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The 20th Century

An age of great growth, and of great destruction, a time when humanity began to truely believe that it understood the world around it, yet so often failed to notice that very world was slipping away.

'We may well wonder whether there can be any new plant left to be introduced, so great is the variety we possess, and so far afield have collectors searched'

Frank Kingdon-Ward, 1930

When Frank Kingdon-Ward wrote those words a lifetime ago, little did anyone suspect that many new plants were yet to be discovered, and many more would disapear. From the earliest years of the 20th Century the evidence was clear that the race to save endangered species had begun. From the time when Frank N. Meyer found seemingly endless miles of barren ground and dry river beds where once stood mighty forests in China, to E. H. Wilson travelling thousands of miles to locate a single known specimen of tree, arriving just in time to see it turned into a house, to the vanishing tall grass praries of North America and the rapidly disapearing rainforests of South America, Africa and Asia, the evidence is clear that there is an even greater need in the 21st Century to find what can be saved.



Selected by the SciLinks program, a service of
the National Science Teachers Association.
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