Young People Can’t Remember How Much More Wildlife There Used to Be

Deforestation, climate change, and environmental disasters are doing damage not only to humanity but also to wildlife. Unfortunately, more and more species are either disappearing or entering the endangered list and young people don’t even realize this. If you ask the elderly, they will surely remember how diverse wildlife used to be back in the days and how many species went extinct in just the past 10 years.

Research has shown that young people are not aware of these changes because they do not remember the times when there used to be a wide variety of wildlife.


This type of behavior is known as the “shifting baseline syndrome” and it refers to the fact that younger generations tend to perceive the world around them as normal in its actual state because they don’t have other terms of comparison.
Lizzie Jones from the University of London conducted research involving 900 subjects of different ages. They were asked to identify whether they observed changes in the population of 10 UK bird species. It seems like the younger subjects were not very good at identifying the number of birds that existed in the past.
Older subjects were able to recall memories of those birds and describe where they saw them in their youth.

Jones hopes to contribute with her research to the conservation of different species and to help young people become more aware of the environmental dangers facing our planet.

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