Today wildlife accounts for only 3 percent of earth’s land mammals
…..”Our destruction is so familiar—so synonymous with civilization—in fact, that we tend to overlook how strange the world that we’ve made has become. For instance, it stands to reason that, until very recently, all vertebrate life on the planet was wildlife.
But astoundingly, today wildlife accounts for only 3 percent of earth’s land animals; human beings, our livestock, and our pets take up the remaining 97 percent of the biomass.
This Frankenstein biosphere is due both to the explosion of industrial agriculture and to a hollowing out of wildlife itself, which has decreased in abundance by as much as 50 percent since 1970. This cull is from both direct hunting and global-scale habitat destruction: almost half of the earth’s land has been converted to farmland.
Introduction to Rewilding .. byKara Moses
Everyone is talking about rewilding at the moment. The debate around it is shaking up the conservation sector and public interest in it is huge, with a growing movement of people advocating the restoration of our degraded ecosystems. But what does it really mean to rewild? And how would you go about doing it if you actually have some land?
A new short course at the Centre for Alternative Technology – Introduction to Rewilding – is possibly the first of its kind to offer such a practical introduction to rewilding. The course aims to inform people about the basic principles and practices of rewilding and ecological restoration, and enable people to understand how they might apply them in their own situation – whether that’s on land they own themselves or in their local area.
You Don’t Need a Scientist to Know What’s Causing the Sixth Mass Extinction
Paul R. Ehrlich– It’s simple. It’s us. The more people there are, the more habitats we destroy. Human civilisation can only survive if the population begins to shrink
A peacock butterfly rests on a thistle. ‘Cropland is generally not rich in food plants suitable for the caterpillars of the 15,000 butterfly species with which we share the planet.’ Photograph: Silas Stein/AFP/Getty Images
“One should not need to be a scientist to know that human population growth and the accompanying increase in human consumption are the root cause of the sixth mass extinction we’re currently seeing. All you need to know is that every living being has evolved to have a set of habitat requirements.
“An organism can’t live where the temperature is too hot or too cold. If it lives in water, it requires not only an appropriate temperature range, but also appropriate salinity, acidity and other chemical characteristics. If it is a butterfly, it must have access to plants suitable for its caterpillars to eat.
A lion requires plant-eaters to catch and devour. A tree needs a certain amount of sunlight and access to soil nutrients and water. A falciparum malaria parasite can’t survive and reproduce without Anopheles mosquitos in its habitat and a human bloodstream to infest.
“The human population has grown so large that roughly 40% of the Earth’s land surface is now farmed to feed people – and none too well at that. Largely due to persistent problems with distribution, almost 800 million people go to bed hungry, and between one and two billion suffer from malnutrition.
As a consequence of its booming population, Homo sapiens has taken much of the most fertile land to grow plants for its own consumption. But guess what? That cropland is generally not rich in food plants suitable for the caterpillars of the 15,000 butterfly species with which we share the planet. Few butterflies require the wheat, corn or rice on which humans largely depend.
From the viewpoint of most of the Earth’s wildlife, farming can be viewed as “habitat destruction”. And, unsurprisingly, few species of wildlife have evolved to live on highways, or in strip malls, office buildings, kitchens or sewers – unless you count Norway rats, house mice, European starlings and German roaches.
Virtually everything humanity constructs provides an example of habitat destruction.” (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/11/sixth-mass-extinction-habitats-destroy-population.)