100 nature images for Earth Day

Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
April 22, 2009





Biodiversity - from tigers in Bhutan to gila monsters in the United States to Horned beetles in Africa to tube worms in hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean to sea cucumbers living on the coral reefs of Madagascar to the mites on your cheese - is makes life on Earth livable for our species. By extinguishing hotbeds of biodiversity - rainforests, wetlands, coral reefs, and grasslands - we are destroying a part of ourselves. Biodiversity will recover after humanity is gone, but in the meantime, the continuing loss of our fellow species will make Earth an awfully crowded, but lonely place.

Past extinctions have shown it takes at least 5 million years to restore biodiversity to the level equal to that prior of the extinction event event. Our actions today will determine whether Earth will be biologically impoverished for the 500 trillion or more humans that will inhabit the earth during that future period.

The extinction event that is occurring as you read these words rivals the extinctions caused by natural disasters of global ice ages, planetary collisions, atmospheric poisoning, and variations in solar radiation. The difference is that this extinction was conceived by humans and subject to human decisions. We are the last, best hope for life as we prefer it on this planet.

The lesson of mongabay.com is we may not have to accept this future. A lot can still be done. Using our intelligence and ingenuity, the human species can preserve biodiversity and unique places for future generations, without compromising the quality of life for present populations.

These pictures represent a celebration and a reminder of life that surrounds us.


Gmelin's Bronzeback snake (Dendrelaphis pictus) eating a frog in Malaysia


Colorado River, Grand Canyon


Mountains near Muzagata Peak, China


Panther chameleon, Madagascar


Black-handed Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) in Beilze


White-faced capuchin in Hacienda Baru


Stick Mantid, Madagascar


Male ostrich defending chicks, Tanzania


Blue-and-yellow macaws flying toward clay lick, Peru


Great Barrier Reef, Australia


Tenrec, Madagascar


Pair of plains zebra, Kenya


Baby caiman, Costa Rica


Red Leaf-monkey (Presbytis rubicunda) in Borneo


Pitcher plant, Nepenthes reinwardtiana, in rain forest of Borneo, Indonesia


Tomato frog, Madagascar


Sunset in Roatan, Honduras


Ring-tailed lemurs, Madagascar


Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah


Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah


Little Colorado River, Grand Canyon


Clear-wing butterfly (Pseudohaeterea hypaesia, Colombia


Lion cubs, Tanzania


Sunset on the Mekong near Luang Prabang, Laos


Young lowland gorilla, Gabon


Sunset over the Pacific Ocean, Maui


Sunrise near Hana on the island of Maui, Hawaii.


Swordplants in the Pantanal, Brazil


Cabybara, Brazil


Tree climbing lion, Uganda


Cancun sunset, Mexico


The cryptic short-tailed Nighthawk (Lurocalis semitorquatus) in Costa Rica


Danum river in Malaysia


Moth on the underside of a leaf caught by the sun, Costa Rica


Rhea in the Pantanal, Brazil


Jaguar in Brazil


Humpback whales breaching, Alaska


Jabiru stork, Brazil


Hatchling Olive Ridley sea turtle near Hacienda Baru, Costa Rica


Black Caiman, Brazil


Baobabs, Madagascar


Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) in flight over crashing surf, Costa Rica


Ranomafana, Madagascar


Adult Male Orangutan, Indonesia


Blueberry poison arrow frog, Panama


Big Sur, Big Sur


Reefs off Cancun, Mexico


Swarms of lake flies in a garden near Lake Victoria, Uganda


Ring-tailed lemurs, Madagascar


Praying mantis in Brownsberg National Park, Suriname


Metallic green, yellow, and copper colored beetle in Malaysia


Rainbow racerunner, Honduras


Two young brown bears on a rocky beach in Alaska, Alaska


Olive Ridley sea turtle headed out to see near Dominical, Costa Rica


Female lion with wildebeest kill, Tanzania


Entrance to St. Herman's Cave in Belize


Red frog in Las Cruces, Costa Rica


Tree frog in Costa Rica


Automeris moth caterpillar displaying its neon green but venemous spines, Colombia


Hatchling Olive ridley sea turtles headed out to sea


Mountains in Utah, United States


Virgin River in Zion National Park, Utah


Sunset over Tarangire National Park, Tanzania


African elephant, Uganda


Blue and yellow macaw, Colombia


Canyon des Singes in Isalo, Madagascar


Blue insect in Borneo


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CITATION:
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com (April 22, 2009).

100 nature images for Earth Day.

http://news.mongabay.com/2009/0422-earth_day_pictures.html