By Scott Leslie
Scientists estimate that the complete biodiversity on the earth is among 10 million and a hundred million species. of those, simply over 1.6 million and counting have truly been catalogued and defined. One percentage, or 16,306, of these species are threatened with extinction, approximately one-fifth of them significantly. Of this staff, a few have vanishingly small populations within the double or unmarried digits. a couple of species, together with the Pinta Island great tortoise and the Yangtze great softshell turtle, sit down squarely at the border of extinction within the wild with a inhabitants of one.
In 100 lower than 100, Scott Leslie tells the attention-grabbing tales of species in far-flung locations no one ever hears approximately, just like the northern hairy-nosed wombat, the Gorgan mountain salamander or the Irrawaddy river shark. toward domestic are the Vancouver Island marmot, the Wyoming toad and the Devil’s gap pupfish. Leslie additionally tells tales of hopeful development, as a few of the rarest of the infrequent are again from the edge of extinction during the devoted efforts of individuals round the world.
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Additional resources for 100 Under 100: The Race to Save the World's Rarest Living Things [Paperback]
As encouraging as this new find is, the other populations to the south are declining. Most greater bamboo lemurs live outside protected areas, so establishing formal reserves for them is a priority. It is estimated there could be 100 or fewer greater bamboo lemurs left in the wild. Yet even this population dwarfs that of the next primate discussed, possibly the rarest on the planet. MISS WALDRON’S RED COLOBUS MONKEY Willoughby Lowe, an employee of the Natural History Museum in London, did what good collectors do: he shot animals for a living.
Keeping cheetahs as pets or hunting animals wasn’t limited to royalty, however, and their widespread use by the wealthy continued into the 1800s. But the exploitation didn’t end there. The predator became the prey as the relentless killing of cheetahs, coupled with the elimination of the deer they needed to survive, reduced the cats’ numbers drastically by 1910. Add the destruction of native grassland habitat for agriculture, and the Asiatic cheetah was all but history. By the mid-20th century, the species was wiped out in India and southwestern Asia—the last three shot in 1947 by the Maharaja of Surguja, who also slaughtered 1,157 tigers during his life, thus playing an important role in ushering another Asian cat to near non-existence.
The echo parakeet’s recovery has been a resounding success. In 2007, it became the third Mauritius bird (after the kestrel and the pink pigeon) to be downlisted on the IUCN Red List from critically endangered to endangered. There are now about 400 of them in the wild. Saving endangered species and the rest of the earth’s living treasures is within our grasp. Here’s some proof: if you added together the populations of the Mauritius kestrel, the pink pigeon, and the echo parakeet just a few decades ago, you would have come up a number of less than 35.
100 Under 100: The Race to Save the World's Rarest Living Things [Paperback] by Scott Leslie