In the time is takes you to read this page, one of our planet’s unique species will become extinct. By this time tomorrow, a further 150–200 will have disappeared forever. And by this time next year, over 50,000 more.
This alarming rate of extinction is 100-1,000 times, and perhaps even 11,000 times, greater than the expected natural rate.
One in four of the world’s mammals are now threatened with extinction in the near future. So are one in eight birds, one in five sharks, one in four coniferous trees, and one in three amphibians.
By and large, the cause of this decline is human activities. The land we use for living space, food, clothing, housing, fuel; the things we buy; and the waste we produce – all this contributes to the main causes of species loss:
- Habitat loss
- Unsustainable trade
- Climate change
- Invasive species
- Human-animal conflict