Since the origin of life on Earth, there are five episodes of mass extinction of species.
(i) How is the 'Sixth Extinction', presently in progress, different from the previous episodes?
(ii) Who is mainly responsible for the 'Sixth Extinction'?
(iii) List any four points that can help to overcome this disaster. (3)
(i) The difference is in the rates of extinction. The current extinction rates are estimated to be 100 to 1000 times faster than in the pre-human times.
(ii) Human activities in the ecosystem are responsible for the faster rate of Sixth Extinction. Main reasons for extinction include- habitat loss and fragmentation, over-exploitation, alien species introduction and co-extinction.
(iii) a. Biodiversity hotspots' region with very high levels of species richness and high degree of endemism should be identified and conserved. Three of these hotspots are Western Ghats and Sri Lanka, Indo-Burma and Himalaya.
b. National parks and Sanctuaries should be developed.
c. Creation of 'sacred groves' in which all the trees and wild life are venerated and given total protection, for example, in India, they are found in Khasi and Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya, Aravali Hills of Rajasthan, Western Ghats region of Karnataka.
d. Zoological Parks, Botanical Gardens, Wildlife Safari Parks can also help to overcome such extinction. (3)