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Still Waters

The 492 native species driven to extinction

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It is being called the sixth great extinction.

Nearly 500 species of plant and animal native to England have been wiped out in the past 2,000 years - with most vanishing in the previous two centuries alone.

The roll-call, detailed in a shocking report, includes mammals such as the wildcat and northern right whale, birds such as the great auk and red-backed shrike, and species of butterflies, dragonflies and beetles.

Some creatures, including the bear, were hunted to extinction after the Romans invaded, while others, such as the short-haired bumblebee, were killed off by modern farming techniques during the 1990s.

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Depressing isn't, it partially explains why we consider dull fields and farmland to be amazing "natural" countryside.

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Depressing isn't, it partially explains why we consider dull fields and farmland to be amazing "natural" countryside.

I know! I have to say, I have a soft spot for oilseed rape fields, I think they're pretty, but otherwise, how is farmland amazing countryside? "The great outdoors" and all... give me a mountain (live very close to the Lake District, lol) or thick woodland any day!

But it is a great shame about the now extinct species. Makes me despair for humanity, along with many other things.

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I haven't heard of the short haired bumble bee until now. And to be quite honest, I hasn't upset the whole ecosystem now has it.

Besides, Romans needed bear hides for their Legion standardbearers. I've seen pictures of rolling coutryside with farms and bits and pices and I say it is most beautiful. But concentrate on the negative side of life if you must.

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Depressing isn't, it partially explains why we consider dull fields and farmland to be amazing "natural" countryside.

It is rather. At least there are some efforts now for restoring truley natural landscape. Hopefully the beaver re-introduction is one of many to come but I doubt Britain will ever be able to sustain large populations of the wildlife it used to have although reviews have shown small populations of wolf and lynx are indeed viable.

I haven't heard of the short haired bumble bee until now. And to be quite honest, I hasn't upset the whole ecosystem now has it.

Besides, Romans needed bear hides for their Legion standardbearers. I've seen pictures of rolling coutryside with farms and bits and pices and I say it is most beautiful. But concentrate on the negative side of life if you must.

Ecological impacts are not immediate. Not having heard about it also does not make it unimportant, most people are unaware of the important role some insects play in the bigger picture of things. It's not about focussing on the negatives, it's about trying to prevent negative long term effects; a healthy eco-system is by far more important than having an appealing farmland view.

I know! I have to say, I have a soft spot for oilseed rape fields, I think they're pretty, but otherwise, how is farmland amazing countryside? "The great outdoors" and all... give me a mountain (live very close to the Lake District, lol) or thick woodland any day!

Those are sort of nice but the pollen does get everywhere! But yeah, proper wild landscape is much prettier anyday.

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If Evolution wanted these species to still be here, they'd still be here. or is that to simplistic?

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If Evolution wanted these species to still be here, they'd still be here. or is that to simplistic?

Evolution does not have a will, it's a process ;) But if it did, I would guess it's will had very little to do with most of these extinctions. PRocesses in nature are slow and a lot of these species did not die out from natural causes. Our increasing influence may in some cases overrule natural selection, most exreme example would be dog breeding, evolution would probably not 'want' bulldogs who are unable to mate without assistance either but it has happened. But we don't stop at species we have made our own, we have a massive influence on natural eco-systems around us as well. Wolves were systematically hunted to extinction, there is not an awful lot nature or evolution can do about that, and as the UK is an island there is not even potential for recolonisation as is the case in many other European countries.

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If Evolution wanted these species to still be here, they'd still be here. or is that to simplistic?

Bit too simplistic, this is simply to with us as a species being destructive.

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Evolution does not have a will, it's a process ;) But if it did, I would guess it's will had very little to do with most of these extinctions. PRocesses in nature are slow and a lot of these species did not die out from natural causes. Our increasing influence may in some cases overrule natural selection, most exreme example would be dog breeding, evolution would probably not 'want' bulldogs who are unable to mate without assistance either but it has happened. But we don't stop at species we have made our own, we have a massive influence on natural eco-systems around us as well. Wolves were systematically hunted to extinction, there is not an awful lot nature or evolution can do about that, and as the UK is an island there is not even potential for recolonisation as is the case in many other European countries.

bold part. - isnt the destruction by Humans not a natural cause? i always thought that Humans where just another species on Earth.

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bold part. - isnt the destruction by Humans not a natural cause? i always thought that Humans where just another species on Earth.

Yes, but our species happens to have an effect on nature that is unprecedented in it's destructiveness which is why our effect is often considered to be not natural.

If we're going to conserve nature we need to draw a line somewhere. If we're going to class our behaviour as 'normal' and 'natural' why bother about overfishing, habitat destruction species extinction, let's just go ahead and run it all into the ground unchecked, it's the natural cause of things after all!

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Those are sort of nice but the pollen does get everywhere! But yeah, proper wild landscape is much prettier anyday.

I imagine I wouldn't like them as much if they gave me hayfever, like they do for many!

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