The planet Earth is home to a wide range of beautiful plants and animals, each with their own unique contribution to society, whether it be to keep the ecosystem in balance, to feed and clothe (such as eggs and milk or wool), or simply because they are beautiful to look at.
However, many species are endangered, meaning they are dying off so quickly they are soon in danger of becoming extinct. Once an animal becomes extinct, it will never be on the earth again. Many species are becoming extinct at an alarming rate; approximately 27,000 species become extinct each year, which means about three species an hour.
Why species become endangered
A species will become endangered for a number of reasons, including:
•Pollution. Chemicals in pesticides, garbage, and oil are just a few types of pollution that harms species, making them endangered. Run-off from pesticides gets into rivers and other bodies of water, and the chemicals are in turn ingested by fish, birds, marine life, and even the animals who eat the infected smaller animals. Oil spills kill thousands of marine animals, and animals that eat the garbage people leave lying around can poison them.
•Hunting. Hunting, whether legally or legally, kills millions of species a year. Even though it is illegal to kill endangered species or those that are close to it, poaching is still a thriving market, causing animals to be endangered.
•Overcrowding. The growing population requires accommodation, and this means that many natural habitats are destroyed, leaving species homeless and reducing their food supply.
How to protect endangered species
Once an animal becomes endangered, there are many steps that are taken in order to protect it from extinction. Sometimes these measures are successful. For example, the bald eagle, our nation’s bird, was bred in protective habitats until their population was no longer endangered. It is still illegal to kill one.
There are a number of things you can do as well to protect endangered species from becoming extinct altogether. Some of these things include:
•Don’t support poaching. Purchasing items like furs, leather, and any other items that come from killing animals only serves to support hunters and manufacturers who kill animals strictly for beauty and fashion. Avoid doing this, and encourage others to do so as well.
•Keep the environment clean. Doing your part to keep the environment clean will have a huge effect on keeping species from becoming extinct. Avoid using chemicals on your lawn and in your garden, and never litter.
•Preserve resources. Recycling is a great way to preserve species from becoming extinct. This helps to reduce the number of trees that are cut down each year in order to make paper and other products. If you can, consider implementing a recycling program in your school or office. This is as simple as putting a separate bin for paper or aluminum aside.
•Contribute to wildlife organizations. Organizations that help to protect wildlife require funding in order to save species from becoming endangered. Donate if you can, even a small amount, or purchase from stores that donate a percentage of their proceeds to wildlife organizations.
Thousands of beautiful and necessary species become extinct each year. There are many things that can be done to protect endangered species from this horrible fate.
Click here for recommended Endangered Species websites.