Nearly 20,000 species of animals and plants around the globe are considered high risks for extinction in the wild. That’s according to the most authoritative compilation of living things at risk — the so-called Red List maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This should keep us awake at night.
The latest figures are out, and the news, as spelled out in the New York Times, is not good: more species of animals and plants than ever are going extinct.
A large graphic tells the story. Each animal symbol represents 100 species that have been assessed by scientists. The black symbols represent animals that are still doing OK; the red ones depict animals in danger of going extinct.
So in one section, above, we’re looking at the fact that 25 percent of all mammals are headed for extinction. And In another section, below, the number of flowering plants heading into oblivion vastly outnumbers the plants that are holding their own.