While we celebrate Earth Day, we also mourn those voices we will never again hear. The creatures declared extinct in 2018…
Unlike mass extinctions in the past, our current extinction crisis is almost solely caused by humans — specifically activities that cause loss of habitat, introduce alien species and contribute to the changing climate.
The Earth is losing animal species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the natural rate, and as many as 30 to 50 percent of the planet’s species may be extinct by 2050, says the Center for Biological Diversity. The natural rate is around one to five species lost each year.
“Our planet is now in the midst of its sixth mass extinction of plants and animals — the sixth wave of extinctions in the past half-billion years,” the center stated. “We’re currently experiencing the worst spate of species die-offs since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.”
Every year, we lose one to five species … forever. Here are the Species we destroyed in 2018. The first four are truly extinct, the remaining are effectively extinct:
- Po’ouli, Hawaii (due to invasive alien species, habitat destruction, climate change)
- Alagoas Foliage-gleaner and Cryptic Treehunter, Brazil (due to deforestation)
- Spix’s Macaw, Brazil (due to dam creation, trapped for trade and deforestation)
- Eastern Puma/Cougar, United States (due to deforestation/destruction of habitat, over-harvesting of white-tailed deer, the cougar’s primary prey)
- Vaquita, Gulf of California (only 30 left)
- Northern White Rhino, Sudan (virtually—last male gone; due to extensive poaching for their horns)
Rest in Peace, my friends…