By: So Yee
Baiji, Caspian Tigers, West African Black Rhinoceros: What do these animals have in common?
These days, as we use advanced technology in order to maintain more affluent life, our animals’ lives are continuing to be vulnerable. Then, we could assume that animal extinction and endangerment is our fault.
Therefore, shouldn’t we be responsible for making animals go extinct? According to an ecologist Robert J. Burrowes, recent data indicate that about 27 species are driven to extinction every day in our times.
Recently, Baiji and Eastern cougars have been officially declared extinct, and we will never be able to see them again.
As well, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, the earth is in the sixth stage of extinction of plants and animals. Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times more than the past with literally hundreds going extinct every day. In percentage terms, as much as 30 to 50 percent of all species will possibly be heading for extinction by the year 2050.
Moreover, as the use of plastics rapidly increases, more heavy metals, including cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, nickel, and zinc are spilled into the ocean. In other words, toxic substances are contained in plastics making it fatal to the marine life when we litter plastics carelessly.
Due to the erosion of soil and water by pollutants coming from industrial chemicals, the eroded soil and water are negatively affecting living organisms. In fact, the organisms consume poison, and we are in turn consuming these poisoned organisms such as fish and we end up intoxicated.
Shouldn’t we think more and realize the seriousness of our surroundings and prevent the extinction of animals?
However, some people may say, ‘Why does it matter? What is the big difference when animals get extinct? There will be no difference in our life because the Earth is already too polluted.’ News is constantly reporting on this issue, and most of us already know that many animals are endangered and are becoming extinct. However, although we heard about this enough and are brainwashed, there is no improvement and getting worse.
Why do we keep making the environment worse than before and keep destroying our nature?
The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)said roughly identified 16,928 species worldwide are being threatened for extinction or approximately 38 percent of those assessed. Therefore, over ten years, 100,000 species will be extinct each year making the extinction rate of 0.01%.
If animals start to go extinct, then the balance of the ecosystem will be destroyed. According to Science News, as animals go extinct gradually, there will be few species left, so the major biology journals came up with a new evaluation called the “biodiversity crisis.” which means there aren’t various species on Earth anymore.
In addition, the unbalanced ecosystem will be one of the causes of global warming,and when the temperature of seawater rises, fish living in cold waters will disappear, and fish which live in only warm waters such as the poisonous jellyfish and starfish are eating, the sea ecosystem will be disturbed.
Also, as we cut down the trees in forests and destroy wetlands, bats in the forest can transfer dangerous pathogens to livestock. The Pathogen that has been transferred to livestock can mutate and cause serious illness if this pathogen is passed on to humans.
Again, think about the natural environment which is surrounding by us in our daily life.
There are so many organisms and beautiful creatures that we could get along with in natural environment together. To keep our environment in good condition, we should keep continuing to make efforts to conserve the ecosystem by reducing the use of chemical products, by using cars and planting lots of trees.
“Extinction Is Forever.” The Ecologist, 17 Nov. 2017, https://theecologist.org/2015/dec/30/extinction-forever
Kolbert, Elizabeth. “Are we headed for a mass extinction?” Junior Scholastic/Current Events, 20 Apr. 2015, p. 20+. Global Issues in Context, Date of Access: April 6th 2019 http://junior.scholastic.com/
Lawler, Joshua J. “Scientists are citizens, too.” Earth Island Journal, Summer 2015, p. 56. Science in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A417895020/GPS?u=60iskl&sid=GPS&xid=6607db37. Accessed 7 Apr. 2019.
Sixth Tone. “Sighting of Yangtze River Dolphin Believed ‘Functionally Extinct’.” Sixth Tone, 8 Oct. 2016, http://www.sixthtone.com/news/1406/sighting-yangtze-river-dolphin-believed-extinct
Schubert, Charlotte. “Life on the Edge.” Science News, 15 Sept. 2001, p. 168. Science in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A78889704/GPS?u=60iskl&sid=GPS&xid=08e7324f. Date of Access: April 7th 2019.http://www.sciencenews.org/
“Western Black Rhino Declared Extinct.” Earth First! Newswire, 8 May 2013, https://earthfirstjournal.org/newswire/2013/05/07/western-black-rhino-declared-extinct/