End Game: Extinctions of Threatened Species Continue
The death of the world’s last male northern white rhino has rendered the species functionally extinct, which means the only hope of reviving the population is through in vitro fertilization. World Wildlife Fund head of campaigns Colin Butfield calls this a “uniquely bad situation.” Two other animals, the vaquita, a very rare porpoise discovered in 1958, and the Javan rhino are facing the same fate. Many other species, including the Sumatran rhino, black rhino, Amur leopard, forest elephant and Bornean orangutan are considered critically endangered, some with fewer than 100 individuals left. The International Union for Conservation of Nature currently considers 5,583 species of plant, mammal, bird, amphibian and marine life critically endangered.
This article appears in the November 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.