Today, like every day, is mostly a bad day for endangered species as scores of them on average will go extinct. Carol Arnold has this Perspective.
When I hear about yet another endangered species becoming extinct, I look to the biologist E.O. Wilson for hope. An octogenarian and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, his recent book Half Earth is the name he also gave the foundation he started with the goal of saving the world’s plants and animals.
Although “endangered” status is supposed to lead to recovery and sometimes does, many scientists report that about 50 to 200 species become extinct every day
Some visionaries hope to clone extinct animals, like passenger pigeons. I don’t hold out much hope for these efforts, just like I don’t hold out much hope for humans colonizing Mars when the earth is destroyed. I believe we are stuck with the animals we have, on the Earth that we have. “Take good care,” my Mom would say.
Wilson began his career studying ants, the tiny insects most of us consider pests. But without ants, entire forests would collapse. They are both soil aerators and carbon collectors. We depend on ants, just as we depend on everything else in the biosphere.