Azara Blog: Surprise, humans are pushing out other species

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Date published: 2007/12/27

The BBC says:

Almost 80% of the Earth's surface has experienced a sharp fall in the number of large mammals as a result of human activities, a study suggests.

By examining records dating back to AD1500, US researchers found that at least 35% of mammals over 20kg had seen their range cut by more than half.

They said urgent action was needed to protect the animals, which were being hunted or suffering habitat loss.
The research, carried out by a team of scientists from Princeton University and conservation group WWF-US, has been described as the first "measurement of human impacts on biodiversity based on the absence of native, large mammals".

Is anyone surprised by any of this? Humans have taken over most of the planet, so it is trivially obvious that many other species will have diminished as a result. And it is unfortunate that a special interest pressure group, WWF, was included in the research because that immediately makes the spin of the work suspect. Indeed, WWF could have written the phrase "urgent action was needed" before doing any research, since they claim this about pretty much everything they are involved with.

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