Half of all animals on Earth will be extinct by the end of the century, and one in five are already at risk, according to a new report.
A team of the world’s top biology experts warn that humans are killing off the animal kingdom by sucking up the world’s natural resources at disturbing new rates, the UK Guardian reports.
“We grab all the fish from the sea, wreck the coral reefs and put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. We have triggered a major extinction event. The question is: How do we stop it?” Biologist Paul Ehrlich, of Stanford University in California, told the paper.
The report, commissioned for the a Biological Extinction conference, notes that poaching has also prompted a plunge in animal populations.
There are, for example, only 5,000 black rhinos left in the wild. Hunters kill and bag them because their horns worth more than $120,000 per pound and are used in Chinese medicine.
Leading biologists will meet at a Vatican conference this week to brainstorm how to prevent extinction.
“The living fabric of the world is slipping through our fingers without our showing much sign of caring,” the report notes.
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