The sorry state of Earth's species, in numbers

2018-03-16 12:40
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris – As the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) prepares to unveil a thorough diagnosis of the health of Earth's plant and animal species, this is what we already know:

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

– Scientists say Earth is undergoing a "mass extinction event", the first since the dinosaurs disappeared some 65 million years ago, and only the sixth in the last half-a-billion years.

– About 41% of amphibian species and more than a quarter of mammals are threatened with extinction.

– About half of coral reefs have been lost in the last 30 years.

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

– 25 821 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".

– African elephant numbers dropped to 415 000 in 2016, down about 111 000 over 10 years.

– There are an estimated 8.7 million plant and animal species on our planet. This means about 86% of land species and 91% 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.

– Annual economic losses as a result of deforestation and forest degradation alone may be as high as $4.5 trillion.

– A conference of the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) agreed in Nagoya, Japan in 2010 on a 20-point plan to turn back biodiversity loss by 2020.

– The plan's so-called "Aichi Biodiversity Targets" include halving the rate of habitat loss, expanding water and land areas under conservation, preventing the extinction of species on the threatened list, and restoring at least 15% of degraded ecosystems.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    biodiversity

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.