World’s Sixth Mass Extinction May Be Underway

By over-hunting, over-fishing, over-heating the planet, humans may have triggered the sixth known mass extinction in the history of Earth, notes a paper in the journal Nature and reported on by the news agency AFP. In early mass extinctions, most animal species were destroyed. Mammal species, typically a rare event, are on a decline, struggling against human encroachment on their habitats. If species under threat continue to go extinct, the next mass extinction could arrive as soon as in 300 years, a much faster pace than previous mass extinctions which took place over hundreds of thousands and even millions of years, reports researcher Anthony Barnosky. Weaknesses of the study, researchers advised AFP, include an incomplete fossil record and a focus on mammals in studying biodiversity. But there’s little doubt that numerous species are under threat, and efforts to rescue those, by reducing fossil fuels and employing sustainable practices, could also aid human survival. – YaleGlobal

World’s Sixth Mass Extinction May Be Underway

Species have been wiped out by human-caused habitat loss, over-hunting, over-fishing and the spread of germs
Friday, March 4, 2011
Copyright © 2011 AFP

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