According to a new study, up to a third of the parasites on Earth will become extinct by 2070 due to climate change. This not only reduces the number of species on the planet, but also speeds up the disappearance of other species.
There is no doubt that the Earth is about to enter a phase of mass extinction. Climate change makes ice melt, the oceans warm, weather patterns are broken. And the most dangerous thing is that organisms on the planet are being pushed to their ecological limits and in a very vulnerable state.
According to some estimates, 75% of species on the planet may disappear during this extinction process. And animals like frogs, marine mammals and bees are dying at an alarming rate. Currently, researchers have confirmed that these parasites that affect these animals are also at risk of extinction due to climate change.
Parasites are organisms that live inside or on other organisms and absorb nutrients from the host. Many types of worms and insects, like ticks and lice, have evolved to parasitize both humans and other vertebrates. Depending on the host, these parasites have different life cycles.
Climate change causes parasite extinction.(Photo: Internet)
To understand the effects of climate change on parasite populations, researchers collected 457 species in the US national parasite collection. The collection is located in the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian Institution. They spent many years tracking each specimen to understand the distribution of these species.
The researchers then used the information along with some climate models to determine how many types of parasite habitats may disappear in the future. They also calculated how the appropriate habitat of species could change if they were dispersed.
The parasite is one of the most threatened groups on Earth, researchers say. Depending on the climate model, a significant number of parasites will be lost. This is the largest forecast of species extinction. Fleas and ticks are the worst affected, while others - such as lice, in some cases increase.
Finally, the researchers concluded that climate change could cause a third of the parasites to become extinct by 2070.
Although we often assume that parasites are pathogenic bugs, they actually play an important role in the ecosystem. They help regulate the animal's immune system and prevent disease. By changing the behavior of animals, parasites facilitate the conversion of biomass between different levels in an ecosystem.
According to the researchers, the extinction of parasites not only reduces the number of species on the planet, but it also accelerates the disappearance of other organisms. That may make our already vulnerable ecosystem faster destroyed, and ecosystem-dependent communities are also at risk.
Anna Phillips - a zoologist and manager of the US National Parasite Organization, said: "The gradual climate change has a really profound impact on the ratio. extinction, and even in the best case, we will still see sweeping changes across the globe. '
Parasites play an important role in the ecosystem.(Photo: Internet)
Through this study, researchers gave us a clearer view of the threat of extinction in the near future of parasites. How to conserve them is a matter of great concern to researchers.
We have very little research on parasites, while they need a specialized conservation method, in accordance with their unique way of living. In addition, the diversity in quantity and the complex effects on the ecosystem they provide are also remarkable.
Protection of parasites is really a difficult job. Now scientists are calling for support from everyone to build the world's first parasite conservation database. This is an online portal to raise people's awareness of the importance of protecting this valuable species.