There are around 100 million different species on the earth and about 0.01% of species go endangered every year. So about 10,000 species go extinct every year. But scientists and ecologists across believe that the current rate of endangered species is much higher. It can be within the range of 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than the natural rate species go endangered yearly. Going by this logic, if a lower estimation is considered, say there are around 2 million different species on the earth. Then the rate of endangered species will be within the range of 200 to 2,000 extinction annually. Natural conservationists believe that 99% of the species on earth undergo certain evolution. So those who cannot evolve as per the changes in nature get listed as endangered species. We are supposedly going through the 6th extinction crisis as the numbers of endangered species are on the higher side.
Number of species endangered every year
The impact of humans on the earth has been severe leading to mass extinction. Many experts assume that we are undergoing the 6th mass extinction phase. The previous five mass extinctions had been over the last 600 million years. As per the estimates of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 24 species in a day or 8,700 species annually go endangered every year. Again, scientists of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity estimate that daily 150 species are getting extinct. So the number of endangered species can be debatable. The advent of technologies benefitted in estimating the rate of endangered species using computer modeling. The technology estimates that 800 species got extinct in the last 400 years. So the numbers are even lesser than a tenth of 1% out of 1.9 million species on earth.
List of extinct species
- Dodo bird – The avian family member got extinct in 1690 as hunted by wild pigs and cats.
- Stellar’s sea cow – The endangered species go extinct in 1768 due to hunting for its oil and fur.
- Labrador duck – Since 1870, the species go extinct due to human competition for shellfish and mussels.
- Rocky Mountain locust – Another endangered species went extinct in 1900 as their habitat was destructed to have farmlands.
- Tasmanian wolf – The endangered beast became extinct due to loss of habitat, hunting, and intense competition from the dogs.
- Deepwater cisco fish – In 1952, the endangered species were outlived by rivalry and predation by other fishes.
- Hawaii chaff flower – It is an instance of military aggression as the habitat of the endangered species was destroyed to install military bases in 1962.
- Golden toad – The endangered golden toad got extinct from the earth due to the impact of climate change since 1989.
- St. Helena olive tree – Since 2004, the endangered tree vanished from the earth due to excessive plantation and logging.
Previous mass extinctions on earth
- The 1st mass extinction took place on earth 66 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous era. It led to the massive extinction of various endangered species belonging to terrestrial and marine habitats like avian dinosaurs, marine reptiles, mosasaurs, and others.
- The 2nd mass extinction took place 199 million during the late Triassic. It led to the extinction of various marine species owing to volcanic eruptions that led to the formation of the Atlantic Ocean.
- The 3rd mass extinction during the end of Permian 252 million years ago. It is the biggest extinction to date as many endangered species like insects, trilobites, and terrestrial animals became extinct.
- During the late Devonian era about 378 million years ago, many corals, single-celled foraminiferans, and brachiopods became extinct.
- During the late Ordovician era about 447 million years ago, many marine organisms became extinct.
Preserving the endangered species
Since industrialization during the 1800s, species across the world got endangered and gradually became extinct. The menace of water and environmental pollution has led to the extinction of endangered species like Chinese river dolphins, sockeye salmon, and the list goes on. So it requires a wholehearted initiative among the communities to preserve Mother Nature by protecting the endangered species. Fortunately, we can see initiatives like Save Tiger to save the endangered species from extinction. Scientists can also preserve the DNA of endangered species and prevent them from further extinction through cloning. The successful cloning of Dolly, the sheep in 1996 has led to new roads to preserve the endangered species across the world.