Extinction rates and halting destruction
Sir David Attenborough, patron of World Land Trust (WLT), describes his fascination with some of the planet's smallest creatures and how WLT continues to exceed its most ambitious targets to save biodiversity-rich habitats
"When I was making Life in the Undergrowth I was frequently asked why I make programmes about tiny creatures, sometimes no bigger than a full stop, or insects disguised as a flower.
"The simple answer is that I am fascinated by them because they are amazing, and part of the pleasure of living is finding out about these creatures. Despite man’s sophistication we are unable to recreate anything quite so wonderful.
"Sadly hundreds of thousands of small, and not so small, animals are being lost by the minute as tropical forests continue to fall to the chain saw. In the majority of cases we are guaranteeing that these animals are doomed to extinction before we even know about them. And yet we do know that more than half the world’s estimated 10 million species of plants, animals and insects live in tropical forests.
"I have been enormously inspired by the progress of World Land Trust and its remarkable achievements in halting at least some of the destruction to tropical forests; 2005 was one of the Trust’s most important years and critical areas of land protecting a huge biodiversity of wildlife have been purchased and are being managed by our local partners.
"World Land Trust gives absolutely everyone an opportunity to get involved and take personal responsibility in a really positive way. Each year the Trust sets its fundraising targets higher and in its seventeen years has managed to exceed its most ambitious targets; 2006 will see even greater efforts and I urge you to join with us to save even more critically threatened habitats, for the future of their wildlife great and small, and for the future of mankind. Thank you."
(Extract from Patron’s message, Annual Review and Accounts 2005, available from the WLT online or in hard copy.)
Sir David Attenborough, CH FRS
More Attenborough quotes
- Why I support World Land Trust
- The Cost of Life on Earth
- Rainforest at Chelsea Flower Show
- Four reasons to support World Land Trust
- Conservation network breeds success
- Wildlife webcams: rainforest life online
- Discovering species new to science
- Climate change and habitat loss
- Carbon Balanced: offset your emissions
- Attenborough’s history with WLT