*** DEBUG END ***

Rare species ‘could face extinction’

02 January 2015


Doomed: a female northern white rhino, one of the last of the species

Doomed: a female northern white rhino, one of the last of the species

A MASS extinction of thousands of the world's rarest species could happen within the next two centuries, mostly at the hands of Man, the scientific journal Nature suggested last month

But the publication admitted that an accurate judgement is extremely difficult as only four per cent of the Earth's 1.7 million known species have been adequately assessed.

In an editorial, Nature argues that it is now imperative for governments and groups such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature to begin an accurate census of species on the planet and their rates of extinction.

"It is vitally important if we want to start protecting life on Earth from the worst impacts of our actions," the magazine said. "The loss for the planet is incalculable - as it is for our own species, which could soon find itself living in a world denuded of all variety in nature. As ecologist Paul Ehrlich has put it: 'In pushing other species to extinction, humanity is busy sawing off the limb on which it perches.'"

Nature has pulled together the most reliable available data from a variety of sources to provide a situation report of life on Earth: Biodiversity: Life - a status report.

It said: "Among the groups that can be assessed, amphibians stand out as the most imperilled: 41 per cent face the threat of extinction, in part because of devastating epidemics caused by chytrid fungi. More than a quarter (26 per cent) of mammal species and 13 per cent of birds face significant threats because of habitat loss and degradation, as well as activities such as hunting. . . Conservation policies could slow extinctions, but current trends do not give much comfort. Although nations are expanding the number of land and ocean areas that they set aside for protection, most measures of biodiversity show that pressures on species are increasing."

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events


Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available


Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE


Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available


Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)