Never has the need for our work been more acute: On every continent, a growing number of species is under threat. Moreover, the current rate of extinction is the fastest in the Earth’s 4.5 billion-year-history and the most widespread since the loss of the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago. Biodiversity experts estimate that the population of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians has dropped by almost one-third during the last 15 years and that as many as one-fifth of all species alive today will become extinct in the next thirty years if the current trend continues.

The effects of this dramatic species loss go beyond the fact that many beloved creatures are disappearing, Scientists believe that it also poses a major threat to human existence, seriously impairing the environment’s ability to recover from natural disasters, reducing the potential for the discovery of new medicines, and severely degrading world economies.

Unlike previous mass extinctions, which are thought to have been brought about by natural phenomena such as asteroid strikes, volcanic eruptions, or sudden climate shifts, this one is being caused by humans.

As the world’s human population continues its unprecedented growth—more than doubling between 1960 and 2000—pollution, expanding cities, habitat destruction, and global warming are combining to pose enormous threats to thousands of animal species, including ourselves.

In addition, many billions of individual animals suffer at the hands of humans, as factory farm animals are forced to live in deplorable conditions and in turn create enormous environmental and health problems, while millions of companion animals are regularly abandoned, mistreated, or euthanized. We are destroying the very planet we live on.

“For in the end, we will conserve only what we love.
We will love only what we understand.
We will understand only what we are taught”.
Senegalese Poet & Environmentalist Baba Dioum (1968)