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Plenty of you may be thinking, "Why should I care about what is happening to elephants? " To which I want to ask,
c an you imagine living in a world without elephants? Unfortunately, we are headed in that direction, with only about African elephants left in the entire world. Elephants are among the most culturally significant creatures alive and are economic gold mines, attracting tons of tourism money to countries with poorer economies. It is quite difficult to comprehend, only being able to see elephants in pictures and then, the possibility that the next generation will never witness a real, living elephant. If humans will not stop the murders, this prospect will come closer and closer to becoming a reality. Elephants are easily deemed as one of the most iconic and emotionally intelligent animals, but there is one part of their body that is considered so valuable that poachers murder them in cold blood Б ivory. Elephants grow those beautiful ivory tusks at a very young age. Their tusks are actually their teeth, meaning that about of an elephant's tusk is not protruding from their mouth. Elephants, not only to function as teeth, but also to fend off natural predators, dig, attract mates and plenty of other activities to ensure survival in the wild. But even if elephants survive being poached, they are now extremely vulnerable to disease and predation. The poachers who kill elephants are not at all concerned about making sure the elephants feel no pain during death or even respect them when they pass away.


These run up on herds of elephants that they have been tracking, shoot them with automatic weapons and chop off their tusk with axes or saw them off with chainsaws. They will leave them laying in their death spot to rot without the blink of an eye. If poachers and their employers will go to these extreme measures to obtain ivory, what is the big end gain? Even though around of the world's poached ivory ends up in China and Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and the Philippines, the market for ivory has active consumers all around the globe, including the United Kingdom and United States. Ivory is seen as a status symbol, as it is quite expensive and becoming more scarce with the decline in the elephant species. It can be jewelry, statues and even as serve as an ingredient in ancient Chinese medicine recipes. Buyers will spend large amounts of money to acquire valuable ivory creations, which only makes the black market stronger and in demand. Despite their prehistoric appearance and humongous size, elephants are known to be as as humans; they can grieve, love, be playful and have feelings almost identical to those that humans possess. Most importantly, elephants can feel pain and die slow, agonizing deaths when their tusks are cut at the root. In a historic and necessary vote, this year Hong Kong and mainland China have chosen to from being traded and sold. Ivory had been traded in China for over 150 years, and people are finally starting to realize the negative effects that poaching and illegal ivory selling has had on elephants and their ecosystems.


China is hoping to close all ivory storefronts and tents. If there is no market or demand for ivory, there will be no poaching. So, what can you do to stop the poaching and killing of elephants? There are dozens of ways that you can help save the elephants, such as to the fund will assist in researching and monitoring the care and keeping of elephants. You can also avoid any ivory products at all costs, and spread the word to protect our elephants. It is our duty to make sure this magnificent species does not die because of human greed. 05. HUMAN IMPACT ON THE REEF Functions of Coral Reefs: Coral reefs are important for many different reasons aside from supposedly containing the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. They: help with nutrient recycling. This is why large numbers of marine species live in reefs. Other reasons why they are so important include: The Great Barrier Reef generates more than1. 5 billion dollars every year for the Australian economy, from fishing and tourism The study of coral reefs is important for providing a clear, scientifically-testable record of climatic events over the past million years or so. This includes records of recent major storms and human impacts that are recorded by the changes in coral growth patterns. Importance of healthy ecosystems: Reducing biodiversity through the extinction of species inevitably leads to the breakdown in ecosystem health and function.


Healthy ecosystems are essential to provide us with: natural resources, such as foods and drugs services we depend upon, such as recycling and purification of water and air, the creation of soil, and the break-down of pollutants social, cultural and recreational activities, such as those found in our many unique National Parks, World Heritage Areas and the other special places we like to visit high species diversity. A diverse range of species provides a larger gene pool, giving natural communities survival options when environmental conditions and climates change. Species evolve over time as natural selection favours the best of these survival options. Therefore, extinction poses a greater threat to species for which there is limited diversity. Existing species need to be conserved for scientists do not know everything there is to know about all species. A species may play a crucial role in an ecosystem and if it is removed, all organisms in that community may feel the impact. The greater the number of species and hence genetic diversity in an ecosystem, the lesser will be the impact of removing individual species. The health, management and conservation of biodiversity, is a fundamental issue facing humankind, presenting a real challenge to biology today. The major factors that affect the health and function of our Great Barrier Reef are climate change and pollution. As Queenslanders, it is important that we develop strategies to protect our reef. Next section:

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