They are vanishing before our very eyes.
Polar bears, monarch butterflies and the North Pacific right whale are among the list of 10 American species a conservation coalition warns that our children may never see.
The reason why, the Endangered Species Coalition says in its new report, is us. From climate change to the declining oceans to the chemical onslaught on ecosystems, human activity is creating a situation in which we're on track to leave a natural world to the next generation that may be absent some of the nation's most iconic wildlife.
That's a scenario the network says is bad not only for biodiversity but for our own well-being as well.
Also on the list of disappearing species are the mountain yellow-legged frog, great white shark, little brown bat, whitebark pine, rusty patched bumblebee, greater sage-grouse and the Snake River sockeye salmon.
While the report paints a bleak picture of the threats facing these species, it should also be seen as a call to action, according to Dr. Peter Raven, President Emeritus, Missouri Botanical Garden, one of the members of the coalition.
"As the situation for many species grows ever more dire, our direct actions are able to rescue some of them from extinction,” Raven stated. “This list should inspire hope and at the same time lead us to devote full attention to the species most in need."
The report includes tips on how residents can help, including planting milkweed for monarchs, supporting sustainably caught seafood and urging leaders to enact a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides.
"With each passing day, our children are less and less likely to experience the full beauty of nature and see the kind of wildlife that baby boomers, Gen Xers, and even Millennials experienced," stated Leda Huta, executive director of the Endangered Species Coalition. "We owe it to our future generations of Americans to protect our vanishing wildlife and the special places they call home."
To see more about the species on the list, scroll through this slideshow created by the coalition: