By Scott Leslie
Scientists estimate that the whole biodiversity in the world is among 10 million and a hundred million species. of those, simply over 1.6 million and counting have truly been catalogued and defined. One percentage, or 16,306, of these species are threatened with extinction, approximately one-fifth of them significantly. Of this team, a few have vanishingly small populations within the double or unmarried digits. a number of species, together with the Pinta Island titanic tortoise and the Yangtze sizeable softshell turtle, sit down squarely at the border of extinction within the wild with a inhabitants of one.
In 100 less than 100, Scott Leslie tells the attention-grabbing tales of species in far-flung areas no one ever hears approximately, just like the northern hairy-nosed wombat, the Gorgan mountain salamander or the Irrawaddy river shark. in the direction of domestic are the Vancouver Island marmot, the Wyoming toad and the Devil’s gap pupfish. Leslie additionally tells tales of hopeful development, as many of the rarest of the infrequent are again from the edge of extinction in the course of the committed efforts of individuals round the world.
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Extra info for 100 Under 100: The Race to Save the World's Rarest Living Things [Paperback]
Even against tremendous odds, extinctions aren’t inevitable, as you will discover in these stories of the world’s rarest living things. Inhabiting every continent and coming in every size, shape, and colour, the 100 species and subspecies in this book range from a bumblebee to a 50-tonne whale, from a diminutive orchid to a tree 40 metres tall. With current populations in the double or even single digits, these mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, trees, and flowers teeter on the brink of extinction (as you will see, a few lucky ones have made stunning comebacks—because somebody cared—and now number over 100).
With little genetic variability, the species is particularly vulnerable to disease, and its cubs experience high mortality. Findings from a recent DNA study published early in 2011, however, suggest that the various subspecies of cheetahs (which range from Iran to southern Africa) possess more genetic variability than originally thought. The homegrown Iranian Cheetah Society was established in 2001 to save the subspecies. That same year, the Conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah and Its Associated Biota program was begun by the Iranian government in cooperation with the United Nations Development Fund.
As insurance against extinction, there are still several dozen South China tigers in captivity, and the Chinese government intends to reintroduce some of these animals into their former haunts one day. However, nobody knows exactly where the wild tigers currently live, so if they survive at all, there’s little at present that can be done to protect them. Fortunately, things look brighter for the better-studied Amur leopard, another big cat whose range includes China. AMUR LEOPARD A few hundred thousand years ago, African leopards reached Asia.