Recent Rapid 88 Percent Decline of Big Freshwater Animals


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 09 August 2019

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

Alligator Gar
Alligator gar, by Zeb Hogan, Forschungsverbund Berlin.
With a maximum weight of about 130 kilograms, the alligator gar (wiki) is one of the largest freshwater fishes in North America. By Zeb Hogan, Forschungsverbund Berlin.

 

Already Outrageous Human Population Still Rising -- Nature Crashing Rapidly

88 Percent Decline of Big Freshwater Animals,
Forschungsverbund Berlin, August 8, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

"Freshwater megafauna include all freshwater animals that weigh 30 kilograms or more, such as species of river dolphins, beavers, crocodiles, giant turtles and sturgeons."

1970 to 2012
88% Decline
"From 1970 to 2012, global populations of freshwater megafauna declined by 88 percent - twice the loss of vertebrate populations on land or in the ocean."

Major Decliners
"Large fish species such as sturgeons, salmonids and giant catfishes are particularly threatened: with a 94 percent decline, followed by reptiles with 72 percent."

Study
"The scientists compiled available time series data for 126 freshwater megafauna species worldwide, as well as the historical and contemporary geographic distribution data of 44 species in Europe and the USA."

Grim Future of Expanding Global Overpopulation
Nature does Not Have a Chance
"Overexploitation is the primary threat to freshwater megafauna as they are often targeted for meat, skin and eggs. Furthermore, the decline of large fish species is also attributed to the loss of free-flowing rivers as access to spawning and feeding grounds are often blocked by dams. Although the world's large rivers have already been highly fragmented, another 3700 large dams are planned or under construction - this will exacerbate the river fragmentation even further. More than 800 of these planned dams are located in diversity hotspots of freshwater megafauna, including Amazon, Congo, Mekong and Ganges river basins..."

Poor Cousin
"According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, over half of all assessed freshwater megafauna species are considered as threatened with extinction. Nonetheless, they receive less research and conservation attention than megafauna in terrestrial or marine ecosystems."

 

Bottom Line

Rising Demand-Decreasing Supply
Water, Animals, & Resources
Currently increasing direct population pressures in Southeast Asia and Africa, along with projections for radically increasing future populations in both areas are accompained by projections for significantly decreased main river flows across both areas.

Darwin's Hammer
Jaws of Doom Version
This juxtipoisition of demographic and climate trends bodes poorly for the humans caught between the jaws of this vice in Africa and likely most of Asia, not just Southeast Asia, which means that this rising tide of humanity will consume most of the existing fresh water in these areas, and most of the life within it, and dependent on it. Current trends indicate to me that most of it, the water and the life within it, will be gone within forty years, if that long, all sacrificed to support this current human expansion that we are in the middle of, right now. 

 

Land Use

Growing Land Use Apocalypse Approaches

 

 

Climate

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Water Supply

Asia's Departing Glaciers Provide(d) a Now Disappearing Buffer against Drought Times

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2019: Earth's Mountain Glaciers Breaking Down Rapidly, Feeding 10 Inches Sea Level Rise by 2100

 

 

Context of Our Times...

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Freshwater News

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freshwater, river, animals, megafauna, rapid, decline, 88%, since 1970

 

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