Today, human behavior drives many extinctions and preserves some species. To help understand such behavior, we published a book in 1999 that viewed selected endangered species through the eyes of those who have watched them decline and, in some cases, vanish from the wild. Here we revisit those stories to document what has happened in the interim 10 years, a period that is very short in evolutionary time but that has proven decisive for some endangered species. One species is now extinct in the wild; others have been devastated or scattered; several are on “life support.” Some things have not changed: Too many people consume too much, and disagreements among conservationists still impede progress. Some issues have become more prominent, such as emerging diseases and global economic crises. Although there have been some striking successes, it is very clear that more species now depend on human support for their survival than may be sustainable.
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Vol. 60 • No. 2