Thursday, June 28, 2012

Extinction of Critical Species

beautiful bee, bee nest, blue flower

Over the past five years, beekeepers in the United States have lost about 30 percent of their bees each year on account of colony collapse disorder, a global phenomenon in  hich entire colonies of bees abruptly and mysteriously disappear from their hives. Bees do more than provide us with honey. They pollinate key crops, including grapes, apples,  oybeans, and cotton. We depend on bees.

“Every year, between 18,000 and 55,000 species become extinct. The cause: human activities.”—United Nations Development Program.

We also depend on phytoplankton. Without it we would have no fish. Without worms to  erate the soil, we would have far fewer crops. The extinction of such key species would  esult in food shortage and starvation, leading to violence and riots. Pollution,  verpopulation, overharvesting, habitat destruction, and climate change contribute to the  xtinction of animal species perhaps as much as 1,000 times more than natural rates.


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