On the heels of a U.N.-funded study that warned about the massive consequences of a worldwide decline in biodiversity, U.S. conservation groups are raising alarms about new estimates that as many as one-third of American species are vulnerable to extinction.
“This loss of wildlife has been sneaking up on us but is now like a big tsunami that is going to hit us,” Thomas Lovejoy, a biologist at George Mason University, told the Guardian. Lovejoy, who was consulted on the report, said that it “captures the overall degradation of American nature over recent decades, rather than little snapshots.”
Reversing America’s Wildlife Crisis (pdf)—a collaborative project from the National Wildlife Federation, American Fisheries Society, and The Wildlife Society—notes that across the United States, more than 150 species are already extinct, some 500 are “missing in action” (meaning they are also possibly extinct), and “state wildlife agencies have identified nearly 12,000 species in need of conservation action.”
The conservation groups’ report details how habitat loss and degradation, wildlife diseases, invasive species, pollution, and the climate crisis are threatening thousands of species, and concludes that reversing the nationwide wildlife crisis will “require a dramatic increase in funding for proactive and collaborative conservation.”
“Despite the dire conditions of America’s wildlife, the research is clear that collaborative conservation actions can make a difference, and can ensure that the nation’s species not only survive but thrive.”
—conservation groups’ report
“Despite the dire conditions of America’s wildlife,” the report declares, “the research is clear that collaborative conservation actions can make a difference, and can ensure that the nation’s species not only survive but thrive.”
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