THE NATURAL EXTINCTION RATE (aka background rate) describes how fast plants, mammals, birds, insects, etc. would die off if humans weren’t around. Scientists state that today species are disappearing at almost 1,000 times the natural rate, meaning we’re losing around 150-200 species every day. Close to 15% of mammal species and 11% of bird species are currently listed as threatened with extinction.
With an increasing human population, more and more land is being appropriated to develop cities, acquire natural resources, and build farms, amongst other reasons. This means loss of habitat for many animal species. In addition to this, other beings need to contend with human-caused disasters such as oil spills, climate change, and acid rain. And on top of that there’s the issue of over-hunting / -fishing and poaching to sustain an illegal market that trades in animals. Continue reading