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At the time of 2010, the UN Environment Programme estimated that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours, and, that this is nearly 1000 times greater than "natural" rates. (source, para. 5)


My question is: How are baselines for extinction rates (regarding plant & animal species amongst the entire Earth) established, to then be able to say if an extinction rate for a given species is "normal" or not? What factors are considered most relevent?

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  • $\begingroup$ Good question +1. Note that a species does not have an extinction rate, only a larger clade does (referring to [..] extinction rate for a given species [..]). The accessory question is interesting also and I think deserves its own post. Blending the two questions in the same post make it a bit broad and may discourage some to answer when they can't answer both questions. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Aug 11 '17 at 3:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Remi.b I created a new post for the secondary question.. thanks for the advice :) $\endgroup$ – Charles Aug 11 '17 at 4:25

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