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India Witnessed Loss of Fifth of Species Over 20 Years

India Witnessed Loss of Fifth of Species Over 20 Years

Scientists say prevention strategies for invasive species could save trillions. (IANS photo)

NIMLI (IANS) – Biodiversity, our scientists tell us, is a measure of the health of an ecosystem. The greater the genetic diversity, species diversity, and habitat diversity in a landscape, the greater the resilience of that landscape to disturbances such as pollution, invasive species, etc. But at the same time, for multiple reasons, there has been a constant loss of species.

Speaking on the World Wildlife Day on the topic of ‘The Great Extinction: The state of biodiversity (India and the world)’, Zoological Survey of India director Dhriti Banerjee brought out the impact of the changing climatic conditions and the loss of species.

Quoting from her personal experience of a field trip to an area from Arunachal Pradesh, Banerjee said, over the last two decades, she has found that over a fifth of the species have been lost.

She said she would not use the term extinction — obviously, as it involves a whole lot of procedures — but there was no denying that scores of species were lost over the last century.

Banerjee was speaking on Mar.3 at the media conclave, the Anil Agrawal Dialogue 2022 here in Rajasthan.

Appearance of certain types of insects in an area where those were not found earlier is an indicator of the changing climatic conditions, she said and termed insects as indicator species.

In her presentation, she mentioned how, across the globe, every day, up to 150 species are lost. Every year, between 18,000 and 55,000 species become extinct. The cause: human activities.

The world’s oceans could be virtually emptied for fish by 2048. One in eight plant species are in danger of extinction within the next 30 years.

About 52 species of birds, mammals and amphibians move one category closer to extinction on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List every year, her presentation mentioned.

There were multiple extinctions and most of the extinction events are likely to have been caused by a combination of factors.

Every day, up to 150 species are lost. Every year, between 18,000 and 55,000 species become extinct. The cause: human activities. The world’s oceans could be virtually emptied for fish by 2048. A study shows that if nothing changes, we will run out of seafood in 2048.

One in eight plant species are in danger of extinction within the next 30 years as per the IUCN Red List while about 52 species of birds, mammals and amphibians move one category closer to extinction on the IUCN Red List every year, the presentation mentioned.

Conservation brought back 21 to 32 bird species, and 7 to 16 mammal species were pulled back from the brink of extinction.

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