So far, our planet has seen five mass extinction events. The first wiped out the trilobites -- a species so ubiquitous in Earth's oceans you probably have one of their fossils on your bookshelf. The Permian extinction event wiped out 96 percent of the species on the planet.

The last of the five killed off the dinosaurs.

Many believe that we are currently in the middle of the sixth -- the Anthropocene extinction, so-named because we are the cause.

Every school child has heard about how humans hunted the dodo to extinction. We are also directly to blame for the disappearance of the moa, a 16-foot ostrich relative from New Zealand, the auroch, the wild ancestor of the cow, the passenger pigeon, Tasmanian tiger, ivory-billed woodpecker, golden toad, Caribbean monk seal, and more. The polar bear, white rhino, countless species of bat, butterfly, amphibian, and more are next on the chopping block.

Organizations, citizens, and companies like Toyota are stepping up to fight it.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has, to date, assessed the threats facing 79,837 species -- 23,000 of which were determined to be threatened with extinction. This research and data gives conservationists a roadmap to protecting species.

On May 10, Toyota Motor Corporation announced it will be engaging in a five-year partnership with IUCN, funding the assessment of over 28,000 species deemed economically important to human populations around the world. These species include fish, like sardines, whose catching and processing gives around 200 million people jobs.

How can you help fight the Anthropocene extinction?

Small steps matter, like driving an efficient vehicle, keeping emissions low with regular service and maintenance, and doing business with environmentally responsible dealerships, like LEED-certified DCH Toyota of Torrance.

Categories: News, Green

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