“It ain’t pretty out there guys,” groaned the general manager. “We used to have a seemingly endless choice of species to fill the roster. It’s our namesake for gosh sakes - Biodiversity University. But the numbers just aren’t there anymore.
“Take birds for instance. The North American Bird Conservation Initiative reports that a 1/3 of the continent’s 1,154 avian species like our own Iowa County friends the nighthawks, meadowlarks and bobolinks are in trouble. Who we gonna get to snag pop flies and cover the outfield?
"But that ain’t all. The rusty-patched bumblebee used to be one of our most reliable pollinators. Now it’s gone from 90% of its former range. So you tell me. Who’s going to play shortstop? And for catcher? Nobody can match the spotted salamanders’ stance. But the U.S. Geological Survey says salamanders and their amphibian buddies are declining by about 4% each year! At this rate how’ll we recruit a full team?”
The BU athletic dept. researched further and found that global species losses are happening at such a rapid pace that the National Forum on Biodiversity considers this the beginning of the 6th extinction. The last one was 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs disappeared. Habitat loss and degradation are the main culprits. Other causes include pollution, invasive species, exotic diseases, and climate change.
The coaches figured that each time Earth loses another species it’s like losing a reliable relief pitcher. Pretty soon you’ve got nothing to fall back on. We depend on balanced eco-systems for our food and clean water and to maintain the landscapes where we build our homes. Collectively, we humans exert extreme pressure on the environment. But the good news is that if we all take even small steps to live more gently on Earth then collectively we can reverse this trend.
“So boys, let’s see those feet,” the head coach directed. “If BU is going to bring back the glory teams of the past, we’re each going to have to examine our own eco-footprint and make it a little less heavy. Because guys, there ain’t nowhere else to play ball. This park’s the only one we’ve got. Our franchise is right here. We’re forever…Earthbound.”