Near Extinct Animals — Mediterranean Monk Seal, Axolotl Mexican Salamander, Tiger Spider, Southern Bluefin Tuna, & Alabama Cavefish

February 6, 2015 in Animals & Insects

The current rate of species extinction in the world is estimated to 100-1000 times higher (spread across all types of life) than the background extinction rate (average over very-long time-scales), primarily as a result of modern/industrial human activity.

Some groups are experiencing much higher rates even than that though — amphibians, for example, are currently going extinct roughly ~45,000 times faster than the background extinction rate. Most/many amphibian species are expected to go extinct at some point in the foreseeable future — without large changes to the current trajectory occurring. (There are notable exceptions to this.)

Despite the growing rates of extinctions, research has shown that public interest and concern has actually been diminishing greatly over the last few decades. (Perhaps as backlash against the tactics/hypocrisy of many “environmental” organizations? Perhaps because less and less people grow up in rural areas and spend time in the “wild”? Perhaps because entertainment consumption, drug-use, and obesity, has all skyrocketed in recent decades? Hard to say…)

Many researchers have estimated that at current rates of extinction, up to one-half of all the currently existing plant + animal species in the world will be extinct by the year 2100. (For more on that, see: 10 Extinct Animals Of The Last 100 Years, And Before, List).
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Brink Of Extinction — Giant Leatherback Sea Turtle, Siberian Tiger, Mountain Gorilla, North Pacific Right Whale, & Philippine Eagle

February 5, 2015 in Animals & Insects

With human expansion continuing at its relentless pace — and deforestation, soil erosion, species extinctions, and climatic changes, accompanying it — there are a significant number of animals nearing the brink of extinction.

While listing all of them here would be impossible — there are far, far too many — I still think that it’s worth going over some of the more prominant of the many critically endangered animals in the world today.

And, to that end, the article below will highlight 5 of those critically endangered animals — the Giant Leatherback Sea Turtle, the Siberian Tiger, the Mountain Gorilla, the North Pacific Right Whale, and the Philippine Eagle.
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Overfishing Causing Jellyfish Population Boom, Research Finds (+Recent Examples Of Overfishing)

May 16, 2013 in Animals & Insects, Humans

Jellyfish populations around the world have been increasing in recent years, and several very large jellyfish blooms have been reported since the early 2000s. The cause of these, and the general population increase, has remained somewhat unclear until now though. Is it simply observation bias? Cyclic population change? Warming waters? Changing currents?


But now, thanks to new research from the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), the causes have become clear. The primary cause is overfishing, and with it the decline of many ecologically important species. Many significant predators of jellyfish, such as tuna and sea turtles, have seen their numbers plummet in recent years as a result of overfishing. And with their decline, jellyfish have begun to see their populations grow. But perhaps far more important than that decline, though, is the overfishing of small pelagic fish, such as sardines and herring, which are the main competitors of jellyfish.

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