|Monarch Butterfly on Sedum on Deck|
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Photo Credit: Donna L. Watkins
By every measure, earth is losing natural habitat and species at an alarming rate. Extinction rates for plants and animals are so high they're threatening our planet's ability to sustain the resources humans need for survival, like forests, oceans, healthy soil, potable water.
Extinction is nothing new. Every year some new species emerge and some are gone forever. But the earth is now experiencing an extinction rate that's huge: Scientists estimate that every year up to 50,000 species disappear forever because of human activity.
Take birds, as an example. The expected extinction rate for them is about one species per century. Yet, 500 species have gone extinct in the past 500 years and current studies predict that 10 additional species will go extinct every year from hereon if something isn't done to reverse this pattern. What's causing this? The usual suspects: habitat destruction, over-hunting, ill-advised introduction of alien species into established ecosystems and, now, global warming.
Editor's Note: You can have a wildlife habitat on a balcony. It doesn't take a lot of space, it just takes a lot of love for God's Creation. Read more reasons to begin your small or large wildlife habitat.
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