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Humanity has caused the extinction of 1,430 bird species: scientists

European ecologists believe that over the past 130,000 years, humanity has caused, directly or indirectly, the extinction of about 1,430 bird species.

This came in a report published by the press service of the British Center for Environment and Hydrology.

The report said: “Our research showed that humankind has had a much greater impact on bird diversity than previously thought. We have proven that many bird species disappeared from the face of the Earth even before the advent of writing, as a result of habitat destruction and poaching.”

Center researcher Robert Cook said that rats, dogs and pigs destroyed bird nests.

Scientists were interested in how human activity affects the diversity and number of birds that have settled on Earth in the last 130,000 years since humanity’s exodus from Africa and the beginning of its settlement of the planet.

To obtain this data, scientists analyzed available historical and fossil information about how humans interacted with different birds during the process of colonizing the Earth.

Ecologists used this data to create a computer model that helped them calculate how bird diversity has changed from the end of the Pleistocene epoch to the present day.

These calculations showed that during this period approximately 1,430 bird species disappeared, of which 225 species disappeared in the relatively modern era, and the remains of 417 other species were preserved in the fossil record, and scientists have not yet found traces of the remaining 788.

According to ecologists, most of these bird extinctions occurred in three specific historical eras, namely the ninth century BC, the fourteenth century AD, and the last three centuries.

The first period is associated with the incursion of the first humans into the islands located in the western part of the Pacific Ocean, and the second period is associated with the colonization of the archipelagos in the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean, during which, according to scientists, 570 bird species disappeared at one time.

In this historical era, scientists point out, birds died about a hundred times faster than they did from natural causes before humans spread throughout the planet.

Similar rates of bird extinction have also been observed in the past three centuries.

This again indicates that humanity’s role in the current mass extinction of animals and plants has been largely ignored, Cook and his colleagues concluded.

7 years ago, environmental scientists came to the conclusion that the sixth mass extinction had begun on Earth.

Their calculations showed that since the beginning of the so-called “Anthropocene” (the era of humanity), the extinction rate of mammals and other animals has increased by about 114 times.

Scientists believe that this rate is now approaching the rate of disappearance of plants and animals at the end of the dinosaur era.



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