Portraits of extinction
For the first time in human history, more people now live in urban environments than rural ones. Collectively we are losing the close relationship we once had with the natural systems that support us all and thus our basic respect and appreciation for these systems. As a result most people are largely unaware of the great loss that is currently occurring on our planet. Our earth was until very recently covered largely in ancient forests rich with an incredible diversity of species. People enjoyed rivers and wetlands full of fish and forests teaming with a seemingly endless amount of natural resources that were an intergral part of culture and society.
Now as we enter the 21st century we face an unprecedented human challenge. The loss of species due largely to a massive global trade is now seriously threatening the viability of ecosystems. The same ecosystems our lives depend on. The business of selling wildlife is now so rampant and the volumes involved so large there is a real and imminent threat that if it is not stopped or significantly reduced very soon we will lose the natural diversity essential for earth to function effectively. There is much at stake. Attitudes must change if the human enterprise is to proceed. The choice is ours.