08 Green Advent 2: A Voice cries in the Wilderness - Suren Abreu

posted Dec 5, 2018, 9:15 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Dec 5, 2018, 9:15 AM ]
Pop Quiz:

Name the tiger killed most recently in Maharashtra. How many cubs did she have? How many tigers were in the wild 100 years ago? Do you know the same number for India? How many tigers are in India today? What is the annual rate of living species loss? (Answers at the end of this article)

Fact Section

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) postulates that there could be an upper estimate of 100 million species co-existing on this lovely blue-green living planet called Earth. This includes every possible living being: from unicellulars to multicellulars; from ants to elephants; from grass to redwoods; from mackerel to sperm whales; from krill to corals. And all of them exist in a uniquely designed ecosystem, in harmony and synergy with co-existing life forms.

The WWF also postulates that there is a natural rate of extinction by which existing species die out naturally, and that this has been enhanced by 1,000 to 10,000 times, simply because of human intervention! What this means, very starkly, is that every year, every short span of 365 days, every time we celebrate our birthdays, 10,000 to 100,000 (0.01-0.1%) species disappear. Poof! Something beautiful never to be seen again!

To make the difference starker, the natural rate of extinction would be around 10 species a year; human intervention has made it 10,000 to 100,000 species a year.

Forest clearing, mono-cultures, over-fishing, hunting, climate change, imposition of dominant food grains over indigenous varieties, over-use of pesticides and herbicides, pollution, human expansion are the greatest factors at play, with the one greatest being habitat destruction for human expansion!

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