ARE THE SPECIES OF THE WORLD LIVING THROUGH THE “6th EXTINCTION”?
You’ve probably heard this before: we’re in the middle of an era when the rate of extinction of natural species is accelerating with unprecedented speed – species are going extinct as we speak – POP! – there goes one now. And if you walk around the Garden of Extinction near the display hall at Kirstenbosch, you will see those little red labels saying things like “Extinct in the Wild” – “Vulnerable”
“Only in Protected Areas”. And they are true and well-researched of course by reputable botanists. And that’s just plants. Every plant has a distinct population of insects associated with it, some of which may be pollinators, or there may be just one insect that is the pollinator.
Are they also threatened? Possibly. Then there are the birds that visit the plants, or feed off the fruit – and the bats, and the lizards and skinks and so on and on it goes. A vast and complex interrelated tapestry of connection.