Finding hope in the face of extinction

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Lalima Gluesenkamp gets to know a Blainville’s horned lizard (Phrynosoma blainvillii) with the guidance of Asha Setty near the Santa Clara River in Kern County. If you’re an adult, chances are you remember something about the natural world that your kids will never experience. Maybe you recall the horned lizards you used to spot on your way to school, or the fireflies by the berry patch at dusk or the field of wildflowers where you made flower crowns. What your kids may end up remembering instead is the day a United Nations report said 1 million animal and plant species would face extinction in the next 20 to 30 years. The recent U.N. report is perhaps the loudest alarm in a time of increasingly alarming news. Biological diversity, the incredibly complex pattern of all living creatures, is under assault. We are worried: It is bad — but not hopeless. We can save what’s left, and we know how. But first we have to believe that it’s possible. Why are we so sure? Because we have an informative case study: California. Biodiversity scientists rank the Golden State as one of the world’s global biodiversity hots pots, meaning it has more […]

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