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Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction

Updated on June 20, 2015

The Sixth Extinction

The planet is currently losing species at a rate not seen since sixty-six million years ago when the age of the dinosaurs was ended. These stats were just released by a study coming from a collaboration led by researchers at Stanford University, Princeton University an the University of California, Berkeley.

This study, comparing the documented extinction of vertebrates from fossil data and other historical data with the current studies documenting the species we are losing daily.

Consider the numbers between how many species we are loosing: If there are 100,000,000 species on earth and we are loosing nearly 0.01% of all species a year, then we are loosing almost 10,000 species a year. What stops us from being next?

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Species We Have Lost In Our Lifetime

Baiji Dolphin
Baiji Dolphin
Caribbean Monk Seal
Caribbean Monk Seal
Alaotra Grebe
Alaotra Grebe

Did You Know Any Of These Animals Went Extinct?

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Our Extinction

Consider If the past rate was just two mammal species per 10,000 total species for every 100 years, which is a conservative figure, then the average rate over the last century is over 114 times higher than it was without human activity.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, almost 40 percent of all amphibian species and just barely over 25 percent of all mammals species are threatened by extinction every day.

How Can We Prevent This Loss Of Species?

America and North America possess a remarkable array and great diversity of not only plant life but also a wide range of animal species, varying from majestic mammals such as the great bison and large grizzly bears to tiny desert wildflowers.

Unfortunately, many of our species have not fared well over the past few decades suffering from things such as habitat loss and the spread of invasive species introduced by the spread of humans and their effects on the econonmy.

Scientists estimate that up to one-third of all U.S. species are at increased risk of extinction, and now, as recent as 2015, more than 1,400 U.S. plants and animals already have been federally listed as threatened or endangered and protected under the Endangered Species Act passed to attempt to reverse these terrible trends.

Below is an excerpt taken from the National Wildlife Federation

"Our Approach to Endangered Species Protection Includes:

  • Defending and strengthening the Endangered Species Act, which provides an essential legal safety net to prevent the loss of plant and animal species to extinction.

  • Holding federal agencies and others accountable for complying with laws protecting rare and endangered species using cooperation, persuasion, and--where necessary--litigation.

  • Advocating for increased funding for private landowner incentives and other conservation programs that benefit endangered species.

  • Protecting and restoring the habitats on which endangered species and other wildlife depend for their survival, and encouraging wildlife-friendly land management practices.

  • Reducing threats to wildlife that can lead to their endangerment and extinction, such as loss of habitat, contamination of water and spread of invasive species.

State Wildlife Action Plans

One of the best ways to protect endangered species is to prevent their decline and deterioration in the first place. Toward that end, National Wildlife Federation works to maintain healthy populations of fish, wildlife, and plant species through promoting broad-based conservation efforts such as State Wildlife Action Plans.

Global Warming

Global warming is making the protection of endangered species increasingly challenging. Climate change not only affects our plants and animals directly--through changes in temperature and precipitation for instance--but can worsen the impact on endangered species of traditional threats, such as invasive species, wildfires and diseases."

But What Can You Do To Help The Endangered Species?

Take time out of your day or week to teach and inform
each your friends and family about the various wonderful wildlife, birds, fish and plants that live in your area. The first step to protecting endangered species is learning about how interesting and important they are. Our natural world provides us with many indispensable services including clean air and water, food and medicinal sources, commercial, aesthetic and recreational benefits. For more information about endangered species, visit

Visit a national wildlife refuge, park or other open space
. These strictly federally protected lands provide the perfect safe habitat to many native wildlife, birds, fish and plants. Scientists oftenwill tell us the best way to protect endangered species is to first protect the places where they live. One can get involved by volunteering at your local nature center or wildlife refuge. Go wildlife or bird watching in nearby parks to gain a much better understanding of the wildlife. Wildlife related recreation creates millions of jobs across the country and supports local businesses. To find a wildlife refuge near you, visit To find a park ne


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