Since the origin of life on Earth, there were five episodes of mass extinction of species.
How is the ‘Sixth Extinction’, presently in progress, different from the previous episodes?
The current rate of extinction is 100–1000 times faster than pre-human times. It seems that the Earth is heading for the sixth extinction, but it would be anthropogenic.
It is believed that (a) Tropical forests are losing 2–5 species per hour or 14,000–40,000 species per year. (b) Ten high diversity localities of tropical forests covering 3,00,000 km2 area are liable to lose 17,000 endemic plant species and 3,50,000 endemic plant species in the near future. (c) If the current rate of species extinction goes on unabated, then 50% of species are liable to die out by the end of the 21st century.