‘Vertebrata’ the sub-phylum group which contains most of the Vertebrates ranging from the simplest Hagfish to the extensive Mammals on the earth are at risk. Who is not at risk in this present era of merciless exploitation of resources. According to a recent study, we Humans have a single quarter of the total deaths of other Vertebrates. There are no natural and artificial causes of death anymore. It is natural or man-made causes now.
The study was conducted by Scientists from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse in the State of New York. This college worked in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture has conducted a detailed study on ‘vertebrate death causes’.
Together about 42,775 animals were studied for this, and their outcomes were already been published in 1,114 publishings. This particular study was published in the Journal called ‘Global Ecology and Biogeography’. It says that 28% of Animal demises are directly involving humans.
The co-author of the journal Mr Jerrold L. Belant says, ” We all know humans can have a substantial effect on wildlife. That we are only one among over 35,000 species of terrestrial vertebrates worldwide yet responsible for more than one-fourth of their deaths provides perspective on how large our effect actually is”.
In addition to the above, the co-author added saying, “And that’s just direct causes. When you also consider urban growth and other land use changes that reduce habitat, it becomes clear humans have a disproportionate effect on other terrestrial vertebrates”.
The present study which had many species of animals involved has mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. All of them which have died in the 6 continents excluding Australia. Their deaths range as way back as 1970 to the latest 2018. the continents included here are North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania.
The bodies of these animals have been collared or tagged especially for research purposes, even before they have died. 1,20,657 individual animals from 305 vertebrate species were studied in making this conclusion of 28%. Apart from the direct cause by humans, other 72% include natural causes of death.
Other sources of mortality if categorised separately show, 55% due to Predation and 17% due to Legal Harvest. Another author who was involved in the study, named Hill says, “ Larger animals were more likely to be killed by humans than smaller species. Adult animals were more likely than juveniles to be killed by humans”.