Scientists confirm that humanity is one of the deadliest predators of the animal world. An international research team conducted the first study to examine humanity’s impact on ecosystems. And the results of that study were alarming.
According to scientists, humans use nearly one-third of all wild animals on the planet. More than 47,600 vertebrate species, including mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and amphibians, are exploited and trafficked by humans. Of this number, more than 14,600 species (32%) are used for food, clothing, medicine, or as pets.
But these human activities have serious consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Approximately 40% of the species used are threatened with extinction. The continuation of this overexploitation could have serious consequences for ecosystems and biodiversity.
It turns out that the number of vertebrate species used or traded by humans is several hundred times greater than the number of species hunted by jaguars, white sharks or lions. This shows that humans are the most dangerous predators for the animal world.
Human activities also seriously disrupt the food chain and affect the availability of food sources for prey species. For example, 30 percent of the species hunted by tuna and 100 percent of the species hunted by jaguars are also used or sold by humans. This creates problems for predators that depend on these species in the food chain.
The science team found that about half of the exploited species are killed by humans for food. At the same time, birds, reptiles and amphibians are most often used for the pet trade. Another 8 percent or so of harvested species are hunted for sport or trophy purposes.
These study results confirm the need for action to conserve biodiversity and protect wildlife. Otherwise, we may face serious consequences for ecosystems and ourselves.