One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly. October 7, 2008 9:01 PMSubscribe
A massive global study concludes a quarter of the 5,487 wild mammal species on the planet are threatened with extinction, according to a report released Monday at a World Conservation Congress in Spain. The researchers conclude that not only are one in four mammal species threatened with extinction, but more than half of all mammal populations are declining... The scientists sum it up saying of the 4,651 species for which enough data is available, 1,139, or 25 per cent, are now threatened with extinction. Marine species are a particular concern, with an estimated 36 per cent of species threatened. Species not classified as threatened are not necessarily safe, they say, noting 323 mammals are classified as "near" threatened. And for 52 per cent of all species for which data exist, trends show the populations declining.
The scientists say it is unfortunate environmental issues are taking a back seat to the economic crisis in the federal election campaign. "The economy will recover, it always does," says Derocher. "But whether the planet will recover is a totally different question, and one I think is much more profound."