People have used and changed the Earth’s ecosystems in ways that affect other species’ ability to survive.
Extinction is a part of the evolution of nature – but not at the rate and scale of extinctions that the Earth is currently experiencing.
Five times in the Earth’s geological history, mass extinctions occurred. The last known time this happened was when the dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago.
Now it is happening again, on an even larger scale. As a result of human impacts, the current rate of extinction is 100 to 1,000 times higher than average.
More about the species extinction crisis:
A lot to lose:
“Opossums have existed for 60 million years;
whales for 12 million.
… The monarch butterfly
with a brain the size of a few grains of sand
can navigate 2,500 miles.”
“There can be no purpose more enspiriting than to begin the age of restoration,
reweaving the wondrous diversity of life that still surrounds us.”
—Edward O. Wilson