Extinction: Little Word, Big Problem

By August 30, 2011 Ocean News
Bluefin tuna

Conservation.  The environmentGreen energy.  So many words like these make headlines on a daily basis.  We are inundated with information about the environmental issues the world is facing, and most everyone knows what the basic problems are. However, how many headlines do we see about Extinction?


Relative to those other words, I would argue that we see it much less. This is a really big problem.  Just look at the figures: “At least 50% of all plant and animal species are likely to go extinct in the wild within the next 30-40 years, including many of the most familiar and beloved large mammals: elephants, polar bears, chimpanzees, gorillas and all the great apes, all the big cats, and many, many others. Bird species are similarly imperiled, songbird populations have declined by 50% in the last 40 years. One out of every eight species of plant life worldwide and almost one third of the plant species within the United States already face extinction.

Populations of large ocean fish have declined by 90% since the 1950s becoming endangered. The situation sounds bleak, but with knowledge and awareness, each of us can take action to try and reverse the damage that’s already been done.  Species Alliance, a nonprofit that formed to spread the message, produced a film whose goal is to make people understand.  The film is called “Call of Life: Facing the Mass Extinction,” and through interviews mixed with beautiful cinematography, the producers hope to make people grasp not only what the problem is but what each of us can do in our own lives to help resolve it.


The key here is the idea of community involvement, because ultimately it is individuals working together as a community that will make real change.  Therefore, the DVD is sold in packages which encourages viewers to watch it as a group, whether at home or at school or during an office lunch break.  To organize a screening and buy the DVD, please follow this link.  To see if there is already a screening organized near you, go here.  Whether you would like to host or attend a screening or not, I recommend you at least check out the trailer.  It in itself is very informative and beautiful, and will leave you feeling inspired and wanting to learn more.

About The Author

Julie Serot is currently based in Hong Kong, working towards her master’s degree in Marine Mammal Ecology at Hong Kong University.  Originally from St. Louis, MO, she majored in Physical Anthropology and Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis.  While in undergrad, she studied chacma baboon behavioral ecology in Kruger National Park in South Africa prior to spending time at a marine mammal eco-tourism and education organization in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa.  She subsequently moved to New York City to gain experience in marketing and public relations, after which she moved to Los Angeles to work as a research assistant at UCLA studying phytoplankton abundance in the Santa Monica Bay.  She loves to travel, dance, paint, and meet interesting new people.

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