Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Un chat andalus?

Reading a Scientific American article about extinction made me sad: one of the most endangered species is a cat.

Today we are witnessing what some experts believe to be the "sixth wave of extinction," a species diminution that appears to be the handiwork of humankind. Experts estimate that the current extinction rate is somewhere between 100 and 1,000 times higher than the background rate (others say it is even higher, up to 10,000 times the usual background extinction rate).
There are currently 3,071 "critically endangered" species in the world, according to the World Conservation Union, also known as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), a collaboration of 83 countries, 800 nongovernmental organizations and 10,000 scientists and experts devoted to preserving Earth's biodiversity. According to the IUCN, species assessed at the critically endangered level "face an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild unless the pressures on them are relieved."

I was somewhat cheered to read: "As part of a conservation effort, the Spanish government has decided to release rabbits (the lynx's favorite cuisine) into the wild." Yum! I wish I had some rabbit. I think Salim has some rabbit rillettes in the 'fridge. Maybe I'll have some for lunch?


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