Wednesday July 20, 2022


The global extinction crisis underway may be more intense than previously thought as humans continue to tear up land, overuse certain resources and heat up the planet, new research led by the University of Minnesota indicates.

Nearly one in three species of all kinds — 30% — face global extinction or have been driven to extinction since the year 1500, according to the new survey published in the journal “Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.”

That’s significantly higher than prevailing global estimates and the findings surprised lead author Forest Isbell associate professor in the university’s Department of Ecology, Evolution & Behavior. He said one of the reasons is that it takes more insects and other lesser-studied species groups into account.

“I honestly figured it was much lower,” Isbell said. “I would have estimated it was 20%.”

Prevailing global estimates have ranged from 12.5% across all species groups to 25% of the well-studied ones, such as animals and plants, he said.

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