By Scott Leslie
Scientists estimate that the whole biodiversity on the earth is among 10 million and a hundred million species. of those, simply over 1.6 million and counting have really been catalogued and defined. One percentage, or 16,306, of these species are threatened with extinction, approximately one-fifth of them severely. Of this workforce, a few have vanishingly small populations within the double or unmarried digits. a number of species, together with the Pinta Island mammoth tortoise and the Yangtze vast softshell turtle, take a seat squarely at the border of extinction within the wild with a inhabitants of one.
In 100 below 100, Scott Leslie tells the interesting tales of species in far-flung locations not anyone ever hears approximately, just like the northern hairy-nosed wombat, the Gorgan mountain salamander or the Irrawaddy river shark. in the direction of domestic are the Vancouver Island marmot, the Wyoming toad and the Devil’s gap pupfish. Leslie additionally tells tales of hopeful growth, as many of the rarest of the infrequent are again from the edge of extinction in the course of the devoted efforts of individuals round the world.
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Additional info for 100 Under 100: The Race to Save the World's Rarest Living Things [Paperback]
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Even against tremendous odds, extinctions aren’t inevitable, as you will discover in these stories of the world’s rarest living things. Inhabiting every continent and coming in every size, shape, and colour, the 100 species and subspecies in this book range from a bumblebee to a 50-tonne whale, from a diminutive orchid to a tree 40 metres tall. With current populations in the double or even single digits, these mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, trees, and flowers teeter on the brink of extinction (as you will see, a few lucky ones have made stunning comebacks—because somebody cared—and now number over 100).
Isolated from mainland populations, the animals on the world’s fourth-largest island have evolved in unique ways, free from the influence of species living in the rest of the world. One of the most fruitful experiments has been the lemurs, today with over 90 species. Lemurs, named after the Latin word for “ghost”—in homage to their eerie vocalizations, often nocturnal habits, and strange facial expressions that make them looked eternally spooked—first appeared 50 to 65 million years ago in Africa.
There is also constant pressure to develop new gas and oil pipelines, and expand road and rail networks, logging, and mining. Despite this, the leopard’s population has remained relatively stable over the past 30 years. Thankfully, the Amur leopard and its tiger cousin have allies in their struggle to survive. A coalition of a dozen or so conservation groups known as ALTA (Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance) has the big cats’ best interest in mind. In 2006, ALTA helped stop plans to build an oil pipeline terminal within the range of the leopard.