Re-thinking The Way we Talk about Biodiversity

Over the past 30 years, leading scientists in ecology and conservation biology have been claiming a biodiversity crisis, and have documented global extinctions of birds and mammals occurring at rates that greatly exceed pre-industrial times.

The dominant narrative is one that claims biodiversity is in decline, and that ecosystem services depend on biodiversity (many of such services are enjoyed by humans).

A study by Worm et al. 2006 found positive relationships between diversity and ecosystem functions and services. Specifically, they found that “the societal consequences of an ongoing erosion of diversity appears to be accelerating on a global scale”, and that this trend “projects the global collapse of all taxa currently fished by the mid–21st century.”

In fact, the only marine fish documented to have gone extinct is the Galapagos Damsel, believed to have never recovered from a temporary increase in local water temperatures during the El Niño–Southern Oscillation of 1982 and 1983 that caused their prey source, plankton, to decrease dramatically.

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