Wildlife Collapses Irreversible unless Ecosystem Losses become Reversible
Only when ecosystem losses are reserved will wildlife Collapses come to a halt
A few days ago, the Guardian stated that the steady destruction of wildlife could result into total ecosystem collapse, the losses of biodiversity signaling the start of a new mass extinction to be compared to the Permian-Triassic extinction event of 252 million years ago, when global heating from huge volcanic eruptions wiped out 95% of life on Earth.
According to a new report by Beyond Pesticides, the continued loss of insects disrupts the foundation of many food chains, with the decline in many bird species linked to insect declines, three billion birds having vanished since the 1970s due to ecosystem collapse, a situation similar to the Holocene Extinction, Earth's 6th mass extinction.
One in five countries stands the risk of ecosystem collapse, putting more than half of global GDP (US$42 trillion, or £32 trillion) in danger, as 39 countries see their ecosystems in a fragile state on more than a third of their land, with nations such as Malta, Israel, Cyprus, Bahrain and Kazakhstan having the lowest Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (BES) ranking.
With one in five countries at the risk of their ecosystem collapsing, and studies saying the destruction to wildlife can suddenly tip over into a total ecosystem collapse, it becomes necessary to be worried over insect declines, as this may disrupt the foundations of many food chains, not unlike the steady destruction of wildlife suddenly tipping over into a total ecosystem collapse.
In 2016, much of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef bleached and died, as 67% of a 700km swath in the north of the reef lost its shallow-water corals over a period of eight to nine months, in an event described as an example of an ecosystem collapse..
In the last six years, animal die-offs of unprecedented size, scope and duration take place in the waters of the Beaufort, Chukchi and northern Bering seas, where in 2010, a survey estimated the vanishing of 319,000 metric tons of snow crab in the northern Bering Sea, while the numbers of a subarctic fish, the Pacific cod, skyrocketed—going from 29,124 metric tons in 2010 to 227,577 in 2021.
In July 2010, for example, about 500 Magellan Penguins died on the shores of Brazil over the course of just 10 days, while 115 pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins died after swimming onto beaches on two southern Australian islands in November 2004, with 110 pilot whales and 10 bottlenose dolphins dying on Tasmania's remote west coast in a similar mass casualty event.
Globally, mass casualty events of the Tasmania example take place regularly now, as animal die-offs of unprecedented size and scope and duration happen, and it is no surprise that scientists and others worry about a sudden ecosystem collapse disrupting the food chain and threatening the existence of humans, more or less like the situation when the Australia's Great Barrier Reef bleached in 2016, leading to the loss of corals.
Due to hot temperatures, the the third world’s coral bleaching event took place at the Australia Great Reef between June 2014 and May 2017, worsened by the strong 2015–16 El Niño event, while in March 2022, another mass coral bleaching event took place, and a mass bleaching happened in a cooler La Niña year for the first time, with the Great Barrier Reef estimated to have lost over 50% of its corals since 1995.
Beginning in October 2016, tribal and community members on St Paul Island, one of the Pribilof Islands in the southern Bering Sea, found over 350 carcasses, with experts citing a reduction in food resources before entering molt prevented many birds from surviving, and when they used wind data to model beaching, they calculated between 3,150 and 8,500 birds could have died in the event.
The Republic of Indonesia comprises more than 17000 islands, making it the largest archipelagic nation in the world, with more than 95000 square kilometers of coastline, but during the1982/83 La Nina event, seawater temperatures in shallow water reefs exceeded 33° C during midday and resulted in the death of 80-90% of corals, affecting species such as Acropora and Pocillopora, while abundant species, such as Montipora and the blue coral Helipora got severely affected.
Apart from this, Indonesia’s rainforests contain 10 percent of the world’s known plant species, 12 percent of mammal species – including orangutans and Sumatran tigers and rhinos – and 17 percent of all known bird species, unfortunately, through ecosystem collapse, the country leads the world in the number of threatened mammals at 135 species, which is nearly a third of all of its native mammals, including the Balinese and Javan tigers.
Since ecosystem collapse could endanger such animals as orangutans and Sumatran tigers in Indonesia, fears over the destruction to wildlife over a total ecosystem collapse seem legitimate, especially when nations fail to take measures against increased global warming, which creates rising incidents such as the appearance of carcasses on St Paul Island, the March 2022 bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef, and the bleaching event in Australia from 2014 to 2017.
For years, the climate crisis overshadows the biodiversity crisis, perhaps because its consequences appear more terrible through ecosystem collapse. But the balance may be shifting, because wildlife collapses become irreversible unless ecosystem losses get reversed, with the humanity itself at the risk of disappearance if nations fail to find solutions. The solution could just be avoiding the worst impacts of global warming by not approving new coal, oil and gas projects immediately.
What to Eat
Indonesia's fried rice (Vegan nasi Goreng), Credit, Cooking Carniva