In 2022, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Yangtze Sturgeon, a fish native to China that had declined for years, was finally declared extinct. Furthermore, in our country, United Nations Conventions to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 14) has announced that four animal species have gone extinct in recent years. They include Indian Cheetah, Pink Headed Duck, Northern Sumatran Rhinoceros and Sunderban Dwarf Rhinoceros.
Though these extinctions will not directly impact the human race, the extinction of many species worldwide in recent years has become a source of worry for scientists. The scientific community worldwide fears that we might be heading towards the 6th mass extinction in Earth’s history in light of these reports. If that is not an unsettling thought, the thought that scientists believe we humans will be the perpetrators of this extinction indeed is.
Earth has witnessed five mass extinctions in its existence of 4.54 billion years. Now that scientists are predicting a potential 6th mass extinction, they are also providing solid evidence of its occurring in not so distant future. One reason for that likely event is humans’ endless destruction of plant and animal species. Like every living being on Earth, Humans are also part of the food chain, and one trait of that chain is that no one species can exist without depending on another for food.
Indiscriminate deforestation to use that land for residential and commercial use and the high rate of illegal poaching of various species of animals for food or fun by us has led to a significant disruption in the food chain. But the single reason that scientists feel would be the cause of this extinction is Global Warming. Global Warming is known to nearly all of us, and still, the ozone layer’s depletion rate is much more than the efforts to slow it down. As scientists point out, humans are only hastening the elimination of our kind by these reckless actions.
To keep the temperature lower at 1.5 degrees Celsius, the historic Paris Agreement offers many countries, including India, the chance to strengthen the international response to the threat of climate change. Places specific to the criteria of planting more trees, whether at community gardens, parks, or leisure facilities, are being built to battle climate change and are part of many sustainable community-led urban regeneration initiatives worldwide.
The Endangered Species Act’s primary purpose is to protect the places or habitat features on which vulnerable and endangered species rely for existence and recovery. These steps and many more are enough to make us feel hopeful for the longevity of our species.
Ultimately, it all comes down to our willingness as individuals to contribute to conserving this environment and all the present species for future generations. We all must play our part in halting this upcoming catastrophe because if Mother Nature started treating us exactly how we have been treating it, the human race would not stand a chance whatsoever.