World Wildlife Day kicked off Monday with United Nations officials declaring that people need to be better stewards of the many struggling species. Citing the plight of the panda, orangutan, rhinos, elephants and more, officials said people need to stop illegal trafficking in horns and ivory, and the annihilation of forests and natural habitat.
Update: The photo exhibit Irreplaceable is on display at the San Francisco Public Library gallery through the holidays. It heads to Los Angeles, to the G2 Gallery in Venice, for the month of January. It will move to Washington D.C. in the spring; the dates will be announced.
Polar bears, penguins and caribou are all facing an uncertain future as global warming melts their arctic climates.
If only they were the only species at risk. Tragically, these arctic animals have many cousins in similar straits in lower latitudes: From the American Crocodile to the Monarch Butterfly; the Green Sea Turtle to the Mountain Goat; the Grizzly Bear, Lynx, Mountain Yellow-legged Frog, Sugar Maple and Northern Flying Squirrel. An array of amazing mammals and marine life, as well as plants, is imperiled by climate change.
The effects are being observed already, as populations dwindle, critical habitat becomes inhospitable and breeding or wintering grounds warm.
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Polar bears, penguins, pandas have become symbols of the fight to save wild places around the world and push back global warming.
According to conservationists meeting in Barcelona this week, they have a host of company. A broad assessment of the world’s mammals reveals an “extinction crisis” with nearly one-quarter of known mammal species at risk of disappearing forever due to habitat loss, pollution, global warming, over-hunting and food chain erosion.
The study, unveiled at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress, shows that 1,141 (and possibly nearly 2,000) of the world’s 5,487 mammals are known to be threatened with extinction.