Despite this astonishing abundance, it is becoming increasingly clear that invertebrates are far from invulnerable to human pressures. A recently released report by the Zoological Society of London – Spineless: Status and Trends of the World’s Invertebrates – estimates that one-fifth of invertebrates are at risk of extinction. This is the same as the proportion of threatened vertebrates. However, vertebrates' plight receives vastly more attention.
It is worrying that invertebrates appear to be following the same path towards extinction as vertebrates – largely without us even noticing.