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Humans ARE directly to blame for a rise in the number of endangered species
The News - Climate-Environment
June 22, 2013
endangered species 2013
  • Research finds a direct link between an increase in population size and the amount of animals becoming endangered
  • Number of endangered species increases by 3% every ten years
  • Predicted 11% of animals worldwide will be endangered by 2050
  • Study shows humans are the leading cause of animal extinction

Humans are directly responsible for the extinction and endangerment of certain animals, according to a new study. Researchers from Ohio State University discovered that as human numbers rise, the number of animals and species in the same region decrease with the study predicting that 11% of animals will be endangered by 2050. Previous studies have suspected that the number of threatened species could be linked to the size, density and growth of the human population yet research from Ohio State University is the first to have confirmed the theory.
Human population animal extinction

Researchers from Ohio State University discovered that as human numbers rise, the number of animals and species in the same region decrease with the study predicting that 11% of animals will be endangered by 2050. Increasing numbers of animals are moving from endangered to extinct lists, like the Western Black Rhino of Africa, pictured

 

EARTH'S 10 MOST ENDANGERED ANIMAL SPECIES IN 2013

1. Ivory-billed Woodpecker

2. Amur Leopard

3..Javan Rhinoceros

4. Northern Sportive Lemur

5. Northern Right Whale

6. Western Lowland Gorilla

7. Leatherback Sea Turtle

8. Hawaiian Monk Seal

9. Chinese Giant Salamander

10. Little Dodo Bird

Source: Americanlivewire.com

Researchers are now looking at conservation efforts to counteract this threat including moving animals to countries with decreasing people numbers.

Dr Jeffrey McKee and colleagues in the U.S. set out to prove a direct link between human population density and the threats to species of mammals and birds.

 

 

To both prove their theory and make projections about future effects of population growth on threatened species, the researchers used U.S Census Bureau data from 2000, 2010 and the predicted population sizes for 2020 and 2050 for 114 countries.

Toucan

The toucan is facing extinction because growing numbers of hunters are responding to increasing international demand. According to Ohio State University this is a common thread across the globe

At the same time, they compiled data on threatened mammal and bird species from the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species - a comprehensive global approach for evaluating the conservation status of plant and animal species.


It has long been suspected that the number of threatened species today could be linked to the size, density and growth of the human population

They found that changes in human population density had 'measurable consequences' on changes in the number of threatened species by nation.

The average nation with a growing population can expect a 3.3 per cent increase in the number of threatened mammals and birds over the 10 years and a 10.8 per cent increase by 2050, based on human population growth alone.

panda
blue iguana

Scientists have resorted to cloning technology in an effort to save the Giant Panda, left, from extinction; the Blue Iguana, right, is critically endangered and only about 700 are thought to exist in their West Caribbean habitat

No apparent threshold effect to reduce further risks to biodiversity was identified, suggesting that future conservation efforts should take human population density into account as a rule. 

 

Conservation efforts could be focused in countries in which human population is decreasing, for example.

Dr McKee said: 'There is no doubt that a multitude of factors go into diminishing the availability of resources that mammals and birds need to survive as viable species.

'Our results demonstrate that human population density is at the core of extinction threats to both mammals and birds.'

The study was published online by the journal Human Ecology.

Tarsier

Another animal edging up the endangered species list towards extinction is the Philippine Tarsier. The Tarsier feeds on tiny insects and is believed to be the world's smallest primate

 
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