Baa-Bye: Barnyard Species are Declining, Too
Sep 30, 2013 12:15PM
Zakri Abdul Hamid, Ph.D., chair of the independent Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, states that the disappearance of wild and domesticated plant and animal species constitutes a fundamental threat to the well-being and perhaps survival of humankind. His urgent message was most recently delivered in Norway to 450 international government authorities responsible for biodiversity and economic planning. “We are hurtling towards irreversible environmental tipping points that, once passed, would reduce the ability of ecosystems to provide essential goods and services to humankind,” Zakri stated.
Findings by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization show that genetic diversity, among even domestic livestock, is declining. Typically, breeds become rare because their characteristics either don’t suit contemporary demands or because differences in their qualities have not been recognized. When a breed population falls to about 1,000 animals, it is considered rare and endangered.
While we know of 30,000 edible plant species, only 30 crops account for 95 percent of human food energy; 60 percent of these crops comprise varieties of rice, wheat, maize, millet and sorghum.
Source: Science Daily