The Earth is currently experiencing an extinction crisis due to the exploitation of the planet by humans. According to the IUCN Red List, more than 31,000 species are threatened with extinction – 27% of all assessed species. Are we in the midst of a global mass extinction event? Australia has one of the worst recent extinction records of any continent, with more than 100 species of vertebrates becoming extinct since the first people arrived over 50 thousand years ago; more than 300 animal and 1,000 plant species are now threatened with imminent extinction. Most of Australia’s wildlife is found nowhere else in the world, making its conservation even more important.
This book explores the state of the world’s wildlife and examines the factors which are threatening their survival in Australia and globally, including habitat destruction, overexploitation, wildlife trading and poaching, pollution, and the devastating impacts of climate change in the form of droughts and bushfires. What about wildlife conservation? How can humankind better protect the planet’s biodiversity – including wildlife and their habitats – to prevent more species from becoming extinct?