@ Georgesplane- Are you ready for this? The news you ask for is sobering. Of the approximately 5500 mammal species, 22% are threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. This includes many iconic species like the lion, snow leopard, cheetah, tiger, elephant and other mammals. To be placed on the red list, a species must be threatened, endangered, or critically endangered. Some of the greatest species are down to populations that rank in the hundreds, and hundreds of mammal species (a couple percent) will likely to be extinct within a generation. This loss of biodiversity far outpaces the speed of evolutionary processes.
If you need a more sobering perspective, off all the major species in the world, the IUCN has identified 38% of them as threatened, endangered, or critically endangered. Another small percentage of all species is extinct in the wild, or have gone extinct altogether.
Although some may point out that conservation efforts have reduced the number of species on the red list, you must also take into consideration that 86% of the species on the list that changed from 2007-2008 moved closer to extinction. A sterile world with very little biodiversity is an extreme possibility within the next few hundred to thousand years.