Estimated total species on Planet Earth:
It is estimated there could be
Up to 15 million, or
40 million, or from
5 million to 100 million
1.4 million to 200 million, or
7 million to 100 million, or
10 million to 100 million
different species on Earth.
In other words,
we don't know
how many there have been (some are now extinct) or how many exist.
So far, scientists have only discovered and categorized
approximately 2 million plant and animal species (estimated at 1,770,000).
Imagine the vast number of wondrous and
that have evolved over millions of years that are yet to be discovered!
But, we may
never know how many there are
because many of them will become extinct before being counted and described.
On Vanishing Species
How many species inhabit the planet?
"Scientists agree on the sobering fact that most species that
walked, crawled, swam or flew at some point are now extinct."
"Scientists also agree
that current extinction rates are far higher than "natural" ones
because of human activities such as pollution, habitat destruction,
and climate change."
(Eco-Pros Endangered Species page)
Finding a world of surprises in unexplored places
Treasure of New Species Found"
“There should be no-anchor
zones. For things to survive there must be stricter controls,”
"Lost World Found
in New Guinean Jungle"
(Fox News, 2/7/06)
Dozens of new species have been discovered in a remote jungle in Indonesia.
"We've only scratched the surface."
"Lost World of Wildlife Found in
Science News, 2/7/06)
“It’s as close to the Garden of Eden as you’re going to find on Earth,” said
Bruce Beehler, a Conservation International scientist who led the expedition.
Scientists finding two
new fish species a week
Marine scientists reported in November 2004 that they have
discovered 106 new species of fish and hundreds more new species of
plants and other animals in the past year. Launch the slide
show to see photos of some new species. (MSNBC, 11/23/04)
Earthwatch Teams Find New Species in Cameroon Rainforest
"Rainforests around the world are disappearing at an alarming rate,
before scientists can discover all of the species they contain and
how they may be valuable to medicine or agriculture. Volunteers from
Earthwatch Institute working in Cameroon rainforests have helped
discover 50 endemic plant and fungus species and varieties new to
science, a boon to the conservation of these forests."
(Earthwatch Institute, 10/1/04)
New monkey species an 'extremely significant discovery
"Scientists have discovered Africa's first new species of monkey in
more than 20 years."
There is great concern regarding protecting this new species in
their habitat as their forest home continues to be cut down and sold
as timber. Their habitat is considered severely degraded.
(CBC Health and Science
New species of salamander identified
"Everyone talks about how biologically rich the tropics are, but we
are still discovering species right here in the Klamath-Siskiyou."
(Seattle Times, 5/18/05)
Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center
Central Park Survey Finds New Centipede
"Central Park is home to a species of centipede never before seen,
reportedly the first new species discovered there in over 100
years." (Center for Biodiversity Conservation and American Museum of
Natural History, 1/29/03)
Scientists Find New
"Scientists have discovered a new species of brushy coral that
flames like a white and pink Christmas tree hundreds of feet below
the Channel Islands." (ENN, 2/10/05)
New Species of Organism Excites Astrobiologists
"The microorganism, a long, thin bacteria, is an extremophile - an
organism that can survive in some of the harshest conditions on
"The most ancient life forms on Earth, extremophiles can thrive in
acid pools, super-heated volcanic vents, glaciers, nuclear reactor
wastes, at high pressure and absolute darkness in deep-sea abysses
and in rocks far beneath the Earth's crust - conditions that would
be lethal to most other living things." (ScienceAGoGo, 7/31/03)
Royal Ontario Museum curators identify new amphibians reptiles and
insects on second trip to Vietnam
"Not only are
we discovering new species, but the species we thought we did know
and did understand are doing completely unexpected things -- living
in areas where they shouldn't be found, exhibiting strange physical
characteristics or habits. Vietnam is a huge mystery to us; it's a
scientist's dream come true." (Royal
Ontario Museum's work in Vietnam)
New bird species discovered "just in time"
A new species of bird has been
discovered in a lowland forest on the remote island of Calayan in
the northern Philippines.
Named The Calayan Rail, it
appears to be nearly or completely flightless.
"The Calayan Rail may be
classified as 'Vulnerable' under the World Conservation Union (IUCN)
Red List criteria for species of conservation concern.
Although they are not thought to be under immediate threat, the
development of roads on the island may lead to new settlements,
resulting in loss of habitat and the introduction of predators such
as cats and rats. Such alien predators have been implicated in
the majority of flightless rail extinctions."
(BirdLife International, 8/16/04)
Tropical Rainforests -
Saving What Remains