(Image: Unsplash/Mark Kucharski)

As yet another Australian election campaign became mired in squabbling over the cost of cutting carbon emissions, conservation scientists were convening in Paris to drop a bombshell.

Around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades -- more than at any time in human history. The number is as brutal as it is mind-boggling -- our planet faces the loss of more than 50 species per day, every day, for the next 50 years.