They’re Dying: Here’s What We Can Do

Fact: Since the evolution of modern humans, the extinction of animal, plant, and insect species has increased at an alarming rate.

See: Humans increased species extinction rate by 1,000 times, new study …

The story is the same: climate change, deforestation, and poaching. These factors are key contributors to the extinction of dozens of species. Dozens more are critically endangered due to irresponsible use of land.

Recently, the last male White Rhino died, thereby sounding the irreversible death knell of that species. It’s heartbreaking, and even frustrating, to see disconcerting news like that. But for many people, it’ll be forgotten.

Newsflash. 

The blood of hundreds of species is on us. The White Rhino was only one species on the irreversible path to extinction.

Here are just a few critically endangered species:

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The Vaquita is an adorable rare mammal. It’s the smallest porpoise in the world, and only thirty of them remain.  They’re quite small, but can reach up to 5 feet in length. Their habitat is in the Northern Gulf of California, where they face death by fishing nets. Only about 30 survive. Mexico has taken some strides in defending the endangered species,  but the threat of extinction still looms over this porpoise population.

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The Far East Leopard has adapted to life in temperate, and mixed forests near Russia. Like the Vaquita, the Far East Leopard’s major threat are poachers, who are able to sell leopard to the highest bidder. In addition to poaching, the Far East Leopard’s habitat is also under threat by deforestation and dwindling prey.

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The Hawkbill Turtle, have pointed beaks and a unique shell that makes them valuable to poachers. Sea turtles are some of the Earth’s oldest creatures. They’ve been steadily contributing to the ocean’s eco-system.

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Sumatran Tigers are also critically endangered. They’re easily distinguishable by their vibrant orange coats with thick, black stripes. They reside in Indonesia’s forests, but are threatened by deforestation and poaching. In fact, 40 tigers die every year from poaching. Only about four hundred exist.

Deforestation remains a major threat to all wildlife. Destruction of natural habitats result in premature deaths of species, and their prey. We can stop deforestation. Here’s how:

Plant a tree! Seriously. You’ll feel good about yourself, and more importantly, you’ll be giving back to the Earth.

Go paperless! Again, seriously. We’re in the digital age now. We should have gone paperless years ago. If you can’t cut out ALL paper, then cut out A LOT. Recycle used paper.

If you’re choosing between two products, one is made from 100% recycled material, and the other is made from plastic, BUY RECYCLED. It makes a difference. Put pressure on big corporations, by buying only recycled material.

Be an advocate. Anyone can do this. Talk to you friends and family about the small things they can do. Not everyone can go out and protest deforestation by tying themselves to a tree, but you CAN buy smart.

For more reading on deforestation, visit:

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2017/apr/04/how-to-stop-deforestation-indigenous-people-are-the-best-park-rangers

Poaching is another serious threat to wildlife. Here’s a good article to help you make a difference:

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/10-simple-ways-you-can-help-stop-wildlife-poaching-today/

For more information on other critically endangered species and what you can do to help, visit:

http://www.worldwildlife.org

 

Author

Mary Hansen

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