Researchers at Duke University discovered that the planet may be on the verge of a dinosaur-scale mass extinction. The research team concluded that the pre-human extinction rate was 0.1 per year per 1 million. Today, the rate of extinction is 1,000 times bigger than the 0.1 figure at 100 extinctions per year per million species. That rate, however, might actually be closer to 1000 per 1 million.
The extinction rate is due to a variety of reasons, but the number one reason is habitat loss due to human expansion. The second, climate change… caused by human activity… See a pattern?
For example, the white-tip shark was once one of the most prevalent predators on earth, but now, thanks to hunters, they are rarely seen in nature. Other high risk species include the Sumatran rhinoceros, Amur leopard, and mountain gorilla.
One of the biggest keys to stopping this rapid rate of extinction is identifying species in danger in the first place. Applications like iNaturalist can help laymen like you and me find species in trouble, allowing biologists to jump in to save habitats and use captive breeding to save a species.
Lest you lose hope, there is one success story so far. The Golden lion tamarin was once believed to be extinct due to habitat loss. A few were found and bred in captivity by biologists. Now, there is an abundance of tamarins, saved from extinction.