Vol. 1 No. 2 (2017)
Articles

Saving living diversity in the face of the unstoppable 6th mass extinction: a call for urgent international action

Fred Naggs
The Natural History Museum
Bio
This image of the cover of this issue of The Journal of Population and Sustainability has the title in block letters on a grey-green background.

Published 2017-05-01

Keywords

  • mass extinction,
  • conservation,
  • cryobanking,
  • land snails,
  • international collaboration

How to Cite

Naggs, F. (2017). Saving living diversity in the face of the unstoppable 6th mass extinction: a call for urgent international action. The Journal of Population and Sustainability, 1(2), 67–81. https://doi.org/10.3197/jps.2017.1.2.67

Abstract

The global scale and impact of current and increasing human population size is incompatible with the survival of biological diversity and the 6th mass extinction cannot be stopped. For the vast majority of species we have neither the knowledge of when they will go extinct nor the capacity to find out. Conventional conservation measures can only amount to token damage limitation. Advances in molecular biology allow low cost options for storing the genetic diversity of numerous species and maximising future options for restoring species.

References

  1. Abbott, R., 1989. Compendium of landshells. Melbourne, Florida: American Malacologists.
  2. Alicata, J., 1966. The presence of Angiostrongylus Cantonensis in the islands of the Indian Ocean and probable role of the giant African snail, Achatina Fulica, in the Dispersal of the parasite to the Pacific Islands. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 44 pp. 1041–1049.
  3. Barnosky, A.D., Matzke, N. Tomiya, S., Wogan, G.O.U. Swartz, B., Quental, B., Marshall, C. McGuire, J.L., Lindsey, E.L., Maguire, K.C., Mersey, B. and Ferrer, E.A., 2011. Has the Earth’s sixth mass extinction already arrived? Nature, 471 pp. 51–57.
  4. Beck, J., 2011. Species–area curves and the estimation of extinction rates. Frontiers of Biogeography 3(3) pp. 81–82.
  5. Benson, W.H., 1858. Note sur la transportation et al naturalisation au Bengale de l’achatina fulica de Lamarck. Jouranal de Conchyliologie, 1, pp. 266–268.
  6. Blanford, W.T., 1868. On the occurrence of Diplommatina huttoni and Ennea bicolor in the West Indies. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, 4 pp. 110–112.
  7. Budha, P.B., Naggs, F., 2005. The giant African land snail Lissachatina fulica (Bowdich) in Nepal. The Malacologist, 45 pp. 19–21.
  8. Caley, M.J., Fisher, R., Mengersen, K., 2014. Global species richness estimates have not converged. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 29(4) pp. 187–188.
  9. Ceballos, G., García, A., and Ehrlich, P.R., 2010. The sixth extinction crisis: Loss of animal populations and species. Journal of Cosmology, 8 pp. 1821-1831.
  10. Ceballos, G., Ehrlich, P.R., Barnosky, A.D., García, A., Pringle, R.M., and Palmer, T.M., 2015. Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction. Science Advances, 19 Jun 2015, 1(5): e1400253.
  11. Clarke, B., Murray, J. and Johnson, M. S. 1984. The extinction of endemic species by a program of biological control. Pacific Science, 38(2), pp. 97–104.
  12. Cowie, R.H., Evenhuis, N.L., and Christensen, C.C., 1995. Catalog of the native land and freshwater mollusks of the Hawaiian Islands, Leiden: Backhuys.
  13. Crampton, H . E. 1932. Studies on the variation, distribution, and evolution of the genus Partula. The species inhabiting Moorea. Carnegie Institute of Washington, Publication 410, pp. 1–335.
  14. Darwin, C. 1845. Journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle round the world. Second Edition (original published in 1839) London: Murray.
  15. Darwin Initiative Secretariat, 2014. Learning note: poverty and the Darwin Initiative. [pdf] LTS International, [online] Available at: http://www.darwininitiative.org.uk/assets/uploads/2014/05/DI-Learning-Note-poverty-and-biodiversity-2014-Final.pdf [Accessed: 21 December 2016].
  16. Giller, G., 2014. Are we any closer to knowing how many species there are on earth? Are there half a million? 100 Million? After decades of research, there is no consensus. Scientific American April 8, 2014, [online] Available at: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-we-any-closer-to-knowing-how-many-speciesthere-are-on-earth/ [Accessed: 21 December 2016].
  17. Godwin-Austen, H.H., 1908. The dispersal of land shells by the agency of man. Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London, 8 pp. 146–147.
  18. Groombridge, B., (Ed.), 1992. Global biodiversity: status of the earth’s living resources : a report compiled by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre in collaboration with the Natural History Museum, London; and in association with IUCN-the World Conservation Union. London; New York: Chapman & Hall.
  19. Hayward, M. W., 2009. The need to rationalize and prioritize threatening processes used to determine threat status in the IUCN Red List. Conservation Biology, 23, pp. 1568–1576.
  20. Hildyard, A (Ed.), 2001. Endangered wildlife and plants of the world. International Wildlife Encyclopedia, 10 pp. 1299–1440.
  21. Hochkirch, A., 2016. The insect crisis we can’t ignore. Nature, 539 p. 141.
  22. IUCN Red List, 2015, [online] Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org/ [Accessed: 21 December 2016].
  23. Jones, S., 2014. Obituary Bryan Clarke. Heredity, 112 pp. 569–570.
  24. Laurance, W.F., Sayer, J., and Cassman, K.G., 2014. Agricultural expansion and its impacts on tropical nature. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 29 pp. 107–116.
  25. Lerman, D., Blömeke, B., Browne, R., Clarke, A., Dyce, P.W., Fixemer, T. B., Fuhr, G.R., Holt, W.V., Jewgennow, K., Lloyd, R. E., Lötters, S., Paulus, M., McGregor Reid, G., Rapopor, D.H., Rawson, D., Ringleb, J. Ryder, O.A., Spörl, G.I., Schmitt, T., Veith, M., and Müller, P., 2009. Cryobanking of viable biomaterials: implementation of new strategies for conservation purposes. Molecular Ecology, 18 pp. 1030–1033.
  26. Lydeard, C., Cowie, R.H., Ponder, W.F., Bogan, A.E., Bouchet, P., Clark, S.A., Cummings, K.S., Frest, T.J., Gargominy, O., Herbert, D.G., Hershler, R., Perez, K.E., Roth, B., Seddon, M., Strong, E.E., and Thompson, F.G., 2004. The global decline of nonmarine mollusks. BioScience 54 (4) pp. 321–330.
  27. Lunney, D., and Ponder, W. F., (Eds.), 1999. The other 99%: the conservation and biodiversity of invertebrates. Mosman: Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales.
  28. Murray, J. and Clarke, B. 1980. The genus Partula on Moorea: Speciation in progress. Proceedings of the Royal Society London Series B, 211, pp. 83–117.
  29. Murray, J., Johnson, M. S., and Clarke, B. 1982. Microhabitat differences among genetically similar species of Partula. Evolution, 36, pp. 316–325.
  30. Naggs, F., 1997. William Benson and the early study of land snails in British India and Ceylon. Archives of Natural History, 24(1) pp. 37–88.
  31. Naggs, F., Panha, S., and Raheem, D., 2006. Developing land snail expertise in south and southeast Asia, a New Darwin Initiative Project. The Natural History Journal of Chulalongkorn University, 6(1) pp.43–46.
  32. Naggs, F. and Raheem, D. 2014. Preface. In: Raheem, D.C., Taylor, H., Ablett, J., Preece, R.C., Aravind, N.A., and Naggs, F. A systematic revision of the land snails of the Western Ghats of India. Tropical Natural History, Supplement 4 pp. 1–294.
  33. Puillandre, N., Bouchet, P., Boisselier-Dubayle, M.C., Brisset, J., Buge, B., Castelin, M., Chagnoux, S., Christophe, T., Corbari, L., Lambourdière, J., Lozouet, P., Marani, G., Rivasseau A., Silva, N., Terryn, Y., Tillier, S., Utge, J., Samadi, S., 2012. New taxonomy and old collections: integrating DNA barcoding into the collection curation process. Molecular Ecology Resources 12 pp 396–402.
  34. Regan, T. J., Burgman, M.A., McCarthy, M.A., Master, L.L., Keith, D.A., Mace, G.M., and Andekman, S.J., 2005. The Consistency of extinction risk classification protocols. Conservation Biology, 19 pp. 1969–1977.
  35. Régnier, C., Fontaine, B., and Bouchet, P., 2009. Not knowing, not recording, not listing: numerous unnoticed mollusk extinctions. Conservation Biology, 23 pp. 1214–1221.
  36. Régnier, C., Achaz, G., Lambert, A., Cowie, R.H., Bouchet, P., and Fontain, B., 2015. Mass extinction in poorly known taxa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112 (25) pp. 7761–7766.
  37. Tillier, S., and Clarke, B.C., 1983. Lutte biologique et destruction du patrimoine génétique: le cas des mollusques gastéropodes pulmonés dans les territoires français du Pacifique. Génétique, Sélection, Evolution, 15(4) pp. 559–566.
  38. Whitten, T., Holmes, D., and Mackinnon, K., 2001. Conservation biology: a displacement behaviour for academia. Conservation Biology, 15(1) pp. 1–3.
  39. Wunder, S. 2001. Poverty alleviation and tropical forests – what scope for synergies? World Development, 29 pp. 1817–1833.