1 Tahrcountry Musings: Amazing diversity of life – Discoveries and extinctions

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Amazing diversity of life – Discoveries and extinctions

We are still in the process of making an inventory of the species of the earth .Innumerable species are lost for ever without going through our scanner as civilization advances. Roughly 1.8 million Species have been described to date, but scientists estimate there are between 2 million and 100 million species on Earth. I was startled to hear the number of species discovered per year. 16,969 species were discovered in 2006 according to a report published by Arizona State University's International Institute for Species Exploration, the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, the International Plant Names Index, and Thompson Scientific. An average of nearly 50 species per day. But as species are discovered, others are lost to extinction.
The report is titled State of Observed Species. Scientists warn that the rate of extinction is likely to increase as climate change intensifies. Earth is presently in the midst of a sixth great extinction, the Holocene. The previous mass extinctions in the past were the Ordovician, the Devonian, the Permian, the Triassic and the Cretaceous. Holocene is driven by human activities like habitat destruction, overexploitation, and the introduction of alien species. A revamp of Conservation efforts world wide is needed

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