News from the Natural World: Animals are going extinct before humans know they even existed.
The shocking discovery has been uncovered in a new UN Environment report. The report looked at the rate at which species of animals were going extinct vs the number of humans who knew the animal even existed. The algorithm for working this out was called “E = Ignorant Human²”.
The UN Environment Commission set about researching all the animals that had gone extinct in the last 10 years, they produced a sample set of data of exactly 100 animals. Once they had collected this they then interviewed 100,000 humans from all over the world to see if they had previously heard of the animal. To help the humans the interviewers gave them hints and allowed even for vague descriptions of the animal species. But the results were shocking in the extreme.
Animals going extinct before humans know they exist
Only 5% had heard of a single animal of the list. That meant that 95% of the worlds animal species were going extinct before humans, on average, knew they even shared the planet with them. What bloody minded ignorance! It was made even more traumatic for the animals that it was the humans who claimed ‘mastery’ over nature. If they were such masters of nature surely they would know the animals who lived in the natural world? Surely a true ‘master’ of nature would be supremely aware of all life on earth?
Unfortunately the humans definition of mastery differed somewhat from the animals. When humans said ‘master of nature’ they meant ‘destroyer of nature’. Humans had confused themselves and thought that possessing the ability to destroy something meant you were its master when in fact it was the opposite. Possessing the ability to grow something meant you were its master. Take the list from the UN Environment.
There were 100 species on the list of animals that had gone extinct that humans didn’t even know existed. Among them was the Alaotra Grebe, Pinta Tortoise, Formosan Clouded Leopard, Caribbean Monk Seal and the Christmas Island Pipistrelle. Have you ever heard of any of them? What about the Madagascar Hippopotamus, Japanese River Otter or the Rabbs Fringe-Limbed Treefrog? No didn’t think so.
467 species declared extinct in the past decade
Critics shouted “Why does it matter!? Who cares if some Treefrog that no one has ever heard of goes extinct!”. Well how long would it take for evolution to replace the species that have gone extinct? The answer is roughly 3 to 7 million years. According to the UN Report humans may have already caused damage that may last longer than humans themselves.
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