Extinct or Extant?

There are over 9000 animals all over the world that have become extinct or endangered over the years. If we don’t do something to help, the list will continue to grow. One endangered species protection program is the World Wildlife Fund. WWF fights to secure a future for animals. They help bring back animals from the edge of extinction. Some of the leading causes of extinction and loss of biodiversity include:

  • unsustainable hunting and harvesting
  • land use practices; deforestation, urban and suburban development, agricultural cultivation, and water management projects that destroy natural habitats
  • introduction to destructive diseases, parasites, and predators (intentional or unintentional)
  • water, soil, and air pollution
  • global climate change²

Many animal populations have dropped majorly because of those few things. Poaching (illegal hunting and harvesting of animals) has made a very big dent in animal populations like the Asian and African elephant which were hunted for ivory (their tusks). Deforestation plays a major roll in animal extinction. Just think about the rain forests. Trees are being cut down, destroying animal habitats and causing them to move out of their home and closer to humans. Destructive diseases, parasites and predators can destroy an ecosystem. Just like we learned in science class, if you remove one animal from a food chain (because of an invasive species killing it off) then the whole food chain will eventually die. Water, soil, and air pollution can cause global climate change (aka global warming). If there is too much carbon dioxide in the air it will cause the temperature to change. Animals live in specific places partly because of the weather. If the climate suddenly changes the animals are at a greater risk of death.

(Proportion of all assessed species in different threat categories of extinction risk on the IUCN Red List, based on data from 47,677 species)¹

According to www.globalissues.org:

  • 1 out of 8 birds
  • 1 out of 4 mammals
  • 1 out of 3 amphibians
  • 6 out of 7 marine turtles

Are at risk of extinction. That is about 13% of birds, 25% of mammals, 33% of amphibians, and 86% of marine turtles.¹

Does life have to be this way?

This may seen like a problem with no solution but we can help! There are many simple ways that you can help to prevent animal extinction. One thing, that maybe you can’t do but your parents can do, is to slow down when driving. Never purchase products made from endangered or threatened species. You can make your home wildlife friendly by planting native plants that will provide food and shelter for native animals. Also, use less herbicides and pesticides. Try to learn about endangered species in your area. The easiest thing that you can do to help endangered species is RECYCLING! Help save the endangered species. Like they say, every little penny helps. To learn more about how you can help visit this website

Here is a video to get your mind going:

Info from:

¹ http://www.globalissues.org/article/171/loss-of-biodiversity-and-extinctions#MassiveExtinctionsFromHuman

² http://science.jrank.org/pages/2465/Endangered-Species-Human-causes-extinction-endangerment.html

³ http://www.endangered.org/10-easy-things-you-can-do-to-save-endangered-species/

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One thought on “Extinct or Extant?

  1. Great article Erica! I could have guessed that you would write about animals! I see you still have a zoo at your house. I still have a peacock feather that either you or Lynne gave me. Hope you are enjoying McDowell. Tell James, Lynne, and your parents hello for me.

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