Biologists of the Hawaiian University in Mana and the National Museum of Natural History in Paris presented evidence of the beginning of a new mass extinction caused by human activity. The researchers presented their findings in the BioLogical Reviews magazine.
As scientists write, the sixth mass extinction is still affecting individual groups of organisms in a distress. This explains why the pace of extinction of animals specified in the Red List of IUCN (“Red Book”) is not different from the background. The list of rare and endangered types of living organisms includes only a minor part of invertebrates, rated on security status. Estimates of the true speed of extinction of organisms of this group are far superior to the background value.
According to researchers, from about the XVI century, the mollusks lost 7.5-13 percent of the species of two million. This is 150-260 thousand species, which is several orders of magnitude more than the number listed in the Red Book (882 species). At the same time, there is no evidence that the marine biota reached the same crisis as Nemora. Island species suffered much more than continental.
The authors of the work disagree with the statement that the new extinction is the natural order of things. Currently, a person is the only significant force capable of providing a significant impact on the biosphere of the Earth. According to experts, scientists should apply the methods of preventive archeology in the face of the growing crisis, collect and document as much species as possible before they disappear.