Awesome Biodiversity vs Terrific Extinction Rates

WWF UK announced the beginning of a competition today whilst also introducing us to some amazing, lesser known forms of wildlife with the use of some fantastic photographs.  They’ve posted something about 1,000 new species that have been discovered in New Guinea and also stated that ‘Every year, about 15,000 species are discovered’ globally.  The flip side to this amazing statement of biodiversity is the alarming rate at which species are falling over the brink of extinction.  With 15,000 new species being discovered a year, you might think that losing a few along the way doesn’t matter so much, but these ‘new’ species aren’t replacing others that have just been ‘tipped’ over the edge.  The amazing thing about our planet is that, doubtless you’ve heard this before, we still just don’t seem to know the half of it.  These ‘new’ species are not ‘new’ per se, its just that we hadn’t found, categorised and named them yet.  Meanwhile, species extinction rates have currently risen to an estimated 30,000 a year.  Fossil records show that, during ‘normal’ periods (or, what is known as ‘background extinction’) the rate would have been 1 species every 4 years.  Quite a shocking variant in statistics.  Also, consider the species that are never even ‘discovered’ (that is to say, categorised, named etc…) but might get felled, bulldozed, destroyed without their beauty and worth ever being known to you or I.  No doubt, Mass Species Extinction shall be mentioned again in many a post as, with all things, it interconnects with many other issues.

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About EcoTheme

Welcome to EcoTheme. I’m from the the county of Dorset in the South West of England. Having studied environmental ethics and written a Masters dissertation on the ethics of sustainable living I now work with Campaign against Climate Change and Greenpeace. I started EcoTheme to present discussion and views on things going on in the environmental world. It should become clear through my posts that I believe our environmental problems to be the most pressing matters of the day – not simply because I place value in our natural world but also because it is the platform on which all life depends.
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