Native Village
Youth and Education news
March 1, 2010     Volume 1

Treacherous Times for Life on Planet Earth
Condensed by Native Village

Over the past 4,500,000,000 years, planet Earth has seen five major mass extinctions. The worst one claimed up to 96% of marine life and 70% of terrestrial life. Another was during the Cretaceous-Tertiary period when the dinosaurs were killed, probably after a meteor hit earth. 

Many scientists agree another mass extinction is happening now. They call this the Holocene extinction.

Below are a few major species that are being threatened:

Fish: Scientists have discovered that a fatal fish virus, called VHS, has spread throughout the Great Lakes. Authorities are trying to raise public awareness and prevent a widespread outbreak.

Bees: Since 2006, beekeepers have reported colony collapse disorder. That's when a worker bee suddenly disappears from a colony.  Some believe agricultural pesticides are the cause. The EPA is investigating.

Bees are necessary to pollinate the world's plant and food crops. Without bees, plants may need millions of years of evolution to reproduce without them.

Bats: White nose syndrome is killing cave-dwelling bats across the Northeast. However, the fungus may only be a symptom of what's killing them. Some bat species have declined by more than 90%. The bats are crucial to controlling insect populations,.

The disease may be spreading. A dead bat with white nose syndrome was found in France.

Cavers are advised to stay out of caves in affected states.

Amphibians: 1/3 to 1/2 of all amphibian species are on the edge of extinction. They are threatened by diseases, habitat loss, pesticides, climate change, and human activity. While they survived the last extinction, amphibians may be the first to become extinct in the Holocene extinction.

Predatory fish: These are among the species most affected by habitat loss. The ocean situation is especially dire. Overfishing, pollution and a shifting food supply are severely threatening marlin, tuna, swordfish and more. Researchers believe that up to 90% of large predatory fish have disappeared from the oceans since the 1950s.

In 2006, a team of researchers predicted the oceans would be devoid of fish by 2048.

Humans: Between infectious-diseases, the threat of nuclear weapons, and food-supply concerns, humans may become only a blip in the history of planetary life.

Save the Frogs Day!
April 30, 2010
Encourages the appreciation and celebration of amphibians by people from all walks of life.

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