I still remember the first time I observed the bones of the extinct Taleve bird of New Caledonia, in Oceania, east of Australia. It was 12 years ago. I could just imagine based upon the remaining bones that we extracted from a remote deep cave that this bird was big with a low ability to fly, making it very easy to be hunted. The Taleve bird was hunted for food until no live specimen was left. The Taléve bird is now an extinct species.
I like to share the dramatic story of the tiny island of Nauru isolated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 2,500 km north east of Australia. Thirty years ago, the island was the second world richest country per capita because Nauru possessed a valuable commodity, phosphate, a sought-after fertilizer ingredient. Today, the island is depleted of his unique income (phosphate), and combined with unsound investments, is now an ecological, economical, and social catastrophe. Electricity is scarce, obesity rate is high amongst its local inhabitant, and the abandoned phosphate mines are an environmental disaster.
Over hunting and mining activities are just two examples demonstrating how our impacts can be considerable and detrimental to our well-being. Species diversity is not only an objective entity but vital to our physical and spiritual being. The current wave of extinction is the result of habitat loss, global warning, introduction of invasive species, pollution, and over-harvesting.
How many species will have to vanish from our planet until we will act effectively to protect what is left? The list of recent extinct species is already long (800 species), while the number of species almost on that list is mind blowing (more than 16,000 species). Extinction of wild ecosystems along with plants and animals that compose them is irreversible, and protecting them is vital for our survival.
It is not too late to act, and with your help, we can transform bad news into successful stories around the world. Just to name a few, we will save the endangered Philippine forest turtle in the Philippines or the greater bamboo lemur in Madagascar from becoming extinct by empowering indigenous people and communities towards sustainable livelihoods, protecting their lands, and maintaining their traditions!
At Endangered Species International, we are strongly committed in stopping the sixth mass extinction that has already begun. We as human beings are responsible for the current mass extinction, but we are also the one who can stop it. Join us, live your dreams, and be part of this incredible challenge where the list of endangered plants and animals will decrease!
Read a conversation between Pierre Fidenci and Power Magazine on coral reef