Endangered Species

Every morning when we get ready for another day, there is one moment of our life that we do or say something that could be beneficial to the surroundings. Simple acts like watering a plant or removing the clutter helps to keep the surroundings and therefore the environment clean. Conservation is the need of the hour and nature conservation is a necessity today.

Today the world is at a stage where plants and animals are getting extinct and we as human beings and being the more intelligent species should ensure that this is curbed. Endangered species is a group of organisms that stands a risk of getting extinct either because of its lessened numbers or because it is being threatened by parameters related to the environment. Thus the International Union for Conservation of Nature has actually deduced that 40% of all organisms are endangered.

Countries are coming forward to help in nature conservation by passing laws for protection to conserving species by restricting land development, stopping hunting and also by creating preserves. The pandas are the special few which have got legal protection. While determining the status of conservation of species, factors like the total number, the overall increase or decrease of the species, its breeding rates and the threats it faces are considered. Globally there are around 199 countries that have agreed as per the Biodiversity Action Plan to protect the endangered species.

Species earlier were living unhealthier environment and cleaner surroundings in the absence of greenhouse gases. A rapid climate change problem has led to the problem of animals getting extinct. The deforestation and the rising temperatures added on to this and today it is the major cause of concern for all. Global warming has ensured that the species do not have the scope to survive thus start deteriorating. This cycle has become endless today.

Some of the extinct species include the javan tiger, dodo, Caribbean Monk Seal, Passenger Pigeon, Elephant Bird, Aurochs, Steller’s Sea Cow, and Dusky Seaside Sparrow. The wild extinct animals include Hawaiian Row, Socorro Dove, Wyoming Toad, Scimitar Oryx, Red tailed Shark, Catarina Pupfish.

The completely endangered and with the highest possible extinction factor are the Mountain gorilla, Ethiopian Wolf, Bactrian Camel, Saiga, Kakapo, Takhi, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Vaquita, Javan Rhino, Brown Spider Monkey, Gharial, Brazilian Merganser, California Condor, Chinese Alligator, Island Fox.

The Blue Whale, dhole, Asian Elephant, Philippine Eagle, Grevy’s Zebra, Tasmanian Devil, Green Sea Turtle , African Wild Dog and many more such species would completely get extinct in the coming years.

But the common Wood Pigeon, Platypus, Bald Eagle, Cane Toad, Indian Peafowl, American Alligator are some of the species which face no threat.

Today in the U.S. there is a law that a wildlife expert has to be consulted before taking any action on the endangered species issue. Endangered species attract the poachers and the collectors. It is also seen that landowners just do away with the endangered species in their land to facilitate viability for the public. That endangered species lurking around could stop people from coming there so these landowners just kill and bury the animal thereby reducing the population of the species and causing a threat to its existence.

Today around 1556 species are endangered or are facing extinction. Nature Serve Conservation members assess the status of the plant, fungal species or animal and its ecological communities and system. This gives the species a conservation status rank.

Sometimes the humans themselves are responsible for creating the extinction. In the Hawaii, the coqui frog was spoiling the peace of the residents by their croaking noise in the night. Pathogens were released to kill them. Thus this species has decreased here. In Arrowhead Lake in Vermont, where the non native mute swans were killed when there were more than 8 birds much to the anger of the welfare organizations.

Thus in today’s world maintaining biodiversity is important but it is costly and consumes time. The species should be saved and their importance for human welfare should be understood. They are crucial for proper working of the ecosystem. They are also an important source of entertainment besides many times providing medicinal benefits too.

Thus actions like the Yellowstone National Park authorities re- introducing the gray wolf are things that have to be acknowledged and applauded. The number of tourists in the park has increased and the species has come back from getting extinct. Thus the gray wolf has added to the biodiversity in the protected area.

Similarly the scrub mint is a herb that has an anti fungal agent. It is a natural insecticide. This has been preserved from getting extinct. People used to spray a lot of DDT and other pesticides thereby leading to the deterioration of the bald eagle and the peregrine falcon. People stopped using this and increased their population.

Again the Pacific yew was discovered to be the source of the compound taxol which is an anti cancer agent.

In this manner it is seen that the endangered species is useful for the development of mankind and it also helps in maintaining the biodiversity and preservation of the ecosystem in particular. Besides this there is also the process of ecosystem conservation where an individual species is conserved rather than the entire system.

Thus helping to preserve the species is the main aim of all the nature conservationists and they are always involved in finding methods to preserve and expand these species.  Thus they are trying to find the causes of species getting endangered, forming committees and organizations, researching on their habitats, and characteristics, creating environmental ethics and thus conserving nature.

Areas like the Northwest Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument where the marine protection is the largest, and processes like captive breeding where endangered species are bred in controlled surroundings like reserves or zoos help nature conservation. The Pere David’s Deer is one such example of captive breeding.

Poaching completely reduces animal population, but legal private farming could increase it. This is seen in the case of the southern black rhinoceros. However actions like the China’s turtles being farm grown is not being met with good approval amongst nature conservationists.

Better actions as in the case of the southern blue fin tuna being made to breed in Australia in tanks threw open the opportunities of fish farming thus savaging the endangered tuna.

In this manner, endangered species are but a small drop in the huge system of nature conservation. It is in our hands to get more information and be able to do something about it so as to preserve, protect and enhance the existence of such species in the world.

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