At least five mass extinction events have decimated life on Earth over the past 450 million years — and experts believe civilization has already begun the sixth.
An international team of academics warns in a recent study published in the journal Biological Reviews that “the Sixth Mass Extinction has started on land and is becoming more plausible in freshwater.”
“Denying it is just flying in the face of the mountain of facts that is fast gathering, and there is no longer any space for doubt about whether mass extinction is really occurring,” they continued.
The team, lead by Robert Cowie, a research professor at the University of Hawaii, contends that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, which was founded in 1964, is too focused on bird and mammal species decline.
They have, however, analyzed just a minuscule proportion of invertebrates, such as insects, snails, spiders, and crustaceans, which account for 95% of animal variety.
This extinction problem is significantly more severe on land than in the seas, however many marine species are also endangered as a consequence of human activities.
Additionally, island habitats, such as Hawaii, have substantially higher rates of extinction than continental biomes. It’s a serious situation that life on Earth is in.
Reference- Journal Biological Review, VICE article, National Geographic, Forbes