Species biodiversity & extinction

by Caroline Brown

Related to a post I made last week about why invasive species are so harmful, the UN Convention on Biodiveristy released a report today confirms my secret & heretofore unvoiced belief that yes, HUMANS are the most dangerous invasive species!

Humans are responsible for the worst spate of extinctions since the dinosaurs and must make unprecedented extra efforts to reach a goal of slowing losses by 2010…

According to Reuters:

“In effect, we are currently responsible for the sixth major extinction event in the history of earth, and the greatest since the dinosaurs disappeared, 65 million years ago,” said the 92-page Global Biodiversity Outlook 2 report.

Apart from the disappearance of the dinosaurs, the other “Big Five” extinctions were about 205, 250, 375 and 440 million years ago. Scientists suspect that asteroid strikes, volcanic eruptions or sudden climate shifts may explain the five.


According to a “Red List” compiled by the World Conservation Union, 844 animals and plants are known to have gone extinct in the last 500 years, ranging from the dodo to the Golden Toad in Costa Rica. It says the figures are probably a big underestimate.

“The direct causes of biodiversity loss — habitat change, over-exploitation, the introduction of invasive alien species, nutrient loading and climate change — show no sign of abating,” the report said.

And here I am complaining about the possiblity of ripping the ivy off my house!

6 Comments to “Species biodiversity & extinction”

  1. It’s amazing what the “chosen” creatures do to the environment.

  2. Hmmm……I think the “Red List” is wrong, as there are currently 2 dodos still residing in North America; specifically, in the White House.

  3. I’m sorry I can’t often add insightful, thought-provoking commentary to your intellectual, scientific, and political entries. But every once in a while I can come up with a smart aleck joke! I guess that means there are actually THREE dodos remaining in North America……..

  4. The best part was, I’m all dorky & intense about your reading your comment and I thought you were serious until I got to the part about the White House, then I busted out.

  5. Hello Caroline;
    Thank you for this article, a good entrance to the topic and especially for me motivation to start reading and writing again. I’ve been lazy and tired the last week, perhaps a lack of sun. And dressed at Kim: Real good joke but please don’t blame the Dodo – it’s a hard life for a bird that is dead.
    Greetings from Berlin to you and your readers.

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