4 min read

One Million Species Are Now Threatened With Extinction

It's NOT too late to save them.

We are losing animals and plants faster than ever before in the course of human history — and a groundbreaking new report, the most comprehensive of its kind, details the massive impacts on animals living on land and in water, in treetops and underground.

One million species of animals and plants are threatened with extinction, the study found. 

Orangutan clinging to last standing tree after forest was cut down
Endangered orangutan clinging to last standing tree after forest was cut down | International Animal Rescue

“The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever," Robert Watson, chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), said. "We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.”

But with the chilling findings is a renewed hope and sense of empowerment: Now that we know just how far the impacts of our human industries extend, we can put together real plans to do something about it. 

“It is not too late to make a difference," Watson said, "but only if we start now at every level from local to global.” 

Beach covered in plastic trash
Shutterstock

The report — which brought together hundreds of experts from 50 countries to look at how the planet has changed over the past 50 years — shows that the impacts of the damage aren’t just felt by distant polar bears, who have a harder time finding food as the polar ice melts beneath their feet, or far-off orangutans, clinging to a last standing tree after their forests have been razed: Our very own species is directly threatened by our exploitation of nature. Human children and grandchildren will grow up into an extremely troublesome and uncertain future unless we act fast to create systemic change both locally and globally.

"This is fundamental to humanity," David Obura, one of the main authors on the report, told The Guardian.

People carrying orangutan
International Animal Rescue

The report was called "a wake-up call that must be heeded" by Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. "Everyone needs the survival of these species for the health of the planet."

You can make a difference by telling your representatives to make the switch to cleaner energy and the preservation of the planet a top priority — because our lives literally depend on it.