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| Last Updated:: 27/12/2014

Lonely Planet 2014When many creatures big and small join the exodus, a mass extinction event approaches

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The planet's biodiversity may be reaching a tipping point and we could be in the early days of a sixth mass biological extinction event, warned a Stanford study.

 

Estimates of the total number of species of animals, plants and fungi alive swing between two million and 50 million, making it unclear how many species are alive today and how many of these face extinction threats.

At the upper rate, thousands of species are disappearing each year and if that trend continues, it could lead to a mass extinction, defined as a loss of 75% of species by 2200 said a "status report of life on Earth" compiled by Nature.

 

Many undocumented species are believed to inhabit small regions of the planet with their habitats facing threats from human population pressures.