Way of the Dodo… Dutch settlers clubbed the last 50 pound flightless bird to death in Mauritius in 1680. The 7 ton Stellar’s Sea cow only took 27 years for it to disappear at the hand of Bering Sea fur hunters. They loved the meat, it tasted like veal. That was 1768.
According to George B. Schaller (1980) 150 vertebrate species have vanished since 1600. Now extinction rates are accelerating everywhere.
When habitat is reduced by 90 percent of its original size 50 percent of the plant species will become extinct.
Most people only notice bigger species like the whooping crane or orangutan.
It is estimated that we are losing 10 – 40,000 species per year. We know more about stars in the heavens than the 1.7 million species of life that have been described thus far but thats a drop in the bucket because more exist and who knows they might harbour a cure for some disease, who knows….. when they disappear it will be too late.
Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson
“The one process ongoing in the 1980’s that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of genetic species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is a folly our descendants are least likely to forgive us.”
Canada Post has recently produced an attractive commemoration issue for Canadian Endangered Species.