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Extinction of American Bison

In 1800 the estimated American Bison population was ten million, with a range over much of what is now the United States and lower Canada. By 1900 there were fewer than 1000 left, largely due to human actions. We drove the passenger pigeon to extinction, nearly killed off the California Condor. The Bald Eagle was nearly wiped out in the lower 48 States. And on and on from fish, to mammals, to plants, to fungi. Why should we care? After all isn't it survival of the fittest?

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Extinction is a natural feature of evolution because for some species to succeed, others must fail. Since life began, about 99 percent of the earth's species have disappeared and, on at least five occasions, huge numbers have died out in a relatively short time. The most recent of these mass extinctions, about 65 million years ago, swept away the dinosaurs and many other forms of life. However, despite such catastrophes, the total number of living species has, until recently, followed a generally upward trend.

Today, the extinction rate is increasing rapidly as a result of human interference in natural ecosystems. Primates, tropical birds, and many amphibians are particularly threatened.

Why should we care?
It is not at all the survival of the fittest. It is the humans who are creating such an environment that is leading to extinction of other species from earth. If humans had stayed as god sent them on earth, there would have not ...

Solution Summary

Extinction is a natural feature of evolution because for some species to succeed, others must fail. Since life began, about 99 percent of the earth's species have disappeared and, on at least five occasions, huge numbers have died out in a relatively short time.

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