By Scott Leslie
Scientists estimate that the entire biodiversity in the world is among 10 million and a hundred million species. of those, simply over 1.6 million and counting have really been catalogued and defined. One percentage, or 16,306, of these species are threatened with extinction, approximately one-fifth of them severely. Of this staff, a few have vanishingly small populations within the double or unmarried digits. a number of species, together with the Pinta Island significant tortoise and the Yangtze enormous softshell turtle, take a seat squarely at the border of extinction within the wild with a inhabitants of one.
In 100 below 100, Scott Leslie tells the interesting tales of species in far-flung areas 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 the various rarest of the infrequent are again from the edge of extinction in the course of the committed efforts of individuals round the world.
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Extra info for 100 Under 100: The Race to Save the World's Rarest Living Things [Paperback]
Only about 20 Hainan gibbons survive. Their last refuge is the Bawangling National Nature Reserve, the site of some of the last virgin tropical forest in China, where they live in two matriarchal family groups in undisturbed forest on the northeastern side of the reserve. Here, the seven-kilogram apes swing through the trees on their long arms, a way of getting around known as brachiation. Spanning gaps of 15 metres at speeds of up to 50 kilometres an hour, the agile apes travel gracefully through the canopy, stopping often to eat fruit.
As insurance against extinction, there are still several dozen South China tigers in captivity, and the Chinese government intends to reintroduce some of these animals into their former haunts one day. However, nobody knows exactly where the wild tigers currently live, so if they survive at all, there’s little at present that can be done to protect them. Fortunately, things look brighter for the better-studied Amur leopard, another big cat whose range includes China. AMUR LEOPARD A few hundred thousand years ago, African leopards reached Asia.
As a civilization, we’ve toiled to preserve and protect many great works, such as the Angkor Wats and the Mona Lisas of the world, not to mention countless pieces of art, literature, music, and artifacts which have meaning for us. As grim as the loss of any one of these would be, however, we could recreate it, at least in facsimile, within our lifetimes. But living things are treasures of a different kind, the result of thousands, millions, or billions of years of evolution (and they are equally precious if you believe they are God’s creations).
100 Under 100: The Race to Save the World's Rarest Living Things [Paperback] by Scott Leslie