The Sixth Great Extinction and the Fight to Save the Ancient Bialowieza Forest in Poland
BY ANNE PETERMANN
In this Guardian article Earth’s Sixth Mass Extinction Event Under Way, Scientists Warn, and associated video, a recent study warns that we are in the midst of a “biological annihilation” of wildlife and the sixth mass extinction in the history of the Planet.
Scientists analysed both common and rare species and found billions of regional or local populations have been lost. They blame human overpopulation and overconsumption for the crisis and warn that it threatens the survival of human civilisation, with just a short window of time in which to act.
The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, eschews the normally sober tone of scientific papers and calls the massive loss of wildlife a “biological annihilation” that represents a “frightening assault on the foundations of human civilisation”.
Prof Gerardo Ceballos, at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, who led the work, said: “The situation has become so bad it would not be ethical not to use strong language.”
Video from The Guardian:
The Bialowieza Forest sits in the middle of the European lowlands at the border between Poland and Belarus. As a relic of ancient forests, it has some of the oldest and largest trees on the Continent, as well as species that are rare or extinct elsewhere. It is also home to the largest colony of bison in Europe.
The biodiversity crisis, the climate crisis, the food crisis, the water crisis, the crisis in the oceans. What will it take for us to get organized and stop the annihilation–which ultimately will include our own?
The winner will receive an 11×14 archival print of this photo of a ringed kingfisher overlooking the ancient araucaria forest in Parque Huerquehue in Chile. Ringed kingfishers require large bodies of clean water and dense forest and migrate between the US and Chile.