Thursday, 18 September 2008
One of the things I do is to lay out the quarterly magazine for St Georges Cathedral. The Anglican Church (maybe just in South Africa, not sure) is celebrating a season of creation, and these facts that were included in the newsletter caught my eye:
"Although South Africa covers less than 2% of the earth’s surface, it has the 3rd highest level of biodiversity in the world.
We share our homeland with almost 300 species of mammals [more than there are in Europe and Asia combined], 1000 kinds of trees [Europe has fewer than 70], 23,200 flowering plants [10% of the total in the world], 800 identified birds [8% of the total in the world], 50,000 insect species, 288 species of reptiles [almost 5% of the total in the world] and 11,000 marine species of which 25% are found nowhere else on earth.
Our beloved homeland – along with all the rest of the planet – is severely under threat. Only 25% of our water systems are intact, 54% are critically endangered and 50% of our wetlands have already been destroyed. 34% of our land eco-systems are threatened – including grasslands, fynbos, forests and succulent Karoo. Officially declared endangered are 37% of mammals, 24% of reptiles, 18% of amphibians, 15% of plants, 14% of birds."