Why Islands
Why Islands

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Why Islands
Islands make up less than 5% of the earth’s land area, but are home to an estimated 20% of all bird, reptile, and plant species.

We are currently facing the risk of a major wave of species extinctions. Fossil records indicate a specific rate of extinction, and our current rate is 1,000 times that. When we lose species, ecosystems unravel, and we see and feel the direct effects on our livelihoods and on our overall well-being.

Nowhere are the threats of extinctions higher than on islands, and nowhere do we have a bigger opportunity to save species at risk. If we’re not willing to protect island species now, the alternative is to lose them forever.
·Islands also contain 40% of all critically endangered species, and extinction rates are disproportionately greater on islands

·80% of all known extinctions have occurred on islands.

·Nearly a quarter of the world’s plant species exist only on islands.

·Some individual islands are home to hundreds—or even thousands—of plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world (endemic species). Other islands have a few or even a single unique endemic species.

·Many islands are home to species yet to be described by science. We don’t even know what we might be losing—such as sources of food or medicine.

·On islands, species under threat of extinction have nowhere else to go, so they must be protected on-site.

·Many migratory species breed and raise their young only on a few islands, or sometimes only on one single island.
Islands are critical to saving species and conserving biodiversity

Protecting biodiversity is vital to keeping the natural world—of which we are a part—flourishing. By removing invasive species from islands, we remove the threat to endangered species and island ecosystems, thereby allowing nature to heal itself. 
Bristle-thighed Curlew on Palmyra Atoll, Line Islands. Palmyra provides the only seabird and migratory shorebird nesting area available within 450,000 square miles of ocean.

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