Entomologist E.O Wilson coined the term biodiversity for the very first time in 1986 which reflects the concept of the variety of life found in all ecosystems, a unique characteristic of earth. It’s a web that links all organisms on entire planet but due to the interference of the natural and non natural factors the variety of life has been adversely affected and the collection of genes sets and biological traits is wiping out at accelerated dangerous rate. From the time life originated species are evolving, dying and some getting extinct. Glance at Geological records reveals that mass extinctions had occur but only due to environmental shifts or due to natural massive climatic change. But today change in climate, degradation and fragmentation of habitat, introduction of non-native or disease causing agents, population explosion and different forms of pollutions induced by anthropogenic activities, are the threatening factors leading to the reduction of biodiversity.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has declared that 1/3 of all the present species are endanger to get extinct. Environment New Service had report in August, 1999 that the current rate of extinction is thousand times the background rate which may exceed to ten thousand times in coming century. In March, 2005 a report; Millennium Ecosystem Assessment was released which paid crucial attention on this issue of biodiversity loss, highlighting the loss of 10-30% of major classes of life (mammals birds amphibians).
Only in UK every year the population exceeds by the equivalent of a new city and thus this exploding population pressurizes the nature and we the humans now utilize resources 25% more than our planet can bear which also results in increased pressure to all life forms and a constituent specie loss.
Some of the valuable treasures of nature we have lost are:
- West African black rhinoceros were declared extinct in 2011. The species was lastly found in Cameroon but an extensive survey was carried out in 2006 and no sign of this specie was found.
- In 2000 subspecies of Iberian wild goat called Pyrenean ibex went extinct. In 2009 scientist cloned female of this specie using preserved DNA samples of skin but due to lung defect it died shortly after birth.
- Subspecies of common plain zebra named Quagga was known for its unique strips that was hunted and killed for its hide by ranchers and the last one of it died in 1883 at Amsterdam Zoo.
- The Caribbean monk sea (hunted for meat, fur, etc) was declared extinct in 2008, Sea mink went extinct up till the second half of 19TH century, Tecopa pupfish went extinct by 1970 and the Great Auk by mid of 1850s went extinct.
Humans adversely affect the variety of animals and wild life found, by their unsustainable resource consumption leading to extinction of one half of the animal population according to Mike Barrett, Director of Science and Policy at WWF. The anthropogenic activities like picking, hunting, plucking of trees, flowers, animals and the excessive usage of resources available for human welfare had disrupt the proper balanced working and equilibrium of nature.
It has been predicted that within the coming 100 years three quarters of all the species will get extinct and the populations will get to small to be called as “the living dead”. Upsetting the natural system had result in decline of biodiversity which inturn means degrading the quality of life in near future which is worth worrying as it’s a threat to harmonized existence. Therefore it is our responsibility to restore and to do efforts in order to recover the threatened species both by co-operation with governmental and non-governmental bodies as well as amending our own individual behavior and life style.
SAVING LIFE IS SAVING EARTH….
AND DO REMEMBER NATURE PROTECTS IF SHE IS PROTECTED!!!…
Written By: ROHMA ZAFAR
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES, 3rd SEMESTER
SARDAR BAHADUR KHAN WOMEN UNIVERSITY QUETTA, BALOCHISTAN