Scientists said that the dramatically increased rate of species extinction and the decline in many animal and plant populations is well documented. So there is no denying that the sixth mass extinction, which has long been predicted, has already begun.
The researchers noted that extinction deniers focus on mammals and birds and ignore invertebrates, which of course make up the vast majority of biodiversity. In a new study, the authors try to refute the arguments of the extinction deniers by focusing on the extinction of invertebrates.
Scientists say about 1.5% of mammal and bird species have gone extinct since 1500 AD, which is not that far from the "background" extinction rate. But if we turn our attention to invertebrates, the figure becomes much more dramatic. Interestingly, invertebrates account for the vast majority of known animal species (up to 97% by some estimates).
Researchers estimate that 7.5 to 13% of all known plant and animal species on Earth may have become extinct since 1500 AD.