Picture a world where one eighth of the species that live on this planet are gone: Scientists say it's a closer reality than we may think.
In May a report was released by the United Nation's Biodiversity Services that said roughly one million species on the planet are at risk of going extinct if humans do not do something drastic to save them.
The report, which has more than 100 authors, also found that species including plants and animals are disappearing at an alarming rate due to human activity.
Species that dwell near San Diego are at risk: sea mammals like whales, sea turtles, and sharks are on the list of species that are endangered due to human encroachment.
Agricultural and land developments hurt animal habitats while overfishing and pollution are killing sea life, the study found. If serious changes are not made, these animals will no longer roam the Earth.
"Governments can have an influence on the type agriculture we have," said Anne Larigauderie, executive secretary of the Intergovernmental Science‑Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem. "We know how to do better agriculture that is just as productive but uses less pesticides and fertilizers."
Larigauderie was part of a panel at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla Wednesday brought together the brightest minds in ecology, biology, and conservation to discuss the issues of the biodiversity crisis.
Plants are not immune to the extinction epidemic, Larigauderie added. She said every human can help to save the species of Earth.
"You can do your part to help the planet," said Larigauderie. "With fruits and vegetables, try to eat what is local and in season."