"We discovered that, using numbers from the higher taxonomic groups, we can predict the number of species," said Sina Adl, one of the co-authors of the study. "The approach accurately predicted the number of species in several well-studied groups such as mammals, fishes and birds, providing confidence in the method."
Census Results for the Five Kingdoms of Eukaryotes (approximate)
ANIMALS – 7.77 million species (of which 953,434 have been described and cataloged)
PLANTS – 298,000 species (of which 215,644 have been described and cataloged)
FUNGI – 611,000 species (of which 43,271 have been described and cataloged)
PROTOZOA – 36,400 species (single-cell organisms with animal-like behavior, such as movement, of which 8,118 have been described and cataloged)
CHROMISTS – 27,500 species (including, brown algae, diatoms, water molds, of which 13,033 have been described and cataloged)
Many of the researchers involved in the census look forward to the discovery of the millions of species yet to be described, but they fear that many species may disappear before they are even discovered.