One of the effects of an exponentially increasing human population growth is the loss of other species. Biodiversity, or the variety of species and life, has been decreasing due to human actions. According to scientists, we are the cause of the sixth mass extinction. Other reasons that contribute to the loss of biodiversity are habitat loss and degradation, invasive species, pollution, climate change, and overexploitation. The biodiversity crisis is something worth countering because of the economic benefits and the environmental services biodiversity provides.
Biodiversity: Refers to the variety of life and its processes. This includes the variety of living organisms, their genetic differences, and the communities and ecosystems in which they occur.
Sixth Mass Extinction: The extinction that is occurring now to species across the planet.
Habitat Loss: Destruction or disruption of Earth’s natural habitats, most often due to human actions such as agriculture, forestry, mining, and urbanization.
Exotic Species: Species introduced by humans into new habitats carry disease, prey on local species, and disrupt food webs. They also act as competitors.
Previously on Earth there have been five mass extinctions, according to the fossil record. Unlike those, the sixth mass extinction is largely due to human actions.
A helpful way of remembering the causes of extinction: acronym “HIPPCO,” which stands for: Habitat loss and degradation, Invasive species, Population growth, Pollution, Climate change, Overexploitation (overfishing for aquatic biomes)