It was just before sunrise in July when the botanists Naomi Fraga and Maria Jesus threw on backpacks and crunched their way across a brittle alkaline flat in the hottest corner of the Mojave Desert. Their mission: to rescue a tiny plant teetering on the brink of extinction.
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An early estimate points to a huge die-off along the Pacific Coast, and scientists say rivers farther inland are warming to levels that could be lethal for some kinds of salmon.
A: Globally, up to 1 million species are at risk of extinction because of human activities, according to a United Nations report released in May. Many experts say a “mass extinction event” – only the sixth in the past half-billion years – is already underway. More at USA Today