Do you love animals, and strove to save animals which are in danger……have a look down!
Did you know that the Asiatic elephant, the tiger, the cheetah, the Arabian onyx, the okapi and the magnificent Andean condor are among the world’s most endangered species? Unfortunately the Pere David deer and the white-tailed gnu are not the only creatures in the world that are nearly extinct.
What is an endangered species? Endangered species are animals or plants that will soon die out. Many animals and plants become endangered or extinct each year. Recently, however, the rate of their dying out has increased dramatically. What makes them endangered? There are many reasons that can cause a species of animals or plants to become endangered, or even extinct. To accommodate the increasing human population more and more land is taken away from these animals or plants. With the little amount of land thee animals have, food sources become scarce. Sometimes animals can’t adapt to the limited space they now have and ultimately die. And not to forget the chemicals people use. Hunting and trading are other reasons that threaten the lives of many innocent living creatures. Lastly, pollution is another huge factor causing these animals to become endangered.
Species have slowly evolved and disappeared throughout geologic time as the result of climate changes and the inability to adapt to survive competition and predation. The list of creatures that have vanished altogether, and others that have almost vanished, is a long and melancholy one. As man has spread across the earth he has wrought the most terrible havoc among the wildlife by shooting, trapping, cutting and burning the forest, and by the callous and stupid introduction of enemies where there were no enemies before.
Take the dodo, for example, the great ponderous wedding pigeon, the size of a goose that inhabited the island of Mauritius. Secure in its island home, this bird has lost the power of flight since there were no enemies to fly from, and, since there were no enemies, it nested on the ground in complete safety. But, as well as losing the power of flight, it seems to have lost the power of recognizing an enemy when it saw one, apparently it was an extremely tame and confiding creature.
Then man discovered the dodo’s paradise and with him came his familiars: dogs, cats, pigs, rats and goats. The dodo surveyed these new arrivals with an air of innocent interest. Then the slaughter began. The goats ate the undergrowth which provided the dodo with cover: dogs and cats hunted and harried the old birds; while pigs grunted their way round the island, eating the eggs and young and rats followed behind to finish the feast. Later, the fat ungainly and harmless pigeon was extinct – as dead as the dodo.
All over the world the wild fauna has been whittled down steadily and remorselessly, and many lovely and interesting animals have been so reduced in numbers that, without protection and help, they can never re-establish themselves. If they cannot find sanctuary where they can live and breed undisturbed, their numbers will dwindle until they join the dodo, the quagga and the great auk on the long list of extinct creatures.
Of course, in the last decade or so, much has been done for the protection of wildlife: sanctuaries and reserves have been started, and the reintroduction of a species into areas where it had become extinct is taking place. Animals are now reintroduced into certain areas by means of airplane. The animals are put in a special box attached to a parachute, and when the plane flies over the area it drops the cage and its passengers out. The cage floats down on the end of the parachute and when it hits the ground it opens automatically and the animal then makes it way to the nearest stream or lake.
But although much is being done, there is still a great deal to do. Unfortunately, the majority of useful work in animal preservation has been done mainly for animals for which are of some economic importance to man and there are many obscure species of no economic importance which, although they are protected on paper, as it were, are in actual fact being allowed to die out because nobody, except a few interested zoologists, considers them important enough to spend money on.
Humans are responsible for the destruction of animal species, both directly and indirectly. In some cases humans have not destroyed animals intentionally; they have introduced certain factors that have led to the destruction of animals. Humans depend on species diversity and healthy ecosystems to provide food, clean air and water, and fertile soil for agriculture. In addition, we benefit greatly from the many medicines and other products that biodiversity provides. 40 percent of modern medicines are derived from plants or animals.
You might ask what one lone individual can do. But even one person can make a difference. First of all, try not to waste natural resources. Recycle your garbage. By recycling, you’re helping to save many trees from being cut down for paper. These trees then can remain as homes for many animals and plants in the wild. Keep your neighborhood clean. This can prevent any accidental death of animals or plants. Don’t buy any product that comes from animals. If you can, contribute to organizations that help to protect wildlife. Last and the most important, is to learn about these creatures.