Just to illustrate the degree of biodiversity loss we're facing, let’s take you through one scientific analysis...
*Experts actually call this natural extinction rate the background extinction rate. This simply means the rate of species extinctions that would occur if we humans were not around.
- The rapid loss of species we are seeing today is estimated by experts to be between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate.*
- These experts calculate that between 0.01 and 0.1% of all species will become extinct each year.
- If the low estimate of the number of species out there is true - i.e. that there are around 2 million different species on our planet** - then that means between 200 and 2,000 extinctions occur every year.
- But if the upper estimate of species numbers is true - that there are 100 million different species co-existing with us on our planet - then between 10,000 and 100,000 species are becoming extinct each year.
** Between 1.4 and 1.8 million species have already been scientifically identified.
Unlike the mass extinction events of geological history, the current extinction challenge is one for which a single species - ours - appears to be almost wholly responsible.
This is often referred to as the 6th extinction crisis, after the 5 known extinction waves in geological history.
So without arguing about who’s right or wrong.
Or what the exact numbers are.
There can be little debate that there is, in fact, a very serious biodiversity crisis.