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The sorry state of Earths species in numbers

Issued: 2018-03-16

By Phoebe Weston For Mailonline

Published: 08:14 EDT, 16 March 2018 | Updated: 08:14 EDT, 16 March 2018

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Earth is enduring the sixth mass species extinction which is plunging the planet into 'global crisis', scientists have warned.

Scientists warn humanity's voracious consumption and wanton destruction is to blame for the event, which is the first major extinction since the dinosaurs.

Two species of vertebrate, animals with a backbone, have gone extinct every year, on average, for the past century.

Currently around 41 per cent of amphibian species and more than a quarter of mammals are threatened with extinction.

Starting Saturday, a comprehensive, global appraisal of the damage, and what can be done to reverse it, will be conducted in Colombia.

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There are an estimated 8.7 million plant and animal species on our planet and about 86 percent of land species and 91 percent of sea species remain undiscovered. Of the ones we do know, 1,204 mammal, 1,469 bird, 1,215 reptile, 2,100 amphibian, and 2,386 fish species are considered threatened

Two species of vertebrate, animals with a backbone, have gone extinct every year, on average, for the past century. Hotter temperatures and less rainfall will have a dire impact on numbers of African elephants (pictured, stock image)

There are an estimated 8.7 million plant and animal species on our planet and about 86 percent of land species and 91 percent of sea species remain undiscovered.

Of the ones we do know, 1,204 mammal, 1,469 bird, 1,215 reptile, 2,100 amphibian, and 2,386 fish species are considered threatened.

Also threatened are 1,414 insect, 2,187 mollusc, 732 crustacean, 237 coral, 12,505 plant, 33 mushroom, and six brown algae species.

'The science is clear: biodiversity is in crisis globally,' WWF director general Marco Lambertini told AFP ahead of a crucial meeting of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

'We depend on biodiversity for the food we eat, the water we drink, the clean air we breathe, the stability of weather patterns, and yet our actions are pushing nature's ability to sustain us to the brink.'

Worryingly, the decline seems to be getting faster.

The global populations of 3,706 monitored vertebrate species - fish, birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles - declined by nearly 60 per cent from 1970 to 2012.

Climate change threatens the breeding patterns of marine turtles (pictured, stock image). More than 25,000 species of 91,523 assessed for the 2017 'Red List' update were classified as 'threatened'

- Two species of vertebrate, animals with a backbone, have gone extinct every year, on average, for the past century.

- Currently around 41 per cent of amphibian species and more than a quarter of mammals are threatened with extinction.

- There are an estimated 8.7 million plant and animal species on our planet and about 86 percent of land species and 91 percent of sea species remain undiscovered.

- Of the ones we do know, 1,204 mammal, 1,469 bird, 1,215 reptile, 2,100 amphibian, and 2,386 fish species are considered threatened.

- Also threatened are 1,414 insect, 2,187 mollusc, 732 crustacean, 237 coral, 12,505 plant, 33 mushroom, and six brown algae species.

- The global populations of 3,706 monitored vertebrate species - fish, birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles - declined by nearly 60 per cent from 1970 to 2012.

- More than 25,000 species of 91,523 assessed for the 2017 'Red List' update were classified as 'threatened'.

- Of these, 5,583 were 'critically' endangered, 8,455 'endangered', and 11,783 'vulnerable'.

More than 25,000 species of 91,523 assessed for the 2017 'Red List' update were classified as 'threatened'.

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