Not only does the US top the list with 1, 203 endangered species (second only to first place Ecuador), Hawaii receives special recognition for having 71 extinct bird species since humans first arrived on the islands.
Penguins and plants and tigers, Oh My! According to the graphic, more than 10,000 species worldwide are in danger of becoming extinct, joining the list of about 900 species of plants and animals that have gone extinct in the last 500 years. Ecuador tops the list with more than twice the number of endangered species than any other country.
If these statistics are not petrifying, don't bother to read the rest of this article.
Opine all you wish about the reasons for this mass die-off of other-than-human species. The facts are staggering, and should cause us all to take a good, hard look at ourselves and at least acknowledge that there is a problem. For some, simply acknowledging the problem will be a grand achievement.
For others who have been involved with global species protection, the data presented in the infographic may be disheartening, but conservationists are accustomed to functioning in relentlessly gloomy circumstances and conditions. The global environmental picture certainly can be considered bleak, but there are always a few ways to choose to view it. One possibility is to channel the outrage about our planet's rapidly disappearing plant and animal species toward action.
With more than 10,000 endangered species to choose from, it's safe to say there will be one that will touch your heart and compel you to become involved in its protection. And remember the advice to "take care of our own". Hawaiians: whether you were born here or not, pick an endangered plant or animal, and commit to its protection. How about a Hawaiian monk seal? A hoary bat? Nene? Plant lovers may adopt the fern Diellia manii. Or, you can choose to become involved with the removal of invasive species. You may want to adopt an endangered Hawai`ian plant or animal. Or, you can get involved with creating or enacting legislation to protect our endangered wildlife.
We can make a difference. What is the alternative? That thought is petrifying.
Stay tuned for more about endangered species protection on Kaua`i.
Click here for Mother Nature Network's startling infographic
For more information about endangered Hawaiian wildlife, visit these links:
http://www.mnn.com/ Mother Nature Network
www.fws.gov/endangered/ US Fish & Wildlife Service Endangered Species Program