Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘Species Extinction’

Quarter of Europe’s Orthoptera Driven to Extinction

Posted by feww on February 13, 2017

European Red List of Grasshoppers, Crickets and Bush-crickets

Nearly 26% of European  Orthoptera species  [and 28% of EU 28’s] are assessed as threatened, according to UCN Red List report on Orthoptera.

However, the exact proportion of threatened species is uncertain… the best estimate of the threatened share of Orthoptera species is thus 28.5% in Europe and 30.6% in the EU 28. Further research on DD species to clarify their status is therefore critical. A further 13.9% (149 species) and 13% (128 species) are considered Near Threatened in Europe and in the EU 28, respectively.


The Western Banded Grasshopper (Arcyptera brevipennis) has a disjunct distribution in south-western and south-eastern Europe and is found in steppe-like Mediterranean vegetation and rocky grassland or shrubland habitats. This Vulnerable species is threatenedby changes in the grazing regime (particularly by abandonment) and afforestation. ©Florin Rutschmann. IUCN Red List report on Orthoptera.

“By comparison, the best estimate of threatened species of those other groups that have been assessed comprehensively in Europe is 58% of freshwater molluscs, 40% of freshwater fishes, 23% of amphibians, 20% of reptiles, 17% of mammals, 16% of dragonflies, 13% of birds, 9% of butterflies and bees, 8% of aquatic plants and marine fishes and 2% of medicinal plants. Additional European Red Lists assessing a selection of species showed that 22% of terrestrial molluscs, 16% of crop wild relatives and 15% of saproxylic beetles are also threatened. No other groups have yet been assessed at the European level.

“Looking at the population trends of European Orthoptera species, 30.2% (325 species) have declining populations, 7.6% (82 species) are believed to be more or less stable and 3.2% (34 species) are increasing. However, the population trends for the majority of species (59%, 634 species) remain unknown.”

Download IUCN Red List report on Orthoptera

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Giant Leap Towards Extinction

Posted by feww on December 27, 2016

Cheetah Numbers Crash Globally

  • Researchers confirm only 7,100 cheetahs remain.
  • Zimbabwe’s cheetah population has plummeted from 1,200 to a maximum of 170 animals in just 16 years – that’s a whopping loss of 85% of the country’s cheetahs.
  • Causes of crash: “Human-wildlife conflict, prey and habitat loss, wildlife trafficking, and pet trade have all contributed to crash.”

Details are available from the following sources:

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Tens of Thousands of Walruses Run Out of Sea Ice

Posted by feww on October 2, 2014

SCENARIOS 998, 900, 444, 222, 114, 04, 02, 01

Mass walrus haulout on Alaska shore as ice vanishes

The adult walruses, which can weigh about 1,225 kilograms, need sea ice as haulout platforms to rest, give birth, nurse and protect their young.

Pacific walruses have been hauling out on land in Alaska since 2006, as summer sea ice retreats, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

“The walruses are hauling out on land in a spectacle that has become all too common in six of the last eight years as a consequence of climate-induced warming. Summer sea ice is retreating far north of the shallow continental shelf waters of the Chukchi Sea in U.S. and Russian waters, a condition that did not occur a decade ago.  To keep up with their normal resting periods between feeding bouts to the seafloor, walruses have simply hauled out onto shore,” said USGS.

Hauling out refers to the behavior associated with seals and walruses of temporarily leaving the water to gather on land or ice. Watch a video.

walruses in ak
About 35,000 walruses (~ 15 to 20 percent of the Pacific walrus population), hauled out on a beach in the Chukchi Sea near the village of Point Lay, Alaska, some 1130km (~ 700 miles) northwest of Anchorage because of lack of sea ice in this September 2014 photo taken by Corey Accardo / NOAA/NMFS/AFSC/NMML.

Onshore haulouts endangers female walruses and their calves, which can be trampled and killed during frequent stampedes.

Additionally, the walruses may be adversely affected hauling out on shore and using nearshore feeding areas, rather than their preferred behavior of using the ice as a haulout platform, on which to rest while remaining near rich feeding grounds, said USGS.

“One of the differences between this haul out and other ones is the sheer size and number of animals coming to shore,” said an ecologist with the USGS.

Arctic sea ice reached its minimum for the year on September 17, reported the National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC). This year’s retreat was “the sixth lowest extent in the satellite record and reinforces the long-term downward trend in Arctic ice extent.”

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Half of Global Wildlife Lost in 40 Years: WWF

Posted by feww on September 30, 2014

SCENARIOS 998, 900, 444, 222, 114, 04, 02, 01

Populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish drop 52% since 1970

Global populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish have plunged 52 percent, says the 2014 Living Planet Report released today by World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

“There is a lot of data in this report and it can seem very overwhelming and complex,” said  the chief scientist at WWF. “What’s not complicated are the clear trends we’re seeing—39 percent of terrestrial wildlife gone, 39 percent of marine wildlife gone, 76 percent of freshwater wildlife gone—all in the past 40 years.”

The Gross ‘Misunderstatement’

Then comes the understatement of the Anthropocene, or even Era Vulgaris:

“We’re gradually destroying our planet’s ability to support our way of life,” said president and CEO of WWF.

Gradually, indeed!

After all, the oldest traces of life on earth dates back about 3.7 billion years, and in a mere 40-year period, the wildlife populations have been annihilated.

The Worst Decline

The WWF’s “Living Planet Index” is based on trends among 10,380 populations of 3,038 wildlife species.

The worst decline has occurred among populations of freshwater species, which plunged by 76 percent during the report period (1976 – 2010).

Both the terrestrial and marine (species in decline include sea turtles, many sharks, and large migratory seabirds like albatross) numbers have declined by 39 percent.

The average 52 percent decline was nearly TWICE larger than the previous figure reported by WWF two  years ago, which put the loss at 28 percent for the period  1970 – 2008.

Ocean Greenery Under Stress

According to a study on phytoplankton decline, which was published in 2010, the average global phytoplankton concentration in the upper ocean was declining by about 1% per year. Between 1950 and 2000, “algal biomass decreased by around 40%, probably in response to ocean warming—and the decline has gathered pace in recent years.”

[Isn’t it interesting to see how everyone is re-adjusting their “extinction clocks?” —Editor]

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Japanese Driving Eel to Extinction

Posted by feww on June 15, 2014


Japanese eel at risk of extinction:  IUCN

Japanese eel (Anguilla japonicais) is at risk of extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a global conservation group based in Switzerland.

The group placed the eel  on its Red List on Thursday, which classes Japanese eels as “endangered.”

An endangered species is one which has been categorized by IUCN as likely to become extinct, or the second most severe conservation status for wild populations, following “critically endangered.”

Overfishing, shrinking  habitats, changes in sea current and deterioration of water quality are cited by IUCN as grounds for the designation.

The list is not legally binding; however, it would probably make little or no difference to the Japanese who have already begun whaling in defiance of the International Court of Justice recent ruling.

Se also: Japan Kills 30 Whales in 1st Hunt Since ICJ Ruling

IUCN Red List

All known mammal species have been assessed using the IUCN Red List categories and criteria, according to the group.

The term “Threatened” refers to those species classified under the IUCN Red List categories of Vulnerable, Endangered, or Critically Endangered.

Of the 5,487 mammal species assessed, nearly one-quarter of species (22.2 %) are globally threatened or extinct, representing 1,219 species. Seventy-six of the 1,219 species are considered to be Extinct (EX), and two Extinct in the Wild (EW).

Some 3,079 animals and 2,655 plant species are now endangered (EN) globally, compared with about 1,100 in each category, just 15 years ago.

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More Whaling? No Way!

Posted by feww on July 11, 2008

Submitted by a CASF Member

Folks, It’s High Time We Said to Japan: Enough Is Enough!


Here’s a report that caught our eye earlier. It’s about two environmental activists who have been charged with stealing a box of whale meat in Japan while conducting a covert operation to expose the Japanese whaling authorities … We [CASF Members] don’t necessarily agree with Greenpeace tactics, or trust their management [because of their abject failure, or lack of commitment, in making the world a better place, or achieving any lasting objective, whatever;] however, the anti-whaling activists have our support!

A lactating mother and her calf? Why, they taste better together? Japan has said the pictures were misleading and did not show a lactating mother and her calf. (Australian Customs Service)

Japan charges Greenpeace members over whale theft

TOKYO (Reuters) – Environmental group Greenpeace said on Friday two of its activists had been charged with stealing a box of whale meat while conducting a covert operation into suspected cases of embezzlement.

The public prosecutors office in Aomori, northern Japan, charged Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki with theft and trespass, the group said in a statement.

Workers rest after butchering a Baird’s Beaked whale at Wada port in Minamiboso, southeast of Tokyo, June 28, 2008. Whales emerged the big losers as a weeklong International Whaling Commission meeting wrapped up in Chile on Friday, conservation groups said after anti-whaling nations failed to halt No. 1 hunter Japan. REUTERS/Toru Hanai (JAPAN). Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

A spokesman for the Aomori Public Prosecutors Office declined to comment.

Greenpeace had used the meat as evidence when complaining to prosecutors that members of Japan’s whaling fleet crew shipped large quantities of the meat home, which they said amounted to embezzlement.

Japan has come under fire from environmentalists and foreign countries for its whaling program. The government says its whaling is for scientific research purposes.

Commercial whaling was banned under a 1986 international moratorium, but Tokyo has campaigned for a lifting of the ban, saying whaling is part of the country’s cultural tradition.

A recent poll showed that a majority of Japanese support whaling, although whale meat is now less popular among the public than in the past.

The country’s fleet caught only 551 minke whales compared with a planned 850 in its latest Antarctic hunt, after obstruction by anti-whalers. (Source)

Japan says its whaling is legal and part of its culture.


Let’s Stop Japan Whaling!

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The right to disturb wildlife!!

Posted by feww on July 9, 2008

BP and Shell Rights Come First!


A week after U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline declared that “the balance of hardships” is in favor of the BP and Shell, “who have invested significant time [never mind nature’s 4.55 billion year investment] and expense in preparing for the scheduled activities,” and dismissed lawsuit against exploration permits granted by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the MMS, two environmental groups filed a lawsuit yesterday against new federal regulations that grants permission to oil companies to disturb the polar bears and walrus in the Chukchi Sea.

The Pacific Walrus: “ah may be ugly, but ah ain’t dumb, an’ ah ain’t hurting no one!” [Image: NOAA]

“The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage, challenges regulations issued last month by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that allow ‘incidental takes’ of the animals, meaning permission to disturb or accidentally harass them as long as such actions do not result in physical injury or death.” Reuters reported.

Polar bears were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in May, and a similar petition seeking protections to the Pacific walrus has since been submitted. More …

An aerial view of the oil spill from Statfjord A platform in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea December 12, 2007. About 25,000 barrels of oil spilled into the Norwegian sector of the North Sea near the Statfjord oilfield on Wednesday, field operator StatoilHydro and oil officials said. REUTERS/Kystverket (The Norwegian Coastal Administration) via Scanpix Norway (NORWAY) NORWAY OUT NO COMMERCIAL USE

[MMS: the U.S. Minerals Management Service]

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