News Release

Evolution Lost

27 October 2010
Evolution Lost cover

Status and Trends of the World’s Vertebrates

Extinction rates are now fast outpacing speciation rates, resulting in the loss of entire groups of species that have evolved on this planet for millions of years.

Within the next century we stand to lose what could amount to one quarter of all vertebrates. The report ‘Evolution Lost’ has been produced by ZSL in collaboration with WWF, IUCN and SSC. It considers for the first time the current status and trends of global vertebrates in the context of human pressures, with a particular focus on threatened, novel and evolutionary distinct species.

This book is a wake up call. Will we continue to live in ‘business as usual’ mode? Or will we make room for other species? The measures we need to take include direct and much more extensive conservation action to save critical species and habitats. However, we also need to take more painful measures that will affect our own lifestyles, such as massively reducing carbon emissions, removing perverse agricultural subsidies and curtailing the use of nitrogen- and phosphorus-based fertilisers. If society is unwilling to pay these costs, then many of the species with which we share this planet will go the way of the dodo. It is our choice. Do we have the courage to take the difficult decisions?



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