What Humans Can Do to Save the Endangered Species
Plants and animals are a natural part of people’s everyday lives, but many humans are slowly killing every species on the planet, if something does not change fifty percent or more of endangered species could be gone by the end of the century (Hosansky 1). A species becomes endangered when it is close to extinction because of humans, climate change, predator-prey ratios, etc (Endangered Species Dictionary 1). Some endangered species that have been affected by humans are frogs, flowers, giant pandas, and trees. Along with these, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife reports over twelve hundred endangered species and this number continues to rise. The damage done to pollution, global warming, thinning, of the ozone layer by humans can not compare to the damage that has been done to plants and animals (Hosansky 1).
Although some may not realize, people should be more caring of endangered species because they are vital to the world, are endangered from human things, and the endangered species act (ESA) can not do this on its own.Americans should be more caring of endangered species because they are vital to the world. If these plants and animals disappear the potential effects could be harmful to the U.S. and many other countries. Biologist Edward O. Wilson says “so important are insects and other dwelling arthropods that if all were to disappear humanity probably could not last more than a few months” (Hosansky 1). This would be possible because they give us food, fiber, materials to build, and new medicines (Hosansky 1).
For example, animals help to pollinate the plants, but if those animals are endangered and they go extinct, then the plants will not get pollinated and that food will not grow. This could lead to food shortages and famine across the world. In addition to that, plants and bacteria perform photosynthesis, which gives off oxygen. In this process plants, such as trees, also absorb carbon dioxide from the air (Friedman 21-22). In order for species to survive they need to live in a diverse environment, meaning an environment filled with different types of plants, animals, and bacteria. In fact, diversity helps with recreational, emotional, cultural, spiritual, and the aesthetic needs of humans (Friedman 21-22). Not only that but it can also affect water, weather patterns, fertilization of crops, erosion of topsoil, and reduce carbon dioxide as well (Hosansky 1). Species’ vitalization to the world can be much better with help to save these plants and animals. The different environments need to have a healthy amount of biodiversity or else this lack of biodiversity will be harmful to the species and humans. Therefore, people need to help create healthy and diverse ecosystems for plants and animals, so they can contribute their natural services to the world.(Shah 1).
If the environment is lacking then species could begin going extinct. Since species’ are interdependent, meaning if they start going extinct, they will no longer have each other to rely on and more and more species’ will start to die (Shah 1). One animal that would suffer from a lack of diversity is the bees. If the bees suffer then so does the world because bees are pollinators, which makes them crucial agricultural workers (Shah 1). More importantly, without biodiversity America will continue in an age of mass extinction and lose economic value (Hosansky 1; Shah 1). If there are not healthy biodiversities then humans and animals will end up in danger.Humans lack of caring is the main contributor to the endangerment of species. It has been found that humans are almost always endangering plants and animals because of the things done in people’s everyday lives, such as, habitat destruction, pollution, over fishing and hunting, etc (Hosansky 1). A form of habitat destruction is deforestation which is forests being cut down. Deforestation is harmful to animals because they could lose their homes or even get killed in the process (deforestation 1).
Water pollution is another way that humans endanger plants and animals. When humans pollute the water it puts animals at risk for eating hazardous products, such as plastic (pollution 1). Overfishing and overhunting occur when the population is being decreased faster than it can reproduce. Laws have now been passed, so that wildlife management can keep track of the population (overfishing 1; David, et 1). Along with these, there are other ways that humans contribute to the endangerment of species.Improved pharmaceuticals can help endangered animals by cutting down on hunting for medicinal purposes. For example, the now endangered black bear has been hunted for thousands of years to be used in traditional chinese medicine. The black bears gallbladder and bile is used as an anti-inflammatory, a sedative, and as treatment for cardiovascular and pulmonary disease (Feng 1). Instead of using natural medicines made from plants and animals at home people could get medicine from doctors and pharmacies (Friedman 55-57). By making medicine more easily available to everybody it can cut down on how many plants and animals humans kill for home remedies. Many of the plants and the animals on the list are endangered for very similar reasons. For example, animals found from the species list are rusty patched bumble bees, queen alexandra’s birdwing butterfly, the maui dolphin, polar and grizzly bears, alabama cavefish and so on (listed animals 1). Similarities between these animals are that their habitats are decreasing from things such as palm plantations, deforestation or even because people are hunting for them (Queen alexandra 1). An example as to why bees are endangered is because people are killing one another’s bee hives that they are keeping to try and protect this creature (USWFS 1). The maui dolphin is also an animal that was good to mention because they live in the ocean and lots of people throw their trash in the water or even leave it lying around on the beach (Maui dolphin 1). This does not only affect these particular animals, but all animals around the world. Not only that, but there are plenty of plants on the list as well.
On the endangered species’ list there are plants such as the South Texas ambrosia, Star cactus, Florida bonamia, California jewelflower, and many many more that it would take days to list them all (endangered species 1). For instance, the California Jewelflower is endangered because of the loss of pollinators, animals overgrazing in the fields, going off roading, and workers who are looking for oil and gas in places where this plant and animals habitats are located (california jewelflower 1). Plants such as the Parish daisy are having a hard time reproducing because of urban development where construction workers are tearing up the plant to build neighborhoods, shopping malls, etc. They are also endangered from off roading just like the California Jewelflower (PDF 7). Although, this is not even a third of either the endangered plant or animal lists, it is seen that these very different species’ are actually very similar in the ways that they are on the list, so with that being said people should be more caring as to where they do certain things for the fact of there possibly being an endangered species right where they are.
Many organizations are working around the world to help keep species on the list from becoming more endangered or going extinct. The most well-known law for helping the species is the Endangered Species Act. This act helps with pesticide regulations, the clean water act which helps make sure that water around the world is clean and safe for plants and animals, and the fostering of species becoming extinct such as the bald eagle. Also, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora helps preserve well-known animals, such as elephants and sea turtles. The World Bank is another very helpful organization that helps with giving grants to developing countries, so that the environments can be restored, etc (Hosansky 1). Along with that, there are environmental groups who help facilitate ecotourism in places where it can help the communities profit (Hosansky 1). Fortunately, there is an endangered species coalition that is working towards helping strengthen the ESA with well over 150,000 activists and supporters of their work, which in turn can help stop the extinction caused by humans for good (Merry 1). Although it does not sound like much is being done, there are many organizations, including the ones mentioned, out there working to end the extinction of plants and animals.
There are many things that just about anyone can do around the area that they live to help save endangered species. To begin helping, people will need to learn about the plants and animals that are endangered locally. This will aid in being able to identify and help the particular species if needed. Also, going to a national wildlife park can help people learn more about different species in general. Another thing that can be done is to ensure that homes are wildlife safe. For example, make sure that animals can not get into things like trash cans or any bags that may be outside or any outdoor pools, when it is cold check for cats under the car, etc. When driving, especially at night, slow down and keep an eye out for wildlife, such as deer, armadillo’s, and others crossing streets. If there are any type of endangered species around do not be abusive because it is cruel and illegal. In addition to that, when performing lawncare try not to use herbicides and pesticides because even though it makes the yard look good, these chemicals are hazardous to wildlife on many different levels (Merry 1).
Even though the things people can do to save the endangered species do not seem like much, anything that can be done will be helpful in saving all of the plants and animals around people’s individual communities.Humans should be more caring of endangered species so that vegetation and wildlife are not harmed more by people’s lifestyles because all plants and creatures are vital to the world. Government lawmakers and agencies work hard to save the species but both groups need everyone’s help to save endangered plants and animals. The world’s species are so vital that without them the earth and all on it could suffer in many ways which is why humans should help cultivate the diversity to keep these important species alive and healthy. People should also be mindful of their actions because many species are endangered due to human interference, such as habitat destruction and unnecessary hunting of animals for medicinal purposes. The ESA cannot help endangered species on its own which is why there are many organizations helping along with community members aiding in local areas. If changes are not made then all plants and animals will go extinct causing humans to follow in the same direction.
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