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Researchers did not state how long it predicted the human race to survive, but said there was scope to 'address the decay of biodiversity.'The report added: 'The strong focus among scientists on species extinctions, however, conveys a common impression that Earth's biota (animal and plant life) is not dramatically threatened, or is just slowly entering an episode of major biodiversity loss that need not generate deep concern now.'Thus, there might be sufficient time to address the decay of biodiversity later, or to develop technologies for 'de-extinction'.' The first of the traditional big five extinction events, around 540 million years ago, was probably the second most severe.
Virtually all life was in the sea at the time and around 85% of these species vanished.
And wildlife faces further 'biological annihilation' if measures are not taken within the next 20 years to arrest 'powerful assaults on biodiversity', researchers said.
The report said: 'As much as 50 per cent of the number of animal individuals that once shared Earth with us are already gone, as are billions of populations.'We emphasise that the sixth mass extinction is already here and the window for effective action is very short, probably two or three decades at most.'All signs point to ever more powerful assaults on biodiversity in the next two decades, painting a dismal picture of the future of life, including human life.'Wildlife is dying because of habitat destruction, poaching, pollution and climate change, the researchers said.
But the ultimate cause of species loss is 'human overpopulation and continued population growth,' the said.
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