This subsection focuses on anthropogenic forms of wildlife destruction. Exploitation of wild populations has been a characteristic of modern man since our exodus from Africa 130,000 – 70,000 years ago. The rate of extinctions of entire species of plants and animals across the planet has been so high in the last few hundred years it is widely believed that we are in the sixth great extinction event on this planet; the Holocene Mass Extinction. Destruction of wildlife does not always lead to an extinction of the species in question, however, the dramatic loss of entire species across Earth dominates any review of wildlife destruction as extinction is the level of damage to a wild population from which there is no return.[clarification needed] The four most general reasons that lead to destruction of wildlife include overkill, habitat destruction and fragmentation, impact of introduced species and chains of extinction

In biology and ecology, extinction is the end of an organism or of a group of organisms (taxon), normally a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of the species, although the capacity to breed and recover may have been lost before this point. Because a species' potential range may be very large, determining this moment is difficult, and is usually done retrospectively. This difficulty leads to phenomena such as Lazarus taxa, where a species presumed extinct abruptly "re-appears" (typically in the fossil record) after a period of apparent absence. Through evolution, new species arise through the process of speciation—where new varieties of organisms arise and thrive when they are able to find and exploit an ecological niche—and species become extinct when they are no longer able to survive in changing conditions or against superior competition. The relationship between animals and their ecological niches has been firmly established.[2] A typical species becomes extinct within 10 million years of its first appearance,[3] although some species, called living fossils, survive virtually unchanged for hundreds of millions of years. Most extinctions have occurred naturally, prior to Homo sapiens walking on Earth: it is estimated that 99.9% of all species that have ever existed are now extinct.[3][4] Mass extinctions are relatively rare events; however, isolated extinctions are quite common. Only recently have extinctions been recorded and scientists have become alarmed at the high rates of recent extinctions.[5] Most species that become extinct are never scientifically documented. Some scientists estimate that up to half of presently existing species may become extinct by 2100.[6] It is difficult to estimate the trajectory that biodiversity might have taken without human impact but scientists at the University of Bristol estimate that biodiversity might increase exponentially without human influence