Wildlife advocates have been warning us about the problems wild plants and animals have been facing as more and more species are erased from the landscape. Now a new report has painted a grim picture of a world that will be void of 10 iconic species that are vanishing before our eyes.
The report which was just published by the Endangered Species Coalition offers a grim outlook when it comes to opportunities for the next generation to see species of wild plants and animals that were once abundant, but it also offers hope that there’s still time to change the future through our personal actions.
“With each passing day, our children are less and less likely to experience the full beauty of nature and see the kind of wildlife that baby boomers, Gen Xers, and even Millennials experienced,” said Leda Huta, executive director of the Endangered Species Coalition. “We owe it to our future generations of Americans to protect our vanishing wildlife and the special places they call home.”
The top 10 species include the mountain yellow-legged frog, monarch butterfly, North Pacific right whale, great white shark, little brown bat, whitebark pine, rusty patched bumblebee, greater sage-grouse, polar bear and the Snake River sockeye salmon. The species were nominated by member groups and the top 10 were later selected by the coalition’s Scientific Advisory Committee.
Sadly, the causes of the drastic declines in these species are being caused by us.
In its report, the coalition cites an on slaught of pesticides, declining ocean health, dirty energy production and climate change as some of the major factors affecting these species, but also includes a variety of ways we can still make a difference for wildlife, which will also help ensure a healthy environment for future generations to come.
- Taking actions from planting trees to help monarch butterflies survive their epic migration and choosing sustainable seafood to urging leaders to ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides that are harming bees and other critical pollinators can help.
- We can also keep asking them to crack down on the Navy’s use of sonar that is hurting whales and other marine animals and continue to call on our elected officials to take meaningful action to curb climate change, which can also help plant species like whitebark pine, which dozens of other species, including grizzly bears, depend on for survival.
- We can also build bat houses that help provide shelter for little brown bats. Though they may be tiny, these little bats are providing a vital environmental service by controlling pests.
“As the situation for many species grows ever more dire, our direct actions are able to rescue some of them from extinction,” said Dr. Peter Raven, President Emeritus, Missouri Botanical Garden. “This list should inspire hope and at the same time lead us to devote full attention to the species most in need.”
Even though the outlook is grim, hopefully this report will help inspire us to continue fighting to protect our environment and keep working to keep these species from disappearing forever.