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Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology

Why in news?

A recent analysis of data has warned of an acceleration in the sixth mass extinction.

Scientists have found that 515 species of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, have fewer than 1,000 individuals each and are on the brink of extinction including in India.


  • Among those facing extinction, 243 (47%) are continental and 272 (53%) insular (island-dwelling).
  • The analysis also shows that those pushed to the brink of extinction have lost their historic geographic range.
  • Most of them are from South America, followed by Oceania, Asia, Africa, North and Central America, and then Europe with less than 1% of them.
  • The greatest numbers of mammals on the brink extinction are in Asia and Oceania. Most such birds live in South America and Oceania.
  • The distribution of species on the brink extinction shows they also include those in the biodiversity hotspots of the Himalayas and the Western Ghats.

What can India do?

  • Indian experts said the analysis should drive home the message that India can help secure the hot spots and more species from going extinct.
  • India can address concerns over a hydropower project in biodiversity rich Dibang Valley and the National Wildlife Board’s approval to coal mining inside Assam’s Dehing Patkai Elephant Reserve.

Other recomendations

  • It said such major losses of populations and species will destroy the ecosystem, goods, and services, which will impact human well-being while citing the example of Covid-19. The analysis said the pandemic is linked to wildlife trade and has recommended a strict ban on it in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and other Asian countries.
  • It has suggested that food be made available to the poor in Africa to prevent dependence on bushmeat.

Click Here to read more about Mass Extinction (3rd Article)

-Source: Hindustan Times

December 2023