Sixth Mass Extinction:  The Holocene Extinction

The Holocene extinction is the extinction of species during the present Holocene epoch (since around 10,000 BC).  The extinction includes families of plants and animals including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and arthropods.  The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources has recorded 875 extinctions occurring since 1500 but the vast majority of extinctions are unrecorded.   The Holocene extinction includes the disappearance of large mammals during the end of the last Ice Age, for example, wooly mammoths, wooly rhinoceros, saber-toothed cats, ground sloths, and so on.  These include the loss of a third of the large mammals in Eurasia and two thirds of the large mammals in North America.  These extinctions are believed to have been caused by the climate change as well as due to proliferation of humans.

However the later stage extinctions are believed to be caused largely due to the presence of humans.  Scientists believe that the current extinction rate is between 100-10,000 times the background extinction rate.  Human induced causes of this extinction include deforestation, hunting, introduction of pets that affect indigenous species and so on.
The Holocene extinction, otherwise referred to as the Sixth extinction or Anthropocene extinction, is the ongoing extinction event of species during the present …
Did climate change or humans cause the extinctions of the large-bodied Ice Age mammals (commonly called megafauna) such as the woolly rhinoceros and woolly mammoth?
Species are disappearing at an alarming rate,a new study finds. Author Elizabeth Kolbert says that raises questions about our survival.


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