Do you know about the Church and Species Extinctions?


No, I am not blaming the church for species extinctions – not at all.

I just wonder if you feel, like me, isn’t there more we should be doing, as Christians, to look after God’s beautiful world – his gift to us and future generations?

It will still be beautiful if the polar bears disappear and if the orang-utans disappear. Even if humans disappear, there will still be beautiful lichens . – But is this the way to look after God’s gifts – when really we should be looking after them- the land, the soil, and the species, for future generations?

SOME INTERESTING FACTS – You  might find them useful  when raising awareness amongst other people:

  1. If you were to weigh all the animals in the world, and compare the weight of the humans and their domestic animals (A), with the weight of the remaining wild animals (B) (I think this may refer to mammals) – the ratio is 97% : 3%  (Smil 1992) .  Our world population is set to increase from 7 billion to at least 10 billion in the next 50 years – Where are the wild animals going to live?
  2. Due to human activity, the rates of species extinctions are 1000 to 10,000 times as great as they were before humans came.
  3. I can go for a walk in the fields where I live in Yorkshire and see that wildflowers are disappearing as farmers put on extra fertilizer to grow more crops to feed the animals,  and as unimproved grassland near towns and villages gets built on.  Is it like that where you live? In most counties in Britain a species of wildflower has become extinct in that county every two years over the last 150 years. Botanical records show this – see Plantlife report
  4. A recent report (with beautiful photos in the Telegraph of 26 Feb 2014) shows that in England over the last 200 years two species of plant or animal have become extinct every year.  e.g. the Summer Ladies Tresses orchid became extinct in the 1950s and the Irish Ladies Tresses became extinct in the 1990s in  See the  Lost Life Project

This is our world.

Yours and mine.
What we do affects what will be left  for future generations.

WE HAVE TO MAKE A SPECIAL BIG EFFORT for the sake of our grandchildren.

God calls us to do good things, not bad things.

Columban Catholic priest Sean McDonagh wrote an excellent passionate book about this  – using his experience in Ireland and in the Philippines, collecting scientific research and statistics, and in the second half of the book including a discussion the impact and views of Christian theologians in history.


it is called

The Death of life:  Extinction is forever

Download a summary of the key points of this book 

If you care about wildlife, there are quotes you can use in your church publications.

It is nearly 10 years since he wrote the book – but  there is no other book quite like it. (Also you can buy second hand copies online cheaply now)

You can dowload a  leaflet on Sean McDonagh’s book  with a review and summary of key points in his book here: Download the 4 sided leaflet as a doc file: species-2014.doc


Well done to everyone who reads this page who has done something positive to save wildlife habitats – keep up the good work!

One brilliant thing you can do is to encourage your church to raise £100 for CEL’s Rainforest fund – or for another wildlife charity of your choice – £100 is not much, and you may find some naturalists/ eco-people outside your church will help too.  It’s a start.


See also CEL’s Biodiversity Leaflet that you can print and use at your church/school


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