As the sum of all living organisms, biodiversity is key to the continuation of our existence and function of life of the planet.
A study published July 10, by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, takes a look at the state of biodiversity and draws the alarming conclusion that we are in the midst of a “sixth mass extinction.” Authored by Gerado Ceballos, Paul Ehrlich, and Rodolfo Dirzo, the study warns that “the strong focus on species extinctions, a critical aspect of the contemporary pulse of biological extinction, leads to a common misimpression that Earth’s biota is not immediately threatened, just slowly entering an episode of major biodiversity loss.” It is extraordinarily upsetting, but what makes this paper so nuanced is that it takes a critical look at local populations, not only the worldwide populations we so often point to when referencing extinction.
As noted in the study, population extinction is a prelude to species extinctions.
As noted by the University of Maine’s Jacquelyn Gill in the Atlantic, “What's really powerful about [Ceballos’s new] study is that it focuses not on the losses, but on the early warning signals.
As President and CEO, Azzedine Downes is responsible for the strategic vision that will guide IFAW’s contribution to a standard for conservation and animal