Extinction is becoming common among species. Unfortunately, humans are a species, too. Fortunately, we’re not on the list, yet. Previous estimates worked from broad analyses. An analysis of specific species from which there was sufficient data reveals that approximately 25% (28,000 out of 106,000) species are threatened with extinction. The total only represents ~1% of the total species; but is statistically important. The study results resonate with previous reports of biodiversity loss, total estimates of ~ one million species threatened, and precipitous drops in insect species and populations. If it seems like there’s less need to wipe bugs off your windshield, it probably has more to do with the bugs than your windshield. The subsequent worry is that some ecosystems are reliant on key species, and if those species become extinct (like some corals), then entire regions can suffer. An additional consequence is that some such regions provide buffers from weather upsets and landslide, possibly wildfires. The causes are a long but familiar list: pollution, land use, climate change, pesticides, etc. Whether other species will fill the niches may be moot for civilization because the next species may not establish itself until the damage to nature and infrastructure has happened.
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