Eight thousand plant species around the world, from the deserts of southern Africa to the Georgia plains, are listed as critically threatened or endangered—and 795 of them right here in the United States!
In this gallery, we’ve collected a few of the most extraordinary threatened plants. These gems of nature are increasingly cut down, cemented over, and stomped on by the development of homes, roads, trails, shopping malls, and more.
What more can we be doing to protect and save endangered plants?
Since 2009, Seattle-based photographer Chris Jordan has been filming and photographing the albatross birds living on Midway Island in the Pacific Ocean. His images are shocking and startling: dead and decaying birds, with their stomachs filled with plastic pollution like bottle caps and cigarette lighters.
"For me, kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror," said Jordan, in an exclusive interview with TakePart. "These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth."
Click through this gallery for more of Jordan's shocking photographs.
What are you doing about you and your family's plastic footprint? Tell us in the comments.