Extinction: a sad reality

There are around 1.3 million described and cataloged species on Earth right now (animals, plants, fungi, protozoa, chromista) and an estimated 7 million more. .01% to .1% of these species will go extinct in the next year. That is between 130 and 1300 species that will be erased from Earth.

These numbers and calculations are debatable. But the fact remains that species are going extinct, and at the highest rate since the extinction of the dinosaurs.

In 2011, the West African Black Rhino was declared extinct. In 2007, the Golden Toad was declared extinct. The St. Helena Olive tree went extinct in 2003.

West African Black Rhino

It makes me sad to know that I will never be able to see these species in real life. It seems so unfair and cruel that humans have changed this planet so much, species that were here long before us have been eradicated.

Gone, never to be seen again, completely non-existent. The balance of ecosystems is being upset. I am only recently seeing extinction as an issue, and it has followed from my thoughts on whether one life is worth more than the other.

I’m sorry Rhino, I’m sorry Toad, and I’m sorry Olive Tree. I’m sorry to all of the species, whether big and popular or tiny protists that have been wiped from Earth primarily because of humans. Your memory lives on, and we will try to reverse all the damage we can to prevent this in the future.

Check out the IUCN Redlist to learn more about species and habitat loss, and what is being done to help.