Summary #1268

Humans, not climate, have driven rapidly rising mammal extinction rate

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  • In a new study, researchers found no evidence of climate-driven extinctions in the past 126,000 years—human impact explains 96% of mammal extinctions.
  • The conclusion comes from analysing a data set of fossils from 351 mammal species that have gone extinct.
  • Extinctions happened in bursts that correlated to the time when humans first reached new areas, and recently human-driven extinctions have sped up on a global scale.
  • If current trends in human behaviour and biodiversity loss continue, we might reach a level of extinction 30,000 times larger than natural by the year 2100.
  • To prevent this, we need targeted and efficient conservation strategies, but first people need to become aware of this looming biodiversity crisis.

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