8.7 Million Species on Earth and Counting
Eight million, seven hundred thousand species (give or take 1.3 million). That is a new, estimated total number of species on Earth — the most precise calculation ever offered — with 6.5 million species found on land and 2.2 million (about 25 percent of the total) dwelling in the ocean depths.
Announced today, August 23, 2011, by Census of Marine Life scientists, the figure is based on an innovative, validated analytical technique that
dramatically narrows the range of previous estimates. Until now, the number of species on Earth was said to fall somewhere between 3 million and 100 million. Furthermore, the study, published today by PLoS Biology, says a staggering 86% of all species on land and 91% of those in the seas have yet to be discovered, described and catalogued.
To read the full release:
To read the full, open access paper on PLoS:
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) story: http://www.unep.org/newscentre/Default.aspx?DocumentID=2649&ArticleID=8838&l=en
University of Hawaii : http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/mora/PressRoom.html
LICO: A new program, Life in a Changing Ocean, will build on the success of the
Census of Marine Life. For more information, see www.lifeinachangingocean.org.