Species extinction

Species extinction

Bee mortality is omnipresent

The causes of species extinction are manifold, but can once again be traced back to the actions of just one species. Humans are in danger of going down in history as the cause of the sixth mass extinction. “We are living in a time of globally organised greed and an end time of exponential economic growth in the limited system of the earth and are transforming the diverse world into a large uniform factory.” (Axel Mayer). Agriculture, deforestation, mining, fishing and hunting contribute to the extinction of species, as do climate change and environmental degradation. “We must recognise that climate change and the destruction of nature are equally important.” (IPBES Chairman Robert Watson)

Polar bears scavenging rubbish bins have come to symbolise a development that has the potential to mean the sixth global mass extinction. Two serious differences to the mass extinctions that have already taken place play a special role here. With an estimated 150 species going extinct every day, the process is happening faster than ever before in the 4.6 billion-year history of the Earth, and never before has one species been solely responsible for such a faunal change. Only humans can do that. Since the industrial revolution at the latest, Homo Sapiens has become the determining factor for the global ecosystem. Due to this influence, scientists are already talking about the age of man – the Anthropocene. It remains to be seen whether we will manage to realise our responsibility and turn the tide in time.

You can find out more about the enormous contribution our insects make to ecosystems in our blog article on insect mortality and what we can do about it.

Here are a few facts from the UN report on biodiversity and ecology (May 2019):

  • 85 per cent of wetlands have already been destroyed
  • Around half of all coral reefs have disappeared since the late 19th century
  • Between 1980 and the year 2000, 100 million hectares of tropical rainforest were cut down – a further 32 million hectares between 2010 and 2015 alone
  • 23 per cent of the planet’s land area is considered ecologically degraded and can no longer be used
  • The loss of pollinator insects not only threatens food production worth 235 to 577 billion dollars per year, but also food chains and ecosystems worldwide
  • The destruction of coastal areas such as mangrove forests jeopardises the livelihoods of up to 300 million people

It is up to each individual to stop the progression of this development. Plant trees now and protect existing rainforests.

Planting trees