Held on the 7th of September, National Threatened Species Day 2012 commemorates the death of the last Tasmanian Tiger, which was was held in Hobart Zoo in 1936. Logging and mining are wrecking wildlife habitats, and competition for land is peaking. Look at what is happening to Victoria's green wedges and Queensland koala habitat! Roads make the poaching of gorillas and other species easier, and people are arriving with human diseases. The natural extinction rate is one species per million per year. This means that in a given year, one out of every million species goes extinct. But now, we are losing species at a rate 100 to 10,000 times faster.
Garamba National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo — In 30 years of fighting poachers, Paul Onyango had never seen anything like this. Twenty-two dead elephants, including several very young ones, clumped together on the open savannah, many killed by a single bullet to the top of the head.
China's economic boom has created a vast middle class, pushing the price of ivory to a stratospheric US$1,000 per pound on the streets of Beijing.
Logging and mining are wrecking wildlife habitats, and competition for land is peaking. Roads make the poaching of gorillas and other species easier, and people are arriving with human diseases.
The natural extinction rate is one species per million per year. This means that in a given year, one out of every million species goes extinct. But now, we are losing species at a rate 100 to 10,000 times faster.
Within 30 years, 25% of mammal species will be extinct. Global warming could threaten a million species by 2050. 90% of large fishes have disappeared from the world's oceans. When we created plastics, it was the first time we created something that nobody eats.
We’re in the midst of the Earth’s sixth mass extinction crisis. Scientists say the number of species being lost is approaching levels reached during five pivotal extinction events that have swept the planet over the past 600 million years.
The previous mass extinction, the fifth, occurred 65 million years ago and wiped out the dinosaurs.
Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson estimates that 30,000 species per year, or three species per hour, are being driven to extinction. No population of a large vertebrate animal, us humans, in the history of the planet has grown so much, with such devastating consequences to our planet's co-inhabitants.
Overpopulation, overharvesting, habitat destruction, invasive species, and pollution are all taking their toll. With human populations continuing to climb, pressures promise to increase. At the root of those problems is our inability to master our own urges and moderate our grasping for the resources of the natural world.
At least half of all plant and animal species are likely to disappear in the wild within the next 30-40 years. Congo's gorilla population declined 90% in just 5 years.
Tigers, coral reefs and all the marine life they support, amphibians such as the golden frog of Panama, orang-utans, sharks, mountain gorillas, the marine iguanas of the Galápagos, albatrosses, chimpanzees and thousands of other creatures now face obliteration: hunted, rendered homeless, and poisoned by humans.
In short, humanity has a great deal of blood on its hands, spears and guns.
Wildlife are facing a tsunami of devastation, and a few ambitious scientists are facing up to the wave of extinctions. Zoos can only be the over-stretched Ark, easing the extinction surge created by human greed and overpopulation. For every Homo sapiens alive 50,000 years ago, there are 1 million alive today. Never before in the earth’s history has one kind of life gobbled up so much other life – and continues to do so.
If the 20th century was a time of expansion and growth for human population and economies, the 21st century will surely usher in a peak and decline in both.
This extinction - sixth in the 4-billion-year history of the Earth—"could be much more catastrophic than previous ones," says Paul Ehrlich, author of the controversial Population Bomb.
You can’t negotiate with the environment, Ehrlich said. A standard footprint analysis shows that if you want to be sustainable with the kind of civilization we have now – that is with seven billion people, about a billion of them hungry and about another two billion living more or less in misery – you have to have one and a half Earths.
A fifth of animals without backbones could be at risk of extinction, say scientists. Almost 80% of the world's species are invertebrates, meaning they lack a spinal column. This is particularly concerning as we are dependent on these spineless creatures for our very survival, Professor Jonathan Baillie, Zoological Society of London's director of conservation said.
Damming and the removal of water, in addition to human settlements disrupting habitat, are also adding pressure for the freshwater crabs, crayfishes, molluscs, dragonflies and damselflies included in the assessment.
Held on the 7th of September, National Threatened Species Day 2012 commemorates the death of the last Tasmanian Tiger, which was was held in Hobart Zoo in 1936.
Due to logging in its forest home, our very own animal emblem – the endangered Leadbeater's Possum – is sadly going the way of the Tassie Tiger. The surviving green forests where they sought refuge are today being logged for woodchips to make Reflex copy paper.
Australia is estimated to be home to more than 500,000 animal and plant species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Over the last 200 years, more than 100 animal and plant species have become extinct.
The first task we can do is to renew the natural pact between the Earth and humanity. The Earth gives us everything we need. The pact calls on us to be caring and respectful of the Earth’s non-human lifeforms and imitations.
In 1980, 95 year old Professor Frank Fenner announced to the World Health Assembly that smallpox had been eradicated, an achievement that is widely regarded as the World Health Organization's finest hour.
Homo sapiens will become extinct, perhaps within 100 years, he said. A lot of other animals will, too. It's an irreversible situation. I think it's too late. I try not to express that because people are trying to do something, but they keep putting it off.
Mitigation would slow things down a bit, but there are too many people here already.
Frank Fenner sees no hope for humans
There's no existence on a planet with non-human species.
ABS The list of nationally threatened species continues to grow in Australia, with 426 animal species (including presumed extinctions) and 1,339 plant species listed as threatened under the EPBC Act. Furthermore, there is some evidence that the rates of recovery once a species has been listed as threatened, whilst it is difficult to determine in short time periods, may be particularly low.
In a study conducted on 38 threatened species recovery plans across every state and territory, evidence of ongoing decline in populations was displayed in 37 per cent of cases.
In 20 years Bush Heritage Australia's network of private reserves has grown to nearly one million hectares and it hopes to add 6 million more by 2025.
Private conservation is absolutely critical because government's can't or won't be able to act in the space that we are able to act in. We can work in many ways more responsively, more nimbly, says Doug Humann, Bush Heritage CEO.
Catch and release surveys show 73 animals have been brought back from the brink of extinction, and more than 800 others given safe homes. Unfortunately, it's left to private enterprises, while governments, businesses and economist/bankers continue with their lethal “business as usual” with the lethal economic growth model.
Wilfred Batty of Mawbanna, Tasmania, with the last Tasmanian Tiger known to have been shot in the wild. He shot the tiger in May, 1930 after it was discovered in his hen house.