The Most Relevant Facts about Endangered Species in 2019
The theory of evolution holds that death is part and parcel of life. And so is species extinction. We were able to evolve into the form of life we are now only because other species were less adapted and died out without leaving any offspring behind.
Isn’t extinction natural then? Let’s find out how it occurs in the modern world.
The rates of extinction are unprecedented
Contrary to what you may have heard about the rates of extinction millions of years ago, the current extinction rates are much more threatening. It is estimated that there are over 25 thousand endangered species around the world nowadays.
Given that there are about 9 million species on Earth (though by some recent studies it might be a trillion), the number of endangered animals may not seem particularly alarming to you. However, what you’re about to read will come as a real shock to you.
According to the UN statistics, 200 animal species become extinct on our planet every day. The 40 thousand figure is not static. It is changing rapidly, with more and more species entering the endangered zone and eventually dying out.
Humans are responsible for this
Of course, some species become extinct due to natural reasons. However, quite a few wildlife issues are caused by us, humans.
The reason for the population of some species to be reduced to under one hundred is quite simple — we eat them. Just as we ate the mammoths in the Ice Age, we are continuing to eat certain animal species today. And unless we stop, we risk facing a situation where there won’t be any of them left at all.
For instance, people who live near the ocean eat sea turtles even though they are considered endangered. When you’re poor and have to choose between killing an endangered animal or going to sleep hungry, you tend to lose compassion. It’s ironic that animals with the largest population are the ones that are raised en masse on farms.
Some animals are killed for their hide, tusks, and other body parts. For example, elephant tusks are used to make statuettes, whereas tiger fur can be a “nice” addition to your bedroom. That is exactly why these two species are on the brink of extinction nowadays.
It seems like the only way for animals to survive in a human-dominated world is being inedible or repulsive.
The habitat changes too fast
The evolutionary process is all about the ability to adapt. However, it becomes almost impossible to adapt in such a changing environment as ours.
Imagine being a monkey and living in a rain forest which is suddenly mowed down by an international corporation. Saying you can adapt to that is like saying you can adapt to a forest fire.
We invade the natural habitat of many species because we need to build roads, grow crops, and dispose of waste.
For instance, humans have long turned the oceans into a gigantic garbage dump. Did you know that a study conducted by Ecowatch revealed startling amounts of plastic in the digestive system of sea turtles?
That doesn’t mean that all turtles have it, but it shows how much plastic there is in the ocean these days.
Seeing marine wildlife being endangered is so ironic. Eighty percent of the ocean is unmapped and unexplored, and yet we are continuing to dump waste there at an unprecedented rate. That means we are causing some species we haven’t yet discovered to become extinct.
You can save them
The most important fact about endangered species is that they are not doomed and can be preserved.
You must have spent quite a lot of time writing custom paper for your university project. You are probably going to spend a lot of money on overpriced Starbucks coffee. So, why not donate a couple of dollars to an animal rights organization?
However, charity is not the only way you can help endangered pandas and tigers. You can also spread the word about the issues different species face.
Animals are dying out not because people are inherently evil. No international corporation CEO laughs demonically after putting another sub-species of tropical monkeys on the brink of extinction.
People are killing different animal species because of their ignorance. A guy who throws an empty plastic bottle into the river might not even know how adversely that may affect the environment.
So start spreading the word! The more people are aware of the consequences of their actions, the fewer problems we’ll have in the future.