A new study has found that invasive alien species are playing a significant role in 60% of extinctions. The research, conducted by scientists from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), revealed the alarming extent of the loss of biodiversity.
The study focused on the classification of living beings and found that 73 genera had become extinct in the last 500 years, most of them in the last two centuries. This is a much higher rate than expected, as based on the previous extinction rate, only two genera should have become extinct in that time period.
The researchers attribute this accelerated extinction rate to human activities, such as habitat destruction, overfishing, and hunting. The loss of a single genus can have far-reaching consequences for the entire ecosystem. The destruction of natural habitats is a major factor in this alarming trend.
While experts agree that the current rate of extinction is concerning, there is debate about whether it constitutes a sixth mass extinction event. A mass extinction is defined as the loss of 75% of species over a short period of time. While the current extinction rate is alarming, it has not yet reached the level of a mass extinction event according to this definition.
However, if the current rate of extinction continues or increases, it may eventually lead to a sixth mass extinction. Therefore, urgent action is required to save many endangered genera. The scientists emphasize the need to halt the destruction of natural habitats and work towards restoring those that have been lost.
In conclusion, the study highlights the significant role of invasive alien species in driving extinctions. Human activities are the primary cause of this accelerated extinction rate. Urgent action is needed to prevent further loss of biodiversity and protect endangered genera.
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