The Sixth Extinction website is created by Peter Maas, who lives in the Netherlands. After reading about animals that we won't see again in an old WWF sticker book for children he became interested in recently extinct species. Years later, after doing some more personal research he became shocked about the huge number of recent extinctions and how little this is known among the general public. Even during his study animal care and later wildlife management this appeared also be the case with people who work with (endangered) animals. Beside some (mostly old) books, it is also hard to find any information about these lost creatures. Certainly not in one place and with good and up to date information.
In 2000, Peter felt that the public should know about this loss of biodiversity and that it should be easily accessible for everyone. Therefore, he created a website about recently extinct animals. Later more extinction related topics, a forum and a website on recently extinct plants were added. The name changed from ‘Recently Extinct Animal’ into ‘The Extinction Website’.
Ten years later, the United Nations declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. Quoting their website: "It is a celebration of life on earth and of the value of biodiversity for our lives. The world is invited to take action in 2010 to safeguard the variety of life on earth: biodiversity". A good time to change its name into The Sixth Extinction and to give this website a major update, which is still work in progress! One new website about the current extinction or biodiversity crisis.
The Sixth Extinction is a non-profit educational website whose mission is to enhance free public access to information about recently extinct species, subspecies and varieties and extinction in general. Besides the enhancement of free public access to information its mission is also to spread the knowledge of the current extinction or biodiversity crisis among the general public so that they hopefully will become more willing to preserve the current variety of life on our planet.