why do plants and animals become extinct
30 June, 2014
ExtinctionБ Mass extinction is a very rare event. The most well-known extinction is when the dinosaurs were wiped off the face of the earth, but prior to that there were other extinctions. In fact, before humans arrived on the planet, 99. 9% of all species that have existed have already become extinct. In those days, extinctions happen naturally over a long span of time. Climate change, changes in sea levels and currents, diseases, and the spread of invasive species are natural triggers which can cause the demise of some species. In our present time, itБs a different story. If youБve ever asked yourself, БWhy do species become extinct? Б you might not like the hard truth. But the fact is we humans are driving a large number of species to extinction. The majestic Mountain Gorilla, the Sumatran Tiger, the Rhino, the Bluefin Tuna are all in the endangered species list. Even the mighty Lion is threatened. How are we making it happen? What are the factors that are endangering the balance of life? Scientists are predicting that half of all our plants and animals will be extinct by 2100. Here are the reasons; Animals and plants are losing their homes Habitat destruction is the number one driver of species extinction. When we demolish a forest in a certain area, we have doomed all the living things thriving in that environment. When we cut off rivers with dams or build roads through a forest, we are destroying ecosystems. Where will they live? Do we bother to relocate them? Is that even possible? Maybe the big animals which we can see, yes. But more often than not, we donБt bother. Deforestation has killed off more species than we can identify.
To date, we have destroyed around 13 million hectares of forest, home to thousands of species big and small. We are destroying forests to supply the ever growing needs of our civilization for wood, paper, and other materials that come from our trees. Due to deforestation, we are driving the Mountain Gorillas away from their habitat and they are unable to handle the stress of having to cope. More: We are Overhunting and Overharvesting Hunting and harvesting are necessary activities of humans. We need to eat and survive. If this were our only reasons, the planet can probably sustain us. It can reproduce and sustain us with a steady supply. But we are overharvesting some species, like the Bluefin Tuna, the Whales and Sharks and some species of fish. These species are unable to reproduce fast enough to meet our needs. More: The Tiger is being hunted to extinction, not as food but for its beautiful skin and its organs which are seen as medicinal in some Asian countries. The same is true for the Rhino whose horns are also believed to be medicinal and for the Elephant whose tusks are made of precious ivory. We are no longer hunting them as food alone. They are the source for some of our products. Most of these products we donБt even really need. ThereБs someone new in the neighborhood Unknowingly and knowingly, we introduce new species to an ecosystem where these newcomers prey on the native species or compete with them for their food. An example is when people accidentally bring in pests from one country to another. These pests have no natural predators in their new environment so they can spread very fast and destroy the balance of their habitat. There are just too many Humans Our exploding population is another main driver of species extinction.
The causes listed above are compounded thousands of times by our ever growing number. We are competing for space, over-utilizing and our insatiable need are just overwhelming the other living things living on our planet. More: What can we do about it? We are facing a biodiversity crisis, thereБs no doubt about it. We are in the middle of a 6 Extinction known as the. Conservationists are doing what they can through carefully planned breeding programs. Governments are helping by banning illegal fishing practices and poaching. You can also help. We can leave the big tasks to the scientists, but you can make a difference in a big way. We are not totally helpless. We can co-exist. Be kind to our Environment. Lower your ecological footprint. DonБt buy products that are made from animals that are endangered. DonБt encourage this practice. If you donБt buy, they wonБt sell. Buy wood products from a sustainable source. Look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. DonБt waste so much! Read more stories on our environment and what you can do to help at References We speak of animals like panda, polar bear, rhinoceros, puma, ocelot, tiger etc very fondly. Similarly, plants like red helleborine, cheddar pink, monkey orchid, alpine catchfly, alpine gentian etc get our special consideration. The reason is simple, but painful. These animals and plants are on the verge of extinction and only limited numbers exist across the globe. When first suggested, Charles Darwin was ridiculed for the theory of survival of the fittest. Gradually, the theory gained popularity as many species of and animals became extinct or started facing extinction as described by Darwin.
Atlass wild ass, lava mouse, Chinese elephant, cave lion, Bali tiger, cave bear, cave hyena, dwarf elephants, tarpan, majorcan hare and British large blue are representatives of already extinct animals or insects. Since evolution of plants and animals, many have become extinct while some others are nearing extinction. Certain species which are on the verge of extinction has attracted worldwide attention. These species are categorized under endangered species for special attention and care. Both natural and man-made factors can be blamed for these special circumstances. Encroachment of forest areas by growing human population has resulted in scarcity of forest land for the survival of wildlife. Deforestation for wood and farming has reduced the area of forest making certain wildlife to vanish. Pollution resulted from industrialization became a catalyst. Man started hunting certain animals for meat and gradually those animals got extinct. The auk and dodo comes under this category. Oil spills have resulted in vast areas of seas and oceans getting covered with black oil. Sea birds, fish and plants in the sea have suffered because of this. Natural calamities, scarcity of suitable food and unsuitable temperature and pressure are some of the major natural causes. Conservation of wildlife is one of the top most agendas worldwide. Creation of new laws, wild life sanctuaries and better awareness are being used as powerful weapons to fight the extinction. Specific projects are also being promoted to protect endangered species. Why are some of the alpine plants hairy? How did secretary bird get its name?
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