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How sand mining affects biodiversity

This post is in honour of the International Day for Biological Diversity celebrated on May 22nd. Sand mining has tremendous impacts on biodiversity. But the harsh reality of such impacts are often cloaked in bare-boned catch-all phrases such as 'human impacts on the environment'. What does this mean in the context of indiscriminate sand mining?

SandMining & Biodiversity.jpg

Christina Larson reports how it means all of this and more:

When the sand banks are gone, the [terrapin] is gone.
— Peter Praschag, a biologist at the Conservation Breeding and Research Center for Turtles in Graz, Austria
the kind and amount of food the cranes consume may no longer be enough to fuel egg laying at the levels the birds managed in the past
— James Burnham, a conservation biologist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
sand mining [in the yantze basin] has destroyed crucial spawning, feeding and rearing grounds for its aquatic organisms,
— Yushun Chen of the Institute of Hydrobiology in Wuhan, China

I invite you to read her article Asia’s hunger for sand takes a toll on endangered species

I urge you however, not to consider this as Asia's problem alone. It is truly a global phenomenon and it needs greater attention.

We live in a world where over 15,000 scientists from a variety of disciplines have issued a second warning to humanity that we are on a collision course with the natural world.

Collectively, global fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals declined by 58% between 1970 and 2012. (See Ripple et al., 2017)

If this isn't a call to action, I don't know what is.