How Many Animals Are Born Each Day?
In a recent article, Lizzy McNeill of the BBC asked how many animals are born each day. This is obviously a hard number to calculate. Millions of chicken eggs are produced each day. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations estimate that 62 million chickens are born a day worldwide.
Wildlife Britain estimates that in the UK an estimated 1,917.808 rabbits are born every day. However, the mortality rate for rabbit kittens is high, with the majority not reaching adulthood.
Other animals breed less. Humboldt Penguins lay clutches of eggs of usually two at a time. They may produce two clutches a year, so four eggs in total. Not all eggs survive incubation. McNeill estimates that 14,400 Humboldt penguins hatch each year, which is only 40 a day. This isn’t a great deal, which is why the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) calls the Humboldt penguin a vulnerable species. When you compare the number of Humboldt Penguins born to chickens born, there are striking differences.
What is a vulnerable species?
IUCN says that a species is vulnerable if they are likely to become endangered if their survival and reproduction does not improve. Vulnerable species are monitored. There are currently over 5000 animals classified and vulnerable and nearly 7000 plants, compared to 2815 and 3222 in 1998. Cryoconservation of animal genetic resources (freezing and storing of animal and plant genetic material at very low temperatures using cryogenics) or cryopreservation is one approach towards preserving genetic elements from vulnerable or endangered species.
A species becomes an endangered species if they are very likely to become extinct.
There are thought to be around 7.7 million known species on the planet at the moment, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimate that 95% of the ocean and 99% of the ocean floor are unexplored. Who knows how many species will be found when we are able to explore these unexplored areas.
New species are being found daily, but many animals are plants are at severe risk of extinction.
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