Species extinction and wildlife conservation

A balanced ecosystem consists of plants, animals and humans. Are we living in a balanced ecosystem?

The exploitation of our biodiversity and human’s never-ending satisfaction raises an important question about endangered species and their conservation. Wildlife species have been declining all over the world in a short time. They make 6.5% of the world’s population in India. The number is alarming giving rise to many facts that we should know and spread to the world.

Plants and animals are our other half required to balance the ecosystem. On an international and national level, various organizations and projects are helping to protect them. We a commoner can also contribute in that which is what I am going to discuss later in this blog.

Shocking facts aboutspecies extinction

Over Million species are endangered

According to the report of IPBES (International Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), more than a million species are now threatened and on the verge of extinction. This is faster than we thought.

Two-third drop in Wildlife species

WWF’s Living Planet Report 2020 reported a two-third drop in wildlife population between 1970 and 2016.Since 1970, world species such as birds, mammals, amphibians and fishes have been declining at an average rate of 68%.

Wildlife species decline in tropical sub-regions of America

Over the decades, America has seen a 94% decline in the overall population of wildlife species in tropical sub-regions as recorded in WWF reports.

Wildlife species dying more than 1000 times after human arrival

As per the 2014 report from Brown University, US, wildlife species are declining 1000 times more than before the evolution of human.

Water species declining due to agricultural conversion

Water wildlife species are dying more than other wildlife species by an average rate of 84% from 1970 to 2018. About 100 million hectares of wildlife forests converted to agriculture in South-East Asia and Latin America.

Plants and insects are dying out due to industrial agriculture

Plants are also seen to be declining over the years. Same goes for insects also which are dying out due to industrial agriculture.

Climate change causes birds extinction

The global climate change triggers extinction of wildlife bird species and that too at great numbers.

Why should we conserve them?

Our ecosystem is a cycle that maintains the overall environment of our wellbeing. The plants and animals provide us with various benefits that contribute to our survival. Some of them are:

Medicinal benefits

Many wildlife species has medicinal properties that help to produce medicines. They are researched and medicinal values are extracted by researchers.

Nature view and relaxation

They are viewed as a relaxation purpose for nature lovers. People go for trekking, adventure and wildlife photography, etc. This serves the purpose for them to watch wildlife species and relax.

Preserve our heritage

Wildlife species are our heritage and culture. They are known to influence their native homes. These native homes give the purpose to our rich culture and heritage. Losing those means losing the environment.

Tourist attraction

People move from place to place in another country basically to watch flora and fauna. Tourist attractions give way to preserve wildlife species.

Food security

Wildlife species helps to research on how to promote agriculture diversity. The habitats provide reliable natural resources to enhance agricultural activities leading to food security.

The most endangered species in India

The Bengal Tiger

The Bengal Tigers are still endangered despite being an increase in their number. Why? Because of the poaching is done to meet the Asian market in the last few years.

The Red Panda

As reported to the IUCN, there has been a decline of 50% over the generations. It is the most endangered species because their home forest is vanishing soon.

The Asian Elephant

The Asian Elephants once being so popular in India are considered endangered species. The reason is the loss of their habitat, poaching and negative interaction with a human.

The Greater One-Horned Rhino

Only 200 Greater One-Horned Rhino exist today. Isn’t it shocking? They were once populated but humans hunted them or killed them just for sports or for agriculture pests. They are now vulnerable species.

The Ganges River Dolphin

Due to river water losing its array and siltation arising due to pollution and deforestation, The Ganges River Dolphin has become endangered species in recent years.

The Snow Leopard

The Snow Leopard was once the ruling species in the mountains. However, they lost their habitats in Himalaya and their negative interaction with humans made them endangered species. They are also poached for their body parts and bones.

What we as a common people can do to save them?

Learn and understand about wildlife species

Learn, understand and teach your family, relatives and friends about how wonderful wildlife species are. Start from your area and try to know about wildlife species in your area.

Visit any wildlife species place

Visit places where you can watch and learn about wildlife species. You can visit places such as the zoo, safaris, open parks or refuges.

Attract native insects and bees in your garden

Plants in your garden help native bees and insects to come and pollinate. This helps in the preservation of native plants.

Minimize the use of herbicides and pesticides

Herbicides and pesticides take longer time to degrade and hence pollute the soil. This can also affect predators such as hawk, eagle etc. who prey on poisoned animals. This also results in some animals such as amphibians to suffer greatly in their habitat.

Drive but slow down near wildlife areas

Wildlife animals mostly live in developed areas. People while driving through the roads in developed areas come in between the navigation of wildlife animals. Hence, slow down for safe movements of wildlife animals.

Use recycle and sustainable products

Say no to animal products and yes to recycle and sustainable products. This will ensure that no illegal poaching of wildlife animals happen.

Don’t harass wildlife animals

Threatening wildlife animals in any form is wrong and it will lead to their extinction. Hence, don’t do it and also report to wildlife enforcement office if you see such things.

There are wildlife protection organization such as Wildlife SOS, WWF, Aaranyak and Hargila Army, Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020), SahyadriNisargaMitra (SNM), Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), etc. They are working day and night to save wildlife species. If we want a healthy life and natural environment for our future generation, then it’s time to care for wildlife species. Forward your small step to create an impact..

By Shaheen Iqbal

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