On Earth, a new period of mass extinction of species

22.03.2004

22.03.2004


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The presently observed the disappearance of the species reaches a pre-historic proportions. Nature is dying, not only in the distant jungles of Brazil, but also directly to our eyes, writes Die Welt.

British biologists published a review of the problem of species extinction in Europe. In the first study presents a comparative analysis of the disappearance of butterflies, birds and plants. The conclusion arrived at by the scientist Jeremy Thomas and his colleagues from the Council for Environmental Research, suggests the beginning of the sixth in the history of the planet's mass extinction of species. From the previous five periods between us and tens of millions of years. The apogee of the latter, which occurred 65 million years ago, was the death of the dinosaurs.

With all the crashes every time disappeared for more than half of all species of animals and plants, sometimes even more than 90%. Now mankind has all the chances to reach that level. Thus, relative to the original areas of distribution of various types of researchers have found that "in the UK for the past 40 years, killed 28% of all native plants, for 20 years lost 54% of poultry litter; populations of all species of butterflies are reduced (projected over 20 years of decline in species can make more than 71%), the authors write.

Scientists pay special attention to the unprecedented reduction in species diversity of butterflies. "The reality was the exact opposite of what is supposed to be 20 years ago," — said Jeremy Thomas. According to him, "if insects are considered especially robust" animals. Meanwhile butterflies were sensitive indicator of changes in the environment. "And if we assume that the behavior butterflies reflect the behavior of insects in general, if the world really is going through a major crisis of existence", — concluded the British researchers. Reported by News.

19.03.2004

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