Monday, May 10, 2010

Not Surprising: Study finds International Pledge on Biodiversity Broken

Last month, scientists confirmed that governments would not meet their target of curbing biodiversity loss by 2010.

In a new study, Stu­art Butchart of the U.N. En­vi­ron­ment Pro­gram World Con­serva­t­ion Mon­i­tor­ing Cen­ter in Cam­bridge, U.K., and col­leagues com­piled 31 in­di­ca­tors of bio­divers­ity. These in­cluded spe­cies num­bers, popula­t­ion sizes, de­for­esta­t­ion rates, and con­serva­t­ion ef­forts around the world. The re­search­ers as­sessed these in­di­ca­tors with glob­al da­ta span­ning from 1970 to 2005 and found that the in­di­ca­tors of ro­bust bio­divers­ity showed de­clines over the years, while in­di­ca­tors of pres­sures on glob­al bio­divers­ity showed in­creases.

While progress is being made in some regions, the global failure means an ever-growing number of species are on the Red List of Threatened Species. 21% of all known mammals, 30% of all known amphibians, 12% of all known birds (and)...27% of reef-building corals assessed...are threatened with extinction," said Bill Jackson, deputy director general of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which maintains the Red List.

If world go­vernments are se­ri­ous about pre­serv­ing Earth’s spe­cies, the re­search­ers ar­gue that lead­ers must re­verse det­ri­men­tal poli­cies, in­te­grate bio­divers­ity in­to land-use de­ci­sions, and boost fund­ing for poli­cies that tack­le bio­divers­ity loss head-on. “The rate of bio­divers­ity loss does not ap­pear to be slow­ing,” But­chart and col­leagues wrote, re­port­ing their find­ings in the April 30 is­sue of the re­search jour­nal Sci­ence. "If the world made equivalent losses in share prices, there would be a rapid response and widespread panic."

 So why aren’t wildlife conservationists hounding the government and large development corporations to start changing their practices? That is the question not only cat activists are asking but one that is being asked by anyone who cares for the planet. Why are we continually arguing over cats killing birds when study after study reports that human “interacts” with the environment are to blame for the planet’s loss of biodiversity and the increase in endangered species?

Instead conservationists are busy trying to convince the government that cats are to blame for wildlife degradation…saying that cats kill “billions” of birds a year so we need to start killing all the cats in order to save the birds and the planet. This not only sounds absurd, it IS absurd--when there are clearly LARGER reasons for the decline in bird populations and other wildlife. Every study that is released says, detrimental policies pertaining to deforesta- tion, land-use, and pollution are threatening wildlife ALL OVER the world.

I am getting tired of repeating myself in that if conservationists cared as much as they say they do about our planet, then they would STOP pitting birders against cat activists and JOIN us in the fight to save all animals before it is too late. I also liked the one quote by Butchart and colleagues that says, “If the world made equivalent losses in share prices, there would be a rapid response and widespread panic.” Isn’t that the SAD truth!!!  The asnwer to the question my friends is MONEY...but we all knew that.


Germinating Biologist said...

Cats were bred and domesticated by humans though. They are NOT wild animals. This is why the loss of wild animals is far more important than domestication that got out of hand due to human ignorance.

Germinating Biologist said...

And that chart is incorrect. Amphibians are the most endangered then mammals then birds according the the IUCN in 2007