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How many animals are left in the world?

How many animals are left in the world?
Stevie Anderson from Tyne and Wear (Aged 5-14)

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2 Responses

  1. Nobody knows! It’s probably uncountable.

    However we can try and work out how many types or species of animals there are and this ranges from over 1 million types to 30 million types of different plants and animals on earth (including tiny animals not yet discovered and deepsea creatures). New plants and animals are being discovered and named each year.

    A few yaers ago scientists working on this question put sheets on the ground in a rainforest around some tall forest trees. They fogged (sprayed) those trees with insecticide to count what fell out of them. They discovered huge numbers of new insects and other small creatures that had never been seen or named before from just this tiny patch of forest.

    This is just different types of animals such as polar bears or robins or ants. When we think how many individual animals there are alive today, it would be into big maths – beyond millions to trillions.

    We know that some animals are getting rarer. Usually we know more about bigger animals (such as tigers) or animals from just one place (such as an island) because it is more possible for scientists to survey and count these over time. Then we can work out different ways to protect them such as protect their habitat or home areas or even set up zoo groups of rare animals to keep them safe and breed them.

    Sometimes sadly scientists are counting to see if the animal still survives or is now extinct like the Passenger Pigeon, Thylacine, Quagga or Dodo.

    You can do this type of survey activity at home through the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch each January. (You might not spot a Dodo though)

    Websites such as http://www.arkive.org, BBC nature sites or the Natural History Museum have information about some of the rare animals. http://www.biaza.org and the World Wildlife Fund sites are others where you can find out more about conservation.

    Hope this partly answers your question

    Mark Norris, Newquay Zoo.

  2. i think there is a shortage of animals. to many people are killing them.

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