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Researcher Says Some Animal And Plant Species On South Coast May Be In Danger Of Extinction

Photo by Sean Anderson

A United Nations report revealed that an enormous number of animal and plant species are in danger of extinction because of people, and a researcher says there may be some examples of that on the South Coast.

The UN report found one million species are threatened across the globe. It’s not clear how many locally, but Cal State Channel Islands Environmental Science Chair Sean Anderson cites his road kill surveys that show some animals are becoming increasingly rare, like the American badger.

"This is a critter that used to be all around Ventura County.  And, when we were starting our surveys, we would occasionally see them, once or twice a year, something like that.  We haven't seen a badger in over 10 years.  Same thing with long-tailed weasels, which are these critters that are very common in and around our agricultural areas.  We still see those, but those weasels are dropping in abundance," he says.

He says while pollution plays a large role in the threat of species, habitat destruction and overharvesting are much larger drivers of the problems here and around the planet.