This is what we want to leave for future generations? Thousands of species going extinct each year? I hope not. The IUCN Red List for 2008 includes the monitoring of 44,838 species, of which 869 (2%) are now extinct, 16,928 (38%) are threatened with extinction, 3,513 (8%) are near threatened, and 5,570 (12%) have insufficient information to determine their threat level. Some highlights from the report include:
At this point in 2008, 1,141 of the 5,487 mammals on Earth are known to be threatened with extinction; a full 1/5 of all mammals. Amazing. Between climate change and our abuse of our eco-systems, we are very quickly driving many species to extinction at a much faster rate than would happen in nature without our help.
“Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live,” says Julia Marton-LefÃ¨vre, IUCN Director General. “We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives.”
Only 1.8 million species have been identified by scientists out of the estimated 8-14 million on the planet, so I can only imagine how many more are being driven to extinction that we don’t even know about. We care so much for our household animals and would do anything to keep them in good health – it’s too bad we are ignoring the massive amounts of animals going extinct every single day throughout the world. If 1,100 are to go extinct in 2008, that is about 3 species a day disappearing permanently from our world. And really, that’s 3 too many.
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