Humans are a thousand times as "dead" as sharks

superior white shark

Although super predators are well known, scientists have now given humans a numerical value for the first time.

They claim that nearly half of all wild animals are in danger of extinction because we use about a third of them for food, medicine, or as pets.

Compared to natural predators like the great white shark, we are hundreds of times more dangerous.

They also warn of grave repercussions for entire ecosystems.

Dr. Rob Cooke of the Wallingford, Oxfordshire-based UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology said, "The size and scale of what we found surprised us.".

The variety of ways that humans use animals is astounding, but we must work toward global human-nature relationships that are sustainable. ".

Baby parrots recovered from a wildlife smugger
Wild birds are in danger of going extinct due to illegal pet trade smuggling.

Data on nearly 50,000 different wild mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish species that people either capture in the wild for the pet trade or harvest for food, medicine, or other purposes was analyzed by the researchers.

A third of all vertebrate species—14,663 species—are used or traded by humans, and 39 percent of these are headed for extinction, according to their research.

Furthermore, we have an impact that is up to 300 times greater than that of top predators like the great white shark, lion, or tiger.

More than at any other time in history, humanity now has a significant impact on other species.

Many marine species are in danger due to overfishing.

The Anthropocene, when human activity has had the greatest impact on the climate and environment, is about to begin.

The natural world has changed as a result of domesticated animals making up the majority of animal species on land today.

According to the researchers, overusing wild animals will have "profound consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem function.".

In Nature Communications, the study is published.

At @hbriggs, follow Helen.

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