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In California, Hundreds Of Species Are At Risk For Extinction

US Fish and Wildlife

More than a million species are at risk of extinction globally. That's what the United Nations revealed yesterday [Monday]. Capital Public Radio’s Ezra David Romero reports around 300 species are at risk in California.

A handful of plants and animals have already disappeared from the state like the Santa Barbara song sparrow. About a dozen are currently at risk of extinction says Dan Applebee with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

[APPLEBEE] "There's some species nobody's seen in decades in some cases. So, there may be additional extirpations or extinctions.”

The UN study found that plant and animal life have decreased by 20 percent in most habitats. The authors blame human activity and climate change. Richard Grosberg is a UC Davis evolution and ecology professor.

[GROSBERG] "This is a call out to all of humanity that we absolutely need to do something about climate change, and we need to do it now."

He says ocean creatures are at risk as well and that the declining number of species will, unless stopped, pose risks to people.

In Sacramento, I’m Ezra David Romero.

Ezra David Romero is an award-winning radio reporter and producer. His stories have run on Morning Edition, Morning Edition Saturday, Morning Edition Sunday, All Things Considered, Here & Now, The Salt, Latino USA, KQED, KALW, Harvest Public Radio, etc.