It doesn't have to happen
Here is a (limited) success story: Good news about golden tamarins. BBC News OnLine, April 4, 2001. But overall, the story is grim.
The Ivory Trade
Here is a brief summary on WIkipedia, updated to 2013. In a nutshell, the problem is that the ivory trade is dominantly driven by demand from China and Japan. Without that, there would be no money in ivory and no slaughtering of elephants for their tusks. Here are four 2012-2013 news stories:
The Trade in Endangered Species for Oriental "Medicines"
What is the connection between Chinese and Japanese restaurants and quack medicines and rapidly increasing numbers of endangered species? Do these people eat and otherwise consume endangered species because they are rare? Or are they rare because Chinese and Japanese insist on consuming them, no matter whether they are endangered or not?
The Great Auk
The Caspian sturgeon, and the caviar that it produces.
The Canadian harp seal
Overview of seal hunting on Wikipedia. The Canadian Government recently changed regulations so that a harp seal pup has to be about 2 weeks old before you can kill it, rather than new-born. (Not that that alters the fact of its death.)
You can buy Harp Seal Oil capsules made by a company called Terra Nova. Well, actually you can't if you live in the United States. I suspect that's because the US bans such imports (information site). Notice how one maker of capsules indicates euphemistically that the oil is "withdrawn" from the seal (here). You can buy harp seal oil capsules for $1 a capsule on the Internet from a Singapore company. Canadian sites often have a sales pitch in English and three different Asian languages
The strange case of the extinction of silphium
Other examples of imminent extinction and environmental degradation
Extinctions by habitat reduction and/or human introduction of alien species
Page last updated March 30, 2013
Links last checked March 26, 2013.
Return to Chapter 21 Web page
[Return to UC Davis Geology Department