Earth is a big place, but size isn’t everything. The planet’s richest ecosystems are in rapid decline, forcing us to acknowledge the elephant in the room: Elephants, along with countless other creatures worldwide, are running out of room. Habitat loss is now the No. 1 threat facing wildlife on Earth, and the main reason why 85% of all species on the IUCN Red List are endangered. It comes in many forms, from outright deforestation and fragmentation to less obvious effects of pollution and climate change. Every species needs a certain amount (and type) of habitat to find food, shelter and mates, but for a growing number of animals, the space where their ancestors found those things is now overrun by humans. As habitats shrink and splinter, animals also grow more vulnerable to secondary dangers like inbreeding, disease or conflict with people. And so, despite plenty of physical space on Earth, wildlife around the world finds itself painted into a corner. Scientists now widely agree we’re seeing the early stages of a mass extinction , with species vanishing at hundreds of times […]

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