100 Under 100: The Race to Save the World's Rarest Living by Scott Leslie

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By Scott Leslie

Scientists estimate that the full 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 seriously. Of this workforce, a few have vanishingly small populations within the double or unmarried digits. a couple of species, together with the Pinta Island sizeable tortoise and the Yangtze great softshell turtle, sit down 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 areas 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 development, as a few 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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Total. ” A NOTE ON THE IUCN (INTERNATIONAL UNION FOR CONSERVATION OF NATURE) There is mention throughout the book of this Switzerland-based international organization and its Red List of Threatened Species. ” Its Red List of Threatened Species is the de facto global benchmark for the evaluation and assessment of the conservation status of the planet’s animals and plants. The most relevant Red List category for this book is Critically Endangered. ” Since all species in this book currently have minuscule populations, it isn’t surprising that most of them are considered critically endangered.

As if all that weren’t enough, the world’s cheetahs have always been cursed with a very limited gene pool stemming from a “genetic bottleneck” they passed through about 12,000 years ago. At that time, some kind of environmental catastrophe such as climate change or overhunting by paleolithic humans left only a handful of cheetah survivors to act as the breeding stock from which all of today’s cheetahs have descended. With little genetic variability, the species is particularly vulnerable to disease, and its cubs experience high mortality.

Even though later searches between 2004 and 2006 failed to turn up anything other than one claim of a single vocalization, the IUCN listed the Miss Waldron’s monkey as critically endangered and possibly extinct. The species simply did not yet meet the criteria for extinction. If Miss Waldron’s monkey still survives somewhere, it may be in Ehy Forest of eastern Ivory Coast. It was near here, on the edge of a large lagoon surrounded by villages, that scientist Scott McGraw—who had been searching for years in vain for the elusive animal—found that aforementioned skin of a Miss Waldron’s monkey.

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