Year 4, Month 8, Day 15: This Is Mine. This Is Mine. All This Is Mine.

The LA Times, on another big attractive animal:

The world’s most endangered feline species may become extinct in the wild within 50 years, researchers say, a victim of climate change.

A new report projects that Iberian lynx could become the first cat species in at least 2,000 years to become extinct, researchers found, largely because of the decline of the European rabbit, which makes up 80% of the cat’s diet.

The report, published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change, warns that current efforts to boost population of the distinctive tufted-eared cat will only “buy a few decades” for the animal that was once abundant in parts of Spain, Portugal and France.

Rabbit populations have drastically fallen because of overhunting, disease and habitat reduction, researchers said, with climate change a major driver.

Bla, bla, bla. July 23:

If it were only “charismatic megafauna” like the Iberian lynx that face extinction due to the onrush of climatic change, we’d have far less to worry about — although news reporters oriented towards such splashy stories might not notice the difference. Far more troubling than the fate of a single wild cat species is the ongoing decimation of Earth’s most valuable natural resource: the biodiversity which has filled every available ecological niche on the planet with life.

The fewer life-forms present in a large ecosystem, the less resilient the ecosystem. For example, monocropped agriculture is terribly vulnerable; while factory farms may be able to generate huge quantities of food, a single invasive virus or insect pest can destroy their productivity completely. Earth is currently undergoing a mass extinction event thanks to human-caused climate change; the Iberian lynx and the polar bears are just the tip of a (rapidly melting) iceberg.

Warren Senders

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