Species are threatened in every habitat on every continent
In the time is takes you to read this page, one of our planet’s unique species will become extinct. By this time tomorrow, a further 150–200 will have disappeared forever. And by this time next year, over 50,000 more.
This alarming rate of extinction is 100-1,000 times, and perhaps even 11,000 times, greater than the expected natural rate.
One in four of the world’s mammals are now threatened with extinction in the near future. So are one in eight birds, one in five sharks, one in four coniferous trees, and one in three amphibians.
By and large, the cause of this decline is human activities. The land we use for living space, food, clothing, housing, fuel; the things we buy; and the waste we produce – all this contributes to the main causes of species loss:
The plight of polar bears, pandas, and other large iconic mammals is generally well known, at least in industrialized countries.
But most people don't stop to consider whether the fish they eat, the house plants they buy, or the herbal tea they drink comes from a threatened species, or whether taking it from the wild harmed its habitat or another species.
Most people also don't realize that hundreds of millions of plants and animals are harvested from the wild each year, from thousands of species.
We want to make sure that cacti, cod, and all other species involved in wildlife trade are harvested sustainably and in a way that doesn't hurt other species or their wider ecosystem.