It doesn't surprise me to learn that certain species of mammals in, say, the polar regions or in the slashed rain forests of South America, are in grave danger these days—but this new statistic reported by Grist really took me aback.
Some 21 percent of the world's 5,487 known wild mammal species are in danger of extinction, according to the updated Red List maintained by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. (Steller sea lions and tigers and giant pandas, oh no!) "Our results paint a bleak picture of the global status of mammals worldwide," say researchers, noting that the tally could be as high as 36 percent due to insufficient data. More than 1,700 scientists in 130 countries participated in the five-year survey of mammal well-being, published in Science.
In the face of so much bad news, we can get depressed—or we can get motivated. A while back I wrote about some friends who are putting their creativity to work for species endangered by climate change. Otto Pohl, the visionary behind Swell Foop (formerly Darwin Designs), writes: "As you can see, we've had a brand overhaul. New name, new branding, new site. And all of our clothes are now 100% organic, and at a lower price. They're still made in the USA, and we still donate 10% to environmental non-profits." Check them out.