It seems that Species Extinction is happening quicker than expected, and humans might be blamed for that. Several factors are connected to the increasing extinction; such as contamination, unlimited usage of natural resources, deforestation, among other factors.
However, new technology is contributing conservation to improve in marked and determined steps. This possibility is due to smartphones which allow people from different parts of the world to witness new species´ development and to be able to capture the new individual on a snapshot.
According to recent reviews, conservationists are more positive about Earth biodiversity because technology can help to slow the extinction process down notoriously. Statistics revealed that the situation could be much worse if the technology were not part of the help.
Data and Records Review
Stuart Pimm, a conservation ecologist at Duke University, and some colleagues worked on the first significant review of extinction data. They were able to conclude that Mobile apps, GIS satellite data, and online crowdsourcing might be a partial contribution to the cause, that is to say, they serve as supportive elements to keep track of these current natural changes.
Pimm stated that through these technologies, “we are mobilizing millions of people around the world, and we are on the cusp of learning very much more about where species are than we have ever known in the past.” They know where the species are and how to threats are so they are capable of managing the situation
Calculating New Species
It is not an easy task to calculate the extinction rate; this might be because it is not know how many species there exist. There have been identified around 1. 9 million animal species and millions more are still not named.
The techniques used to record the species is quite similar to the one used to estimate a country’s death rate or track died people in a specific population every year.
By applying this similar statistical approach, the extinction information revealed a rate of 100 to 1,000 species lost per million per year. It main factor of incidence might be habitat destruction and climate change caused by humans.
To estimate the rate of extinction before humans involvement, the team checked data from fossils records and realized when species disappeared. Then, they resorted to statistical modeling to complete the documents. The first conclusion was that before people contributions, less than a single species per million went annually extinct.
They also arrived at a second conclusion which is considered of great importance for the scientific field; there is a “huge gap in knowledge,” it is not certain how many species there are and where they live. What is more, it is unknown “how their populations are changing.”
For the scientific community, the results of the investigation were not surprising. As stated by Jenny McGuire, a postdoctoral research scientist at the University of Washington’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences,” in general scientists agree that we are at a period of heightened extinction risk and rates, and that’s been occurring nearly since humans have come onto the landscape.”
She considers the study as an excellent opportunity for people to prevent other species from disappearing. They can vote for policies that might diminish climate impact which is affecting the ocean’s pH and, as a consequence, it dissolves marine animals´shells.
McGuire encourages people to ask their government to connect natural reserves to others to protect and control them. Pimm added that some protected areas, “frontline of conservation,” maintained extinction rates of birds, mammals, and amphibians 20 % lower.
Additionally, Pimm and his team made significant contributions to the scientific world in connection to extinction and new species. They were able to create databases and crowdsourcing used to provide information by tracking biodiversity where species were less studied.
People from all over the word is asked to contribute to the cause by becoming a citizen scientist, to help out by providing conservationist a picture of the species they considered rare. They are interested in all kind of living creatures such as fungus, birds or plants. Any new information and photo are more than welcome to be added to the database and analyze by professionals.
Scientists, professionals and ordinary people are working together as a big team to protect, help and improve the lives of new species keeping records and finding relevant and beneficial information.