Scientists have predicted a sixth mass extinction of wildlife on Earth. They would, obviously, belong to the endangered species who have been edged into a corner. If that happens, it could make it difficult for civilization to remain intact. This is an assessment by scientists and it presents a bleak future for civilization. The study identifies many species of animals that could find a place on the list. They might no longer exist within the next two decades. This is a matter of concern and humans are seemingly to blame. The study mentioned many species that have lost most of their populations.

Such losses disturb the ecological balance because of a domino effect when the loss of one species could affect others that depend on it. The worst part is that it is an irreversible process.

The Guardian quotes a member of the research team who says that the destruction of other creatures is as good as destroying our own life-support system. He is Prof Paul Ehrlich, of Stanford University. He goes on to add that the conservation of endangered species should get more priority.

Governments and institutions should treat the subject on equal terms with climate disruption. As another professor cautions, the world must ensure that it does not sabotage the services offered by nature.

Endangered species need protection

The study undertaken was a comprehensive one. Its basis was the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and BirdLife International.

The focus was specifically on those that had very few survivors. They covered large variety of wildlife that usually inhabit tropical and subtropical regions. An example of the domino effect is the overhunting of sea otters. They preyed on sea urchins and once the otters disappeared, the sea urchins flourished. These devour the kelp and the result was loss of the kelp forests in the Bering Sea.

It led to extinction of a species that survived on kelp.

Mark Wright, the director of science at WWF, is hopeful. The Guardian says in the opinion of Wright, people must reorganize their priorities. They must stop land grabbing and deforestation. Once that happens, it could be possible to restore the balance of nature. However, it would have to be at a global level. The health and wellbeing of people depend on the survival of other forms of life on Earth. It is necessary to remember that the world of today cannot rob future generations of their inheritance, WWF suggests.

Humans pushed many species into the endangered category

According to CNN, factors like unbridled wildlife trade, pollution, habitat loss and the use of toxic substances have pushed many species of wildlife into the list of endangered species. A study has shown that species are dying out at a much faster pace in recent decades. Scientists believe the present state of affairs is an indication that the sixth mass extinction is already happening. Until now, the Earth has witnessed five mass extinction events. Each of them wiped out innumerable species of plants, animals and microorganisms. The most recent one took place when the dinosaurs disappeared. Such mass extinctions usually take place during a disaster like a volcano or collision with an asteroid.

However, the sixth will probably have only humans to blame with Climate change playing a major role.

Bushfires can threaten the endangered species

Of late, there have been many instances of bushfires. These destroy the green cover and expose the wildlife to threats of survival. An example are the dunnarts of Kangaroo Island who are in the endangered species list because of bushfires. At times, man-animal conflict can prove to be disasters. This usually happens when man tries to encroach into territories of animals. In Uganda, man-animal conflict killed lions, which are an endangered species