WE ARE ON THE WAY TO EXTINCTION SOON- The era of 'biological annihilation'


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Earth's sixth mass extinction event under way, scientists warn
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Sixth mass extinction: The era of 'biological annihilation'














  • Study: A third of the 27,600 species are shrinking in terms of numbers and territorial range
  • "What is at stake is really the state of humanity," study author says
John D. Sutter is a columnist for CNN who focuses on climate change and social justice. Follow him on Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook or subscribe to his email newsletter.
(CNN)Many scientists say it's abundantly clear that Earth is entering its sixth mass-extinction event, meaning three-quarters of all species could disappear in the coming centuries.
That's terrifying, especially since humans are contributing to this shift.
But that's not even the full picture of the "biological annihilation" people are inflicting on the natural world, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Gerardo Ceballos, an ecology professor at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and his co-authors, including well-known Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich, cite striking new evidence that populations of species we thought were common are suffering in unseen ways.
"What is at stake is really the state of humanity," Ceballos told CNN.
Their key findings: Nearly one-third of the 27,600 land-based mammal, bird, amphibian and reptile species studied are shrinking in terms of their numbers and territorial range. The researchers called that an "extremely high degree of population decay."
The scientists also looked at a well-studied group of 177 mammal species and found that all of them had lost at least 30% of their territory between 1900 and 2015; more than 40% of those species "experienced severe population declines," meaning they lost at least 80% of their geographic range during that time.
Looking at the extinction crisis not only in terms of species that are on the brink but also those whose populations and ranges are shrinking helps show that "Earth's sixth mass extinction is more severe" than previously thought, the authors write. They say a major extinction event is "ongoing."
"It's the most comprehensive study of this sort to date that I'm aware of," said Anthony Barnosky, executive director of the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve at Stanford University, who was not involved in the study. Its value, Barnosky said, is that it makes visible a phenomenon typically unseen by scientists and the public: that even populations of relatively common species are crashing.
"We've got this stuff going on that we can't really see because we're not constantly counting numbers of individuals," he said. "But when you realize that we've wiped out 50% of the Earth's wildlife in the last 40 years, it doesn't take complicated math to figure out that, if we keep cutting by half every 40 years, pretty soon there's going to be nothing left."
Stuart Pimm, chair of conservation ecology at Duke University in North Carolina, summed up the the concept this way: "When I look out over the woods that constitute my view from my window here, I know we no longer have wolves or panthers or black bears wandering around. We have eliminated a lot of species from a lot of areas. So we no longer have a functional set of species across large parts of the planet."
This is an important point to emphasize, Pimm said. But the new paper's analysis risks overstating the degree to which extinction events already are occurring, he said, and the research methodology does not have the level of granularity needed to be particularly useful for conservationists.
"What good mapping does is to tell you where you need to act," Pimm said. "The value of the Ceballos paper is a sense of the problem. But given there's a problem, what the bloody hell are we going to do about it?"
Often, scientists who study crisis in the natural world focus on species that are at high and short-term risk for extinction. These plants and animals tend to be odd and unfamiliar, often restricted to one island or forest. You probably didn't notice, for example, that the Catarina pupfish, native to Mexico, went extinct in 2014, according to the paper. Or that a bat called the Christmas Island pipistrelle is thought to have vanished in 2009.
Meanwhile, as this research shows, entire populations of other plants and animals are crashing, even if they're not yet on the brink of extinction. Some of these are well-known.
Consider the African elephant. "On the one hand, you can say, 'All right, we still have around 400,000 elephants in Africa, and that seems like a really big number,' " Barnosky said. "But then, if you step back, that's cut by more than half of what their populations were in the early part of last century. There were well over 1 million elephants (then).
"And if you look at what's happened in the last decade, we have been culling their numbers so fast that if we kept up with that pace, there would be no more wild elephants in Africa in 20 years."
Twenty years. No more African elephants. Think about that.
Barn swallows and jaguars are two other examples, according to Ceballos, the lead author of the paper. Both are somewhat common in terms of their total numbers, he said, but their decline is troubling in some places.
Such population crashes can, of course, lead to inevitable extinctions. And currently, scientists say that species are going extinct at roughly 100 times what would be considered normal -- perhaps considerably more.
There has been some dispute lately about whether the Earth's sixth mass extinction event already has begun or is simply on the horizon, but there is little disagreement among scientists that humans are driving an unprecedented ecological crisis.
And the causes are well-known. People are burning fossil fuels, contributing to climate change. They're chopping down forests and other habitat for agriculture, to the point 37% of Earth's land surface now is farmland or pasture, according to the World Bank. The global population of people continues to rise, along with our thirst for land and consumption. And finally, but not exclusively, poachers are driving numbers of elephants, pangolins, rhinos, giraffes and other creatures with body parts valuable on the black market to worryingly low levels.
All of this is contributing to a rapid decline in wild creatures, both on land and in the ocean.
Ceballos' paper highlights the urgency of this crisis -- and the need for change.
"The good news is, we still have time," he said. "These results show it is time to act. The window of opportunity is small, but we can still do something to save species and populations."
Otherwise, "biological annihilation" continues

COMMENT FROM MY EXPERIENCE



1950 WHEN I USED TO GO TO MY BACKYARD GARDEN I USED TO SEE 4 DIFFERENT TYPES OF DRAGON FLIES Image result for DRAGON FLIESImage result for DRAGON FLIESImage result for DRAGON FLIESImage result for DRAGON FLIES
 6 DIFFERENT TYPES OF ANTS
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6 DIFFERENT TYPES OF BUTTERFLY
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3 DIFFERENT TYPES OF FROGS
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AND MANY TYPES OF LIZARDS
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 NOW NOTHING REMAINS !!!!!!!!!!!
ONLY MOSQUITOS ,COCROACHES AND HOUSE FLIES RATS SURVIVED
ALL THIS HAPPENED WHEN IN 1950 D.D.T. WHERE SPRAYED TO CONTROL MALARIA MOSQUITO
 FOLLOWED BY TOXIC CHEMICALS EVERY YEAR OVER THE FOOD CROPS WE EAT
I BELIEVE WE ARE ON THE WAY TO EXTINCTION OURSELVES BECAUSE OF TOXIC SPRAYS .AND ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE  
even in 1960 i could sit out  at night to read ,sleep without even one mosquito biting me 
those days i had a hobby of collecting flying insects and bugs  which fly around the electric bulb 
in one night i collected 40 different types !!

in 2000 i repeated the test once more to see how many i can collect
result:-just mosquito
bees
and a few insects -less than 6 types
i was surprised to see the extinction in just 40 years
MOSQUITOS AND RAT FEVERS ARE KILLING MANY IN KERALA

WE- NEXT ON THE EXTINCTION LISTImage result for HUMAN EXTINCTION


Natural Mosquito Killers

We have all heard the stories, purple martins can consume their weight in mosquitoes every day, bats eat thousands of mosquitoes, "mosquito hawks" eat nothing but mosquitoes during their entire life cycle, is any of this true? As you'll see below natural predators all play a part in mosquito control, but not to the extent that would be acceptable as a viable means of control. This is true especially during times of extreme mosquito numbers (after flooding or hurricanes) , and when levels of mosquitoes borne disease (such as WNV) are high. The fact is there is usually no scientific data to back up the anecdotal claims that predators such as birds, dragonflies, bats, purple martins, and others consume "thousands of mosquitoes". Also what scientific data does exist is often produced from a study within a controlled environment where these predators are only offered mosquitoes, this does not take into account the opportunistic feeding nature of most natural predators. There are very few instances where natural predators are quite efficient at controlling mosquito populations, although there are exceptions to the rule. Two prime examples would be canals and ponds. The reason that you do not find mosquitoes breeding in these places as often is because they are usually a permanent source of water, and as such can support a greater and varied concentration of natural predators. All of this being said, most of these predators are extremely beneficial in many other ways and should be protected and allowed a place in our urban habitat. The list below is by no means meant to say these are the only natural predators that will eat mosquitoes. Here we'll just concentrate on the most common natural predators we see and the ones that are most commonly surrounded by false stories concerning their ability to control mosquito populations.
 

 
Gambusia Affinis also known as the mosquitofish is a live-bearing American fish that is utilized by some mosquito control districts across the country as a very effective predator of mosquito larvae. As far as natural predators go I think it can be said without hesitation that the mosquitofish is by far the most efficient natural predator of mosquitoes. Full grown females can reach a length of up to 2.5 inches and males up to 1.5 inches. The female Gambusia Affinis can produce anywhere from 10-300 live free swimming young per brood and can have between 3 to 6 broods per season. The mosquitofish is known to be an opportunistic and voracious predator. In certain studies they have been shown to consume 42-167% of their body weight in various invertebrate prey including mosquito larvae per day. This species as well as some other species of small predatory fish ( such as guppies ) can be quite useful in the reduction of mosquito larvae given the right conditions.
 
 
The purple martin is an excellent example of a natural mosquito predator who's mosquito controlling ability has often been grossly exaggerated. Yes, they will and do eat mosquitoes but nowhere near the amount that would be needed to consider them effective at controlling mosquito populations. In a quote taken from the AMCA's page titled frequently asked questions, ornithologist James Hill founder of the Purple Martin Conservation Association (PMCA) writes, "The number of mosquitoes that martins eat is extremely insignificant, and they certainly don't control them. In-depth studies have shown that mosquitoes comprise no more than 0 to 3 percent of the diet of martins". In fact during daylight hours purple martins most often will feed on larger flying insects such as June bugs, moths, bees, butterflies, wasps, and unfortunately dragonflies, another natural mosquito predator. In the hours just before and after sunset is usually when mosquitoes are most active and during this time our friends the martins are usually feeding in the treetops, which puts them way above most mosquito activity. The purple martin is a beautiful bird, but like other natural predators who occasionally consume mosquitoes they probably would rather snag a nice juicy Japanese beetle or some other large bodied flying insect than a scrawny little mosquito.
 
 
The bat is another natural predator of the mosquito that is often described as a voracious mosquito eater. In reality bats like other natural predators of the mosquito are opportunistic feeders. This basically means that they will eat whatever food source is available, and while they will eat mosquitoes they do not go out and specifically hunt just mosquitoes. In fact studies of bats in the wild have shown that they consume mostly beetles, wasps, moths, and these same studies have shown that mosquitoes make up less than 1 percent of their total diet. While they are not the voracious mosquito eaters that some people claim them to be, bats are extremely beneficial little creatures. Though they have a unearned reputation as something to be feared bats do us a great service by eating a huge amount of other flying insects and consequently help to control some dangerous and harmful pest.
 
 
Dragonflies as well as being a natural predator of the mosquito are a fascinating and unique group of insects. Dragonflies are often referred to as "mosquito hawks" for their supposed ability to kill thousands of mosquitoes. Though they do consume their fair share of mosquitoes, dragonflies like most natural predators of mosquitoes do not consume enough mosquitoes to cause a significant impact on mosquitoes populations in the wild. However, one thing that makes the dragonfly a better predator than most is the fact that in the aquatic larval stage one of their food sources is mosquito larvae. Actually it is during this stage (which can last up to six years) that they will do their most damage to mosquito populations, the reason being that as adults they typically like to feed during the day which is when most mosquitoes are hiding in bushes and timberlines. These dragonfly naiads as they are called are voracious and bold little predators and will take on almost any aquatic animal including other naiads.
 
 
Damselflies and their naiads are another natural predator of mosquitoes but probably not to the extent of their larger brother the dragonfly. Damselfly adults are easy to tell apart from their larger cousins because of obvious size difference, however their naiads are very similar and have the same predatory traits as dragonflies.
These beautiful insects come in a wide array of colors and their naiads are considered fairly good predators of mosquito larvae especially in the early instars.
 
 
Frogs, toads and their young called tadpoles are often touted as excellent for mosquito control. In reality, while they do consume their fare share once again it is not enough to seriously put a dent in vast mosquito populations. When frogs and toads do consume mosquitoes it is usually after they have transformed from tadpole to adult. Tadpoles are mostly herbivorous and usually feed on algae and plants, although some larger species will occasionally prey on mosquito larvae. Although they are not the mosquito vacuum cleaners we want them to be, frogs are extremely beneficial little creatures and are usually a measuring stick for a healthy environment.

Dragonfly nymph feeding on mosquito larvae

  • 9 years ago
  • 68,377 views
Here is a nymph from a dragonfly of the Aeshnidae family (i presume it is, since the particular shape and colour pattern), feeding ...

Dragonfly Nymph Feeding

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Dragonfly nymphs are natural predators of mosquito larvae, other aquatic insects and worms, and even small aquatic vertebrates ...

Nymph Eats Fish

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The top view of an aquarium. Here you can see a dragonfly nymph. The diet of my dragonfly nymphs consists of fish. This nymph ...
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Dragonfly eating mosquito

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Dragonfly eating mosquito.

Emperor Dragonfly Nymph Hunting Prey - Creekside Education Trust

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The pond at the Creekside Discovery Centre is full of life and a great place to observe nature. Watch this Deptford "born and bred" ...

Dragonfly nymph eating a mosquito larvae

  • 9 months ago
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This nymph is a left over from the tadpole rescue project that ma

all these natural enemies of mosquito were killed of by humans using toxic pesticides on food crops