Posted by: aboutbirds | October 14, 2009

Epicenters of Extinction: Immediate Action Required

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As many may know, there is an extinction crisis going on in our world. Some may say that extinction is natural and that’s true, but not at the rate its happening today. In today’s world, humans are the culprit for many endangered species. We are the core cause of what is happening to our fellow animals. Not all is lost, at least yet its not. A new study shows that an extinction crisis can be avoided in 595 sites around the world are conserved. This research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The research was conducted by the Alliance for Zero Extinction. This alliance includes well-known organizations such as the American Bird Conservancy, BirdLife International, and the National Audubon Society.

The study shows that 794 species need to be conserved immediately or they face extinction. This number includes all kinds of species, from mammals to reptiles, none are left out. Of all the extinction hotspots, only one-third are protected. That’s really not enough to stave off the extinction of nearly 800 of our animals. Even the sites that are protected are surrounded by dense populations, which doesn’t bode well for the animals within those sites.

The places with the most sites:

-The Andes in South America

-The Atlantic forests of Brazil

-The Caribbean

-Madagascar

-Mexico (has the most sites at 63)

-The United States

The 595 sites need to be conserved now if these species want to be seen in the future. Mike Parr, the Secretary of the Alliance for Zero Extinction, states that “this is a one-shot deal for the human race. We have a moral obligation to act. The science is in, and we are almost out of time.”

India is a place where you can see the need for the AZE. Jerdon’s courser is a wading bird not seen for nearly a century had been rediscovered in 1986. Now it is under threat by the building of a canal. That’s only one example of threats to endangered species. I’m sure there are more similar to that.

In the past, extinctions were mostly localized on islands, usually due to invasive species. Now, that’s not the case. Most of the extinction epicenters are on major continents. The times have changed and extinction is a very real problem. When will we wake up and realize what we are doing to the world?

Click here to read the full article.

Pictured: Jerdon’s courser credit Surfbirds.

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