He 28 percent of the deaths of the animals were caused directly by humans, as suggested by a new study carried out by a team of scientists from the Faculty of Environmental and Forest Sciences (FSE) of the State University of New York and the Department of Agriculture of U.S.
In the study, published in the magazine Global Ecology and Biogeography, deaths of 42,755 animals reported in 1,114 studies were analyzed.
As the study concludes, humans have a "disproportionately large effect" on the survival of other vertebrate species. The study included mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians that died in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania between 1970 and 2018.
The study authors analyzed deaths of known cause among 120,657 individual animals of 305 vertebrate species. As explained by the co-author Jerrold L. Belant:
We all know that humans can have a substantial effect on wildlife. We are only one among more than 35,000 species of terrestrial vertebrates worldwide, but responsible for more than a quarter of their deaths provides a perspective of how great our effect really is. And that is just direct causes. When urban growth and other changes in land use that reduce habitat are also considered, it becomes clear that humans have a disproportionate effect on other terrestrial vertebrates.
They are huge figures, but understandable if we consider that 75 percent of the Earth's land surface is affected by human activity.