World mass extinction could be underway, study says

( Mankind could be fast-forwarding another mass extinction, reports, quoting a study made by science journal, Nature. According to the study, the new extinction threat is based on habitation loss, over-hunting, over-fishing, the spread of germs and viruses and introduced species, and by climate change caused by fossil-fuel greenhouse gases-all of which are man-made activities.

Before man came into existence 500 years ago, noted the report, mammal extinctions were rare-just about two species died out every million years. However, in the last five centuries, at least 80 out of 5,570 mammal species have been wiped out.

The study advised that species conservation should be prioritized. French biologist Gilles Boeuf, Museum of Natural History President in Paris also put in his opinion on the matter. "At the rate things are going, by the end of this century, we may well have wiped out half of (the species), especially in tropical forests and coral reefs," he said.

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