There is an alarming list of endangered species known as the Red List which is sadly growing in size all the time because of human incursions into natural habitats. Among the latest additions to this catalogue of sadness are the amazing fluorescent pink slug and one of the world’s most expensive fish.
It is the increasingly thoughtless demand by humans for basics like wood and oil which is pushing people ever further into areas where the species live. They also hunt indiscriminately and are pushing many species to the very edge extinction according to the latest report by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Pacific bluefin tuna – Thunnus orientalis – was once abundant in the Pacific ocean but this meaty is so highly prized fish prized in Japan for sushi and otherwise that numbers of the fish have gone down by almost 70% in the past twenty years, With a single fish being worth as much as $100,000 demand is unlikely to slow down anytime soon.
Another odd Japanese quirk is the passion for eating the extremely poisonous Chinese pufferfish -Takifugu chinensis – to the extent that this species is now classed as being but one step away from extinction. Due to a paucity of Asian eels the American eel species is now also threatened. With the flesh fetching over $2,000 per pound this species too is on the brink.
Even sadder is the announcement of the disappearance of the St Helena Giant Earwig -Labidura herculean – biggest on earth that measured up to 80mm because the habitat it favoured has been destroyed by humans. Every time this tragic list gets refreshed it hammers home just how dreadful are the consequences to bio-diversity of human thoughtlessness.
The one saving grace is that it has been proven now that protected areas can make a huge difference in reversing this terrible trend. One terrible story is that of the Kaputar Pink Slug -Triboniophorus – which can be found only in one place at the highest levels of Mount Kaputar in New South Wales in Australia.
It was first discovered not so very long ago yet already the climate change driven by human activity is beginning to put this incredible life-form under threat, Another creature of the genre only recently found was the Malaysian Lafarge snail which also is all but gone thanks to the actions of mankind.
The sad fact is nearly 39% of the around 80,000 species on the Red List are ranked as being mildly threatened to critically endangered but the proportion nearing that dread point of no return is growing all the time. Unless humanity chooses to get much active in terms of conservation on a much bigger scale then future generations will never get to see many of the creatures we see today. Things cannot possibly get much sadder than that.
Image via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluefin_tuna#mediaviewer/File:Thunnus_orientalis_(Osaka_Kaiyukan_Aquarium).jpg
I have been writing for pleasure for half a century, but only started writing for money around 1994. Since then I have had a few thousand articles, stories and poems published on line and in print all round the world.
I am now 63 years old, male, from Burnley in the UK, and apart from writing, I love to read - mainly crime thrillers, conspiracy theory books and science fiction, though I also love films, gardening and chatting with my wife who is also my best friend.
I enjoy feedback from readers, and interaction with fellow writers. Anyone who gets in touch with me will get a reply. I am always happy to read and comment upon the work of others, as I think we writers are something of a definite sub-species of humanity!