Singapore, a tiny island nation known for its vibrant cityscape and bustling economy, is facing a dire threat to its biodiversity. A recent study conducted by a team of biologists and environmental scientists has revealed that Singapore has experienced a staggering 37% extinction rate in plant and animal species over the past two centuries.
The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shed light on the alarming decline in biodiversity in Singapore. The study highlights the unfortunate consequences of deforestation and habitat loss that have occurred as a result of human activity.
Historically, Singapore was abundant with lush rainforests, covering almost the entire island. However, as the population grew and urbanization took precedence, large portions of the island’s forests were cleared to make way for infrastructure development. This destructive practice has led to the loss of not only trees and natural habitat but also countless species of plants and animals that once thrived in these ecosystems.
To examine the extent of biodiversity loss in Singapore, the researchers meticulously analyzed historical records dating back to 1796. These records documented over 50,000 plant and animal species, including 3,000 unique species. The researchers also employed mathematical models to estimate the number of “dark extinctions,” referring to the extinctions of species that were previously unknown to science.
The analysis revealed that Singapore’s overall extinction rate stands at a staggering 37% over the past two centuries. Among the most affected groups are butterflies, with nearly half of the island’s native species facing extinction. Additionally, 41% of bird species and approximately two-fifths of bee species have vanished. Even large mammals, including iconic species like tigers and leopards, have suffered a decline of around 60%.
The implications of these findings extend beyond Singapore’s borders. Based on the study’s results, the researchers extrapolated the estimates to other parts of Southeast Asia. They predict that if the current rate of deforestation continues, approximately 18% of all species in the region will face extinction by 2100.
The study serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for conservation efforts and sustainable practices in Singapore and beyond. It highlights the importance of preserving natural habitats and protecting biodiversity to ensure the long-term survival of numerous species and maintain the ecological balance.
Recognizing the severity of the situation, Singapore has already implemented various measures to address the issue. The government has committed to reforestation projects and the creation of nature reserves to safeguard remaining habitats. Additionally, public awareness campaigns and educational initiatives aim to mobilize society to contribute to conservation efforts.
While the challenges are formidable, the study’s findings act as a wake-up call for governments, organizations, and individuals alike. It is crucial that immediate action is taken to curb deforestation, restore habitats, and protect endangered species. Only through collective efforts can Singapore, and the world at large, preserve its invaluable biodiversity for future generations.
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it