enzh-TWfrderues
  • African lion (Pan­thera leo)
  • Chee­tah (Aci­nonyx juba­tus)
  • Clouded leop­ard (Neo­fe­lis neb­u­losa) | more info
  • Euro­pean wild­cat (Felis sil­vestris)
  • Jaguar (Pan­thera onca)
  • Jaguarundi (Her­pail­u­rus yagouaroundi)
  • Puma, Moun­tain lion, Cougar (Puma con­color)
  • Ocelot (Leop­ar­dus pardalis)
  • Pal­las’ cat, Manul (Oto­colobus manul)
  • Sand cat (Felis mar­garita)
  • Ser­val (Lep­tail­u­rus ser­val)
  • Snow leop­ard (Pan­thera uncia) | more info
  • South Chines tiger (Pan­thera tigris ssp. amoyen­sis)

N

ature’s diver­sity should be admired and enjoyed instead of destroyed. Destruc­tion of your own habi­tat is like com­mit­ting sui­cide. There is ample evi­dence that sub­stan­tial bio­log­i­cal diver­sity keeps an ecosys­tem healthy, or even stronger: is nec­es­sary to let the ecosys­tems pro­vide their ser­vices. Now and again a new species is dis­cov­ered (which is not the same as evolved), but the species extinc­tion rate has never been so high. This leads to an enor­mous bio­di­ver­sity loss of which the con­se­quences will be dev­as­tat­ing when irre­versible. An increase of new species and loss of other species is insep­a­rabe from the evo­lu­tion­ary cycle, but when the ratio is off bal­ance changes will take place. Of course the global loss of bio­di­ver­sity is impor­tant, but the local diver­sity of flora and fauna is what really counts. On a local scale flora and fauna together form an ecosys­tem. So, dis­tur­bances on a local scale will affect the ecosys­tem and its ser­vices, like (clean) water, food (nutri­ent bal­ance), med­i­cine and dis­eases. This will be notice­able not only for researchers but also for the gen­eral public.

Dendrobates azureus tinctoriusThe blue dart-​poison frog (for­merly known as Den­dro­bates azureus but now con­sid­ered a color vari­ety of D. tinc­to­rius), found in low­land forests of South Amer­ica in the Guyanas and adja­cent Brazil, is threat­ened with extinc­tion. It con­tains sev­eral tox­ins called alka­loids in its skin that have been use­ful tools for under­stand­ing how local anes­thet­ics, and some drugs like phen­cy­cli­dine (PCP or “angel dust”), work. Its vivid colour­ing is a warn­ing that it is dan­ger­ous to eat.

So, what dri­ves species to extinc­tion? There seems to be con­sen­sus regard­ing cli­mate change, inter­na­tional trade, long dis­tance trans­port of prod­ucts and ani­mals, human travel, land use and urban­i­sa­tion being the main dri­ving forces for the cur­rent observed bio­di­ver­sity loss. All in all this makes man the cause of the high rate of species extinc­tion. This is not being done on pur­pose, but out of igno­rance. At least that is what I hope, and which makes the cur­rent bio­di­ver­sity loss col­lat­eral dam­age. Unfore­seen, but nev­er­the­less sub­stan­tial and pos­si­bly devastating.

Peo­ple should be made aware of this black future that will become real­ity if we do not stop this uncon­trolled neg­a­tive influ­ence on nature and its bio­log­i­cal diver­sity. There­fore I plead for moral and finan­cial sup­port for those peo­ple and organ­i­sa­tions, includ­ing non-​governmental, that are try­ing to raise this aware­ness and do some­thing to reduce the loss of bio­log­i­cal diver­sity. For instance organ­i­sa­tions involved in nature and wildlife con­ser­va­tion, cli­mate change reduc­tion, and cam­paigns against envi­ron­men­tal pollution.

State­ments like the fol­low­ing, dis­played in the Amer­i­can Museum of Nat­ural His­tory in New York, could raise this aware­ness:

Human health & Bio­di­ver­sity: The dis­rup­tion of ecosys­tems adversely affects food sup­plies and water qual­ity and quan­tity. Dam­age to ecosys­tems can cause changes in dis­ease ecol­ogy, lead­ing to the emer­gence of rare and unknown dis­eases or the resur­gence of dis­eases that were pre­vi­ously con­trolled. Lost species means lost raw mate­ri­als for present and poten­tial phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and alter­na­tive ther­a­pies. Also lost are mod­els through which we learn about human phys­i­ol­ogy and organ­isms whose study allows us to make pre­dic­tions about the agents and car­ri­ers of dis­ease. We lose future raw mate­ri­als for new processes and prod­ucts of biotech­nol­ogy, many of which are crit­i­cal to under­stand­ing, pre­vent­ing and cur­ing dis­eases. We lose indi­ca­tors of the abil­ity of ecosys­tems to sup­port life of all kinds includ­ing human life. Finally, liv­ing in a world lack­ing the beauty and tran­quil­lity inher­ent in diverse intact ecosys­tems has pro­found effect on our men­tal health.

Oth­er­wise the mes­sage of Eric Chi­vian in this video should do the trick:

Dr. Eric Chi­vian, Direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Health and the Global Envi­ron­ment, Har­vard Med­ical School, explains how polar bears offer us the oppor­tu­nity to unlock some med­ical mys­ter­ies but we must do so before polar bears are gone for­ever or take steps quickly to ensure their sur­vival. Study­ing polar bears in the wild has the poten­tial to unlock med­ical secrets related to osteo­poro­sis, kid­ney dis­ease and renal fail­ure, and obesity.

(Source: CEN­TER for HEALTH and the GLOBAL ENVI­RON­MENT, Har­vard Med­ical School)

Or per­haps this might help:

UN Biodiversity decade
WWF Stop Wildlife Crime
Amur leopard conservation
End Ivory-funded Terrorism
Support Rewilding Europe
Snow Leopard Trust

Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

about zoos and their mis­sion regard­ing breed­ing endan­gered species, nature con­ser­va­tion, bio­di­ver­sity and edu­ca­tion, which of course relates to the evo­lu­tion of species.
Fol­low me on: