The Extinction Crisis

Earth now faces a global extinction crisis never witnessed by humankind. Scientists predict that more than 1 million species are on track for extinction in the coming decades. Every taxon is in trouble –

  • Amphibians: More than 33% of the known 6,300 species are at risk of extinction.
  • Birds: 12% of known 9,865 species are considered threatened, with 2% facing an “extremely high risk” of extinction in the wild.
  • Fish: 21% of 8,814 species evaluated in 2010 were at risk of extinction, including more than a third of sharks and rays.
  • Invertebrates: 1.3 million known species. 30% of 9,526 species evaluated are at risk of extinction.
  • Mammals: 50% of the 5,491 species are declining in population and 20% are clearly at risk of disappearing. No less than 1,131 species are classified as endangered, threatened, or vulnerable.
  • Reptiles: 21% of species evaluated are endangered or vulnerable to extinction.
  • Insects: Dramatic rates of decline that may lead to the extinction of 40% of the world’s insect species over the next few decades.
  • Plants: Of the more than 300,000 known species of plants, 68% of the 12,914 species evaluated are threatened with extinction.

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