There are approximately 5 million species on this earth today. That being said, we are currently on the verge of the sixth mass extinction. Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at up to 1,000 times the background rate, with as many as 30 to 50 percent of all species possibly heading toward extinction by mid-century. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, which provides the global conservation status of animals, fungi and plants, there are over 28,000 species that are threatened with extinction.
Unlike past mass extinctions that have been caused by natural events such as asteroid strikes, climate shifts, and volcanic eruptions, the current crisis is primarily caused by humans. In fact, 99 percent of threatened species are at risk from human activities, mainly those driving habitat loss, introduction of exotic species, and global warming. Many people view humans and animals very differently, but we are more connected to them than we may realize. Biodiversity is essential to human health. This refers to the variety of living species on Earth, including plants, animals, bacteria, and fungi. Because humans share ecosystems with these species, our survival is directly linked to them.
So, when I talk about protecting the Bengal tiger, the blue whale, or the northern white rhino, it’s not just that we should save these endangered animals for their own good, but it’s also for ours. The current legislation and government bodies that protect wild species from extinction are both being defunded and reorganized. It will be up to ordinary citizens and environmental groups to save these important links in our ecosystem. I have found that unawareness is a huge barrier when it comes to this issue. Educating others about extinction is just the beginning. I hope that Unraveling Species will be able to inspire viewers to learn more, and do their part to help the cause.