Scientists are defining the present massive global loss of species, induced principally by human activities, as the Sixth Extinction. It is considered to be of comparable scale, even higher according to some projections, to the previous five mass extinctions, that of the dinosaurs being perhaps the most popularly known. In his lecture “Gibraltar and the Sixth Extinction: what can we learn from Martha and a sailor’s boot to save our wildlife’s future?” Stewart will give an overview of the current global situation. Specific and tragic examples will illustrate the way in which humans have eliminated entire species from the planet in historical times. Species are being lost at an alarming rate.
Can local efforts across the planet help to slow down this global runaway loss of species? In the second part of his lecture, Stewart will look at Gibraltar as a case study with examples of species that have also disappeared locally as a result of human pressure. He will discuss how these losses came about and look at ways of mitigating further impacts and even attempting to redress the balance where possible.