Imagine if all the dogs in the world suddenly disappeared. Fluffy, Bingo, Rover – gone. Forever. In other words, extinct. Who’d fetch the morning paper? What would the world do with all those leftover leashes?
Man’s best friend would go down in history with animals we’ve already said goodbye to, like the Dodo, the Golden Toad, and the Javan Tiger. But don’t fret, Fido is actually nowhere near the brink of extinction.
Unfortunately a lot of other species are, and more and more are joining The League of The Extinct everyday. There might not be anything we can do for the ones already gone, but we can still make a difference for those just hanging on! (keep reading).
A Brief History of Extinction
Of all the species that once roamed Planet Earth, a whopping 99.9% are now extinct! Many of them died in five catastrophic events.
A lot of scientists believe that the world is actually in the middle of a sixth great extinction. Only this time the cause isn’t a meteor, or another natural event. In fact there’s a clear culprit: humans. We’re wreaking havoc in a few ways:
- Destroying and degrading habitat
- Introducing invasive species and disease into new areas
- Polluting the environment
Did you know…scientists estimate the current rate of extinction is 100 to 1000 times higher than the normal rate. Yep, you read that right, up to ONE THOUSAND times!
Things might seem pretty bad, but there is a good side to all of this, and it involves YOU.
When we step up and start protecting species in trouble, we can make a real difference. Tons of awesome new species, like the spectacled flowerpecker bird and the ninja slug (real name), have been discovered in Borneo since 2007, after the government decided to protect 220,000 square kilometres of rainforest.
The sooner we start protecting species, the better off they’ll be.