We don’t know exactly how many species go extinct every year but it could be 100,000 – about 1 every 5 minutes [Source: WWF – How many species are we losing?].
The current rate of extinction is up to 10,000 times higher than the average historical extinction rates. We, the humans, are almost wholly responsible for this increase. [Source: Wikipedia – Holocene Extinction].
The worsening and loss of biodiversity is projected to continue, and even accelerate. Direct human activity and climate change is the cause of this – for example though the destruction of forests and coral reefs [Source: WWF – Priority and Endangered Species].
Within the next 10 to 40 years it is likely that the following animals will become extinct: polar bear, chimpanzee, elephant, snow leopard, tiger, mountain gorilla, orangutan, giant panda, rhino and the koala bear. Unfortunately, these are just a few of the many… [Source: WWF – Priorty and Endangered Species].
These are the ‘big’ species that everybody knows and loves. But there are hundreds of species of fauna and flora that few people think about: these are the species that we set out to help. By giving small sums of money to groups and organisations which can change their local environment for the preservation of species, we can make a great difference.
For instance, fishing in Sri Lanka has caused dramatic and serious reduction in the numbers of turtles by destroying their breeding grounds and killing the adults in fishing nets: organisations have been set up and educate the local population, which now understands the problem and steps have been put in place which already show an improvement in survival rates for the turtles and also benefit the local community.
But species conservation is pointless if there are problems with the condition or extent of the habitat that supports them. Whilst focussing on threatened and endangered species it is important that a holistic approach is taken to species and habitat management.