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Now we are killing off species

Oh, what are we doing to our planet and the generations to follow us?   The latest threat is to species being driven to extinction.

A golden lion tamarin, which is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Speacies. (Photo: Jo Christian Oterhals/cc/flickr)

"A new study showing that the human activity has driven current rates of species extinction to 1,000 times faster than the natural rate is "alarming" and "should be a clarion call" to work towards greater conservation efforts, an environmental group charges.

The study, published Thursday by the journal Science and led by conservation expert Stuart Pimm, also warns that without drastic action, the sixth mass extinction could be imminent.

From habitat loss to invasive species to climate change to overfishing, humans are contributing to the plummet in biodiversity.

"This important study confirms that species are going extinct at a pace not seen in tens of millions of years, and unlike past extinction events, the cause is us," stated Noah Greenwald, endangered species director with the Center for Biological Diversity, who was not involved in the study.

While new technology like smart phone apps and crowd-sourcing have increased the amount of data collected on species, much still remains a mystery.

"Most species remain unknown to science, and they likely face greater threats than the ones we do know," Pimm said in a statement."

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