How Humanity Has Driven Certain Animal Species to the Edge of Extinction or Wiped Out Them Completely
The world is slowly dying and if an initiative is not taken soon it will be too late to fix the enduring problems. In recent years the list of species that have been threatened with extinction has grown tremendously. The reason behind this growing list is humans. Humans have cold-heartedly taken the lives of multiple species clueless about the repercussions of their actions. Along with their actions, few have taken the initiative to help save the wildlife that has become endangered and the environment they live in. Some of many of these human lead actions include trophy hunting, deforestation, and global warming.
Places that are primarily affected by excessive hunting are continents such as Africa and Asia that are home to animals like elephants, rhinos, and lions. These animals are targeted for their prominent features that are very valuable. For example lions in West Africa “Lion trophy hunting can also be a threat if not appropriately managed. The dynamics of lion populations may be particularly sensitive to the removal of pride males because of social disruption and potential infanticide by incoming males”(Bouché). Males are the main target when it comes to hunting lions because of their mane strong figure. Without a control on hunting, there can be an imbalance between males and females affecting population growth. With proper funding and control on lion poaching, the species would not be threatened with extinction. If a limit is created on how many lions and other animals a hunter can kill it would benefit the populations tremendously.
In Africa and Asia, the only predator to rhinos is humans. Rhinos are hunted for their large horns that are very valuable. Within the horn of a rhino are viable ingredients that are used as medicine in some countries. ‘If they find a rhino, they shoot it and saw off the horn, leaving the dead animal in the bush to be found—or not. Vultures circling over a dead rhino’ (Burleigh). The rhinos use their horns to defend their territories, calves and as a tool for digging up water. A rhino can potentially live without their horn but it leaves them defenseless and decreases their chances of survival. Illegal poachers say their excuse for killing rhinos is, ‘We are using the rhino horn to free ourselves”(Burleigh). The amount of money that a poacher can get from one rhino horn could set the person and their family up for years (Burleigh). People do encounter rough situations where they will do anything for money but taking the life of another species whether it is a human or an animal is not right. Other than affecting the populations, there are many other factors that play a part in hunting the game species such as behavioral effects. In areas where there is a high frequency of hunting alters the behavior of the wildlife(Muposhi).’
Trophy hunting, like predation, tends to alter wildlife behavior by influencing the perceived risk thus shaping the landscape of fear for most wildlife species’ (Muposhi). Wildlife should be able to roam freely without the fear of humans, people should be more afraid of wilife, not the other way around. The only predator that wildlife should have is other wildlife, not humans. Additionally, land clearing for human adaptation has interrupted many ecosystems.
With the human population constantly growing more space is needed for living, resulting in taking away the homes of many other species. “Deforestation is the intentional or natural clearance of forests on a massive scale, often resulting in damage to the quality of the land and adverse environmental effects”(N.Faiza). Deforestation not only affects the animals or species that live in the area, it also affects the quality of the land itself. By taking machines into these lands and ripping apart the natural growths of nature, these plants and trees can not naturally regrow again. Humans do need the space to live just as much as the species that live in open areas. With human population growing rapidly we have no other choice but to expand to places that are not occupied already by other humans. The proper way to clear the lands is to remove the animals and take them to places where the environment is remotely similar instead of demolishing their homes without concern on where the animals are going. Very few companies that partake in deforestation take into consideration all of the species that are being killed from the land that they are taking over. From the biggest trees to even the smallest insects and everything in between are all affected by land clearing. No matter how old or how new a species is, if land clearing is taking place in their home then they are going to be threatened. ‘undocumented extinctions of species which were never formally described likely represent a substantial “hidden” component of ongoing global biodiversity loss.
Other species are believed to have gone extinct shortly after their initial discovery’ (Connette). Multiple unknown wildlife are completely disappearing once deforestation has taken place. Instead of discovering and educating ourselves on new species humans are killing them without even knowing it. Deforestation not only affects the ecosystem that is being torn down but also the humans. Humans blindly go in and use their big machines to tear down the homes of other species not realizing that they are hurting the environment and themselves. ‘Deforestation has many harmful effects on the environment and also drives climate change. Without protection from sun due to the tree cover the moist soils in the forests quickly dry out'(N. Faiza).
We are all affected by climate change, without adequate land and soil we would not be able to grow crops and water sources would dry out from direct sun exposure. Furthermore, temperatures are slowly rising around the world and although it seems to have little effect on humans, it is making a huge impact on other wildlife. These rising temperatures, even by a couple degrees has resulted in killing coral reefs. “When rising ocean temperature stresses corals, they expel the algae, causing the tissue to bleach — turn white — and leaving it vulnerable to starvation and disease”(Albright). After these coral reefs have died, it is very difficult to get them to grow back. These rising temperatures allow for species in the water to be more susceptible to diseases because of bacteria from pollution that is able to grow easily in warm conditions. Humans need to stop polluting our world so heavily. Pollution has a huge effect on the air that we breathe and if we want to start with fixing the problem we should start with us. By ensuring cleaner air it would benefit every living organism on this planet.Global warming may seem as it has no effect to humans but it actually does. Everything on this planet is affected by global warming including the soil, the water and the air we breath. “As the globe warms, more than the climate is endangered. Species are vanishing at a scary rate. We’re the cause – but we’re also the solution” (Walsh). If we created the problem then we have to be the ones to solve it before we start vanishing like other species. One way that we can help is by, “reducing carbon emissions as fast as possible”(Walsh). Reducing carbon emission will result in cleaner air and decrease the effects of global warming tremendously.
Lastly, many companies dump all of their toxic waste into streams and rivers. Doing so is very toxic to the air and to the water the is being contaminated. This toxic waste that is being dumped is harming all of the species that live in these streams and river. For example, a company like General Electric creates aircraft engines, power generations, and industrial products, but where do they put all of their toxic waste? ‘GE designed Mexico’s only nuclear-power plant, which has dumped radioactive water into the Gulf of Mexico'(Balog). With General Electric dumping their waste into the Gulf of Mexico they are harming all species in that live in the Gulf and potentially affecting people that get in the water. A more efficient way of removing waste needs to be created so we are not dumping it into our waters, into the air or burying it under our soil.In 1973 the Endangered Species Act to place to help protect and species that are endangered and its ecosystem. Along with the act, many people have formed foundations to further protect species that have or have the potential to become threatened with extinction.
Even with these solutions, many species are still threatened endangerment from human action. More awareness needs to brought to the surface to get people to take measures to save instead of kill. Humans should save those that are endangered and save themselves from further killing the world we live in.
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