The escape of Lilith the Lynx from a zoo in Wales has focused attention once again on the question of what exotic beasts might be roaming the British countryside. Sightings of “big cats” in the UK are more frequent than a naturalist might expect. Since the 1760s, when William Cobbett,…
Our planet is in the midst of what scientists call the sixth mass extinction. Since 1900, approximately 69 mammal species and 400 other types of vertebrates, including the Yangtze river dolphin and the passenger pigeon, have disappeared from our planet.
Of 12,914 evaluated plant species, 68 percent are in danger of becoming extinct. The loss of a species can impact ecosystems in ways we are just beginning to understand.
The loss of a single species can have profound effects on other species, including humans. Case in point: bees, the sole pollinator for a wide variety of plants and a critical catalyst in global food production.
Bees are suffering massive population losses due to the use of deadly pesticides. If bees were to become extinct, many popular foods would also disappear—among them apples, tomatoes, and almonds.