Species and the ecosystems upon which they depend are going extinct faster than ever before.
The earth risks permanently losing a vast number of wild plant and animal species in an “extinction crisis” that is unparalleled in history for its speed and severity. The Convention on Biological Diversity estimates extinction rate as 100-200 times higher than the historical natural level, with the greatest losses on islands and in freshwaters, while the United Nations Environment Programme also identifies forest species as being particularly at risk. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is more pessimistic and believes that extinction rate may be a thousand times historical levels, estimating that 12% of bird species and 23% of mammals are at threat. Almost all species are currently declining in range and/or population size and all ecosystems are declining.
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