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Humanity is ‘cutting down the tree of life’, warn scientists

The secretive indri (Indri indri) of Madagascar, the largest living lemur. It is also critically endangered and highly evolutionarily distinct with no close relatives, which makes its branch one of most precarious on the mammal evolutionary tree. In the likely event that the indri goes extinct, we will lose 19m years of unique evolutionary history from the mammal tree of life. Photograph: Pierre-Yves Babelon/Aarhus UniversityThe secretive indri (Indri indri) of Madagascar, the largest living lemur. It is also critically endangered and highly evolutionarily distinct with no close relatives, which makes its branch one of most precarious on the mammal evolutionary tree. In the likely event that the indri goes extinct, we will lose 19m years of unique evolutionary history from the mammal tree of life. Photograph: Pierre-Yves Babelon/Aarhus University

Published on The Guardian website on the 15th October 2018
Story by Damian Carrington, Environment Editor

 

More than 300 mammal species have been eradicated by human activities, say researchers

Humanity’s ongoing annihilation of wildlife is cutting down the tree of life, including the branch we are sitting on, according to a stark new analysis.

More than 300 different mammal species have been eradicated by human activities. The new research calculates the total unique evolutionary history that has been lost as a result at a startling 2.5bn years.

Furthermore, even if the destruction of wild areas, poaching and pollution were ended within 50 years and extinction rates fell back to natural levels, it would still take 5-7 million years for the natural world to recover.

Continue reading Humanity is ‘cutting down the tree of life’, warn scientists

‘Pesticides harm wildlife’

WEEDS, Pesticides are used to kill plantlife but they also kill wild flowers and other living things

Published in the Portsmouth News on the 22nd September 2018

Story by Ray Cobbett, from Hampshire Friends of the Earth, on the campaign against pesticides

 

A RECENT landmark judgement in California involving a school groundsman successfully suing a major chemical company for causing his terminal cancer has reignited the global debate about pesticides.

The California case concerned one of the best known pesticides on the market called Roundup, produced by Monsanto which has global sales of over $1.4bn (£1.06bn) and is familiar to most gardeners and local authorities.

The jury found in favour of the plaintiff and awarded exemplary damages of $280m (£212m). Up to 8,000 further actions are pending and Monsanto’s (now Bayer) share price has been hit.

Following the case, dozens of local UK councils are reviewing their own use of glyphosate based products like Roundup and some multiples are considering its removal from their shelves.

Continue reading ‘Pesticides harm wildlife’

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