3 Plant Species get extinct Every Year

The study published by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew makes the following observations:

  • 571 seed-bearing plant species have vanished from Earth or nearly 2 per year since 1750.
  • The rate of extinction has worsened to 3 per year in the last 100 years.
  • This is more than twice the number of extinct birds, mammals and amphibians combined.
  • Plants on islands and in the tropics are most likely to be declared extinct.
  • Between 21 to 30 seed-bearing plants disappeared since 1900 in India and the worst was in Hawaii, were 79 extinctions were recorded.
  • Hawaii was followed by Cape provinces of South Africa (37), Australia, Brazil for the number of extinctions.
  • The rate of plant extinction rate was 500 times greater now than before the industrial revolution. Even this is likely to be an underestimate.
  • There are thousands of living dead plant species, wherein they have no chance of reproducing because, for example, only one sex remains or the big animals needed to spread their seeds are extinct.

This large scale extinction is attributed to the destruction of natural habitats by human activities, such as cutting down forests and converting the land into fields for farming.