Mass Extinction

September 15, 2000 • Volume 10, Issue 31
Will half the Earth's species die out this century?
By Mary H. Cooper

Introduction

The San Diego Zoo's Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species in May celebrated the birth of pygmy loris twins, rare tree-dwelling lemurs from Southeast Asia. (Photo Credit: AFP Photos/Ron Garrison)
The San Diego Zoo's Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species in May celebrated the birth of pygmy loris twins, rare tree-dwelling lemurs from Southeast Asia. (Photo Credit: AFP Photos/Ron Garrison)

The world is facing the largest wave of plant and animal extinctions since the demise of thedinosaurs 65 million years ago. Surveys show that scientists regard extinction as one of the biggest environmental threats to the planet. They predict that 50 percent of all species may be lost during the 21st century, complicating efforts to feed Earth's growing population as well as develop new medicines. In the United States, environmentalists urge the government to take immediate steps to preserve biodiversity. But Congress remains divided over the Endangered Species Act, and business leaders say that the nation should focus on economic growth instead of setting aside habitat for species that are so similar to one another that the loss of some will have no discernible impact.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Dec. 15, 2017  Species Extinction
Feb. 17, 2012  Invasive Species
Oct. 2010  Wildlife Smuggling
Jun. 03, 2005  Endangered Species Act Updated
Sep. 15, 2000  Mass Extinction
Oct. 01, 1999  Endangered Species Act
Apr. 19, 1996  Protecting Endangered Species
Aug. 28, 1992  Marine Mammals Vs. Fish
Jun. 21, 1991  Endangered Species
May 24, 1991  Animal Rights
Feb. 12, 1988  America's Biological Diversity
Aug. 02, 1985  Wildlife Management
Sep. 16, 1977  Protecting Endangered Wildlife
May 10, 1967  Wildlife Preservation
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Wildlife and Endangered Species