We are barreling into the anthropocene, the sixth mass extinction in the history of the planet. Efforts to protect species are ramping up as governments, scientists and nonprofit organizations like Archangel Ancient Tree Archive try to build a modern version of Noah’s Ark.

The new ark certainly won’t come in the form of a large boat, or even always a place set aside. Instead it is a patchwork quilt of approaches, including assisted migration, seed banks and new preserves and travel corridors based on where species are likely to migrate as seas rise or food sources die out.

Animals wait to be rescued

Courtesy of Jason Holley

Archangel Ancient Tree Archive in Michigan, meanwhile, founded by a family of shade tree growers, has made exact genetic duplicates of some of the largest trees on the planet and planted them in “living libraries” elsewhere — should something befall the original.

It is inspiring to read of many efforts to stave off this mass extinction. The reason we’re in this place needs to be addressed, but until that time, let’s work together to save what nature has taken millions of years to put on this planet, that humans are taking only a few hundred years to wipe out.

Read the entire article by author Jim Robbins as published in the New York Times.

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