Across the globe, animals become endangered daily. Some countries and certain individuals have tried to reverse the fates of these creatures, but it does not always work out for the better. Animals continue to become extinct despite the efforts of some, simply due to the wrongdoings of others.
One of the most endangered animal species on the planet is the Northern White Rhinoceros. These large mammals were led to endangerment by the practice of poaching. The horns on the animals sell for a substantial amount of money, so poachers killed them in order to sell the ivory.
Only 10 of these creatures remain on the globe. They are kept in conservation centers for safety. One center is in California and another one is located in the Czech Republic. To prevent the rhinos from being killed by poachers, they are watched night and day by guards.
Biology and AP environmental science teacher at MJHS Lindsay Bradshaw claims, “The biggest cause is human activity. Specifically deforestation from farming and the building of homes and rodes.”
With these animals, it is easy to see how human activity is responsible for their endangerment. The world is continuing to urbanize and when sensitive species’ habitats are damaged and changed, “We see a decline in their population.”
A well known endangered animal that continues to diminish is the Vaquita. The Vaquita, the Spanish word for little cow, is a type of the porpoise family. The decline of these creatures was caused by the capture of totoaba. Fishermen near Central America fished often for totoaba and caught them in nets. Vaquitas were constantly caught in the nets meant for the totoaba. This result is known as bycatch.
Many believe there is not much to be done for these animals, but people have tried regardless. Some areas where totoaba fishing and vaquita bycatch is prevalent decided to prohibit the use of gillnets. Some are hopeful that this may help to stop the decline of the current 300 vaquitas left in the wild.
Another species impacted by poaching is the Amur Leopard. Now down to only 349, the large cat is one of the top endangered species on the earth. They were hunted down in regions of Russia, near the Chinese border, for their coats. The fur on the animals sold for steep prices to be used in clothing and furniture.
There have been laws and treaties made to help protect this creature and other endangered species among countries. CITES, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, was made to prevent the trade of endangered animals between nations. This helps the amur leopard by making it illegal to sell it fur to people in other countries.
Other acts and laws have passed to impede the extinction of these animals. The Environmental Protection Act was passed in 1973 by President Nixon. However, the act only applies to the United States, so endangered species that live outside of the country cannot be protected by this.
Numerous individuals agree that the measures taken are not enough to combat the reduction of these species. Bradshaw is one of these individuals. She and others believe there is not enough being done.
“But finding a solution that is ethical to everyone is difficult,” she added, “Human population is growing exponentially and until we get a control of that, we will find it difficult to protect land for other organisms. As selfish as that is, humans like all of species, tend to look out for themselves first.”
People all over disagree about how to approach the issue of endangered animals. It usually comes to the fact that many do not see it as a big issue. However, biodiversity is at stake when animals are threatened. It should be known that “this world can’t sustain itself with humans alone.”
If you are reading this and wondering what you can do to help make a difference, know that this goes beyond just you. Ms. Bradshaw suggests that if you want to do something to help you could reach out to legislators to voice your opinion about legislations that need change. It would also help to donate your money or even your time to organizations that are working to make a difference.