangers.
The different ecosystems keep the planet stable and provide essential services for human well-being. The environmental damage caused by the extraction of resources and the enormous changes that humans have caused in the landscape, seem to be of an extremely high risk.
Extinction is a natural process, but it’s happening at 1,000 times the normal speed. The Earth is losing more and more biodiversity every day, and we should all be worried, the experts warn.
For this reason, the scientists consider it important for humans to take into account of the impact that we are generating as a species in the development of others, since extinction is aggravated by habitat loss, hunting, climate change or modified species.
The most worrisome is that it is believed that there are many endangered species that have not yet been registered as such. However, others, such as frogs, are among the most sensitive, with estimated extinction rates of up to 45,000 times their natural speed. The Panamanian golden frog, for example, has not been seen in nature since 2007.
The authors of the paper emphasize that animals with a large body are more prone to this danger, like the species that are at the top of the food chain.
On the other hand, epiphytic plants – those that grow on other plants, which they use as a support – and late-flowering plants are also more vulnerable to this threat.
In any case, the risk of extinction is substantially greater for groups of species with few close relatives or who live in the same habitat threatened by pollution and overexploitation.