An endangered species is one which is threatened by extinction. Besides biological factors, there are various human activities that lead to the endangerment and the extinction of a large number of animals. Recent estimates revealed a rate of 100 to 1,000 species lost per million per year, mostly due to human intervention in the natural habitat of these animals. Many teenagers and young adults find it disturbing to know that animals they grew up watching in the zoo are now endangered. This list includes:
Tigers are one of nature’s most magnificent creatures. However, it is also a species that will soon vanish from the face of Earth, never to be seen again. Studies conclude that now there are less than 4,000 tigers left in the wild. One of the prime reasons for the alarming downfall of the tiger population is developmental activities; due to human intervention, tigers have lost more than 90% of their natural territory.
Slightly smaller than its African genetic twin, the Asian elephant made it on the endangered species list back in 1976. Once again, thanks to mankind and its incessant desire to take over what is not theirs, the Asian elephants are losing more and more of their natural habitat.
The killer whales are endangered due to rising levels of water pollution—large amounts of various toxic wastes are being dumped into their natural habitat on a daily basis. Recently, a killer whale was reported to have been washed on a shore and an excessive level of banned chemicals and PCBs were found in her system.
For a long time, the existence of bumblebees has been taken for granted. Many people wonder why this insignificantly small insect is even included in a list that has magnificent creatures like the elephants, tigers, whales etc. The fact is that for the survival of the human race, the existence of this species is more important than that of even elephants and tigers. In the absence of bumblebees, pollination becomes an impossibility, resulting in the demise of humans. Due to a large number of grasslands that have been lost or destroyed, the bumblebee population is in grave danger.
After reading about endangered animals, it becomes clear that the common denominator amongst all of them is human intervention.
As a race, we need to realise and accept that we are responsible for the loss of our environmental biodiversity. Further, it is crucial to understand that we have the ability to undo the damage.
There are a few things we can do to save animals from extinction, which in turn will dramatically improve our ecological conditions.
First, there are many organisations worldwide which are working tirelessly to implement effective plans of action to protect animals. However, their resources are limited since aren’t available in abundance. Partner with charity organisations who work with wildlife sanctuaries to ensure the survival of endangered species and donate your time or money.
Second, utilise days like the World Endangered Animal’s Day (19th May) for spreading awareness about the grave situation we are dealing with at present, with regard to all endangered, threatened and vulnerable species.
Further, report any cases of poaching that you come across and have not been reported.
Only when we recognise our damaging contributions to our biosphere and start taking collective action towards repairing the harm caused by us single-handedly will the human race stand a chance of survival in the long term.