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Disque 1 Maureen Disque Mr.

Duerr English 12 27 December 2013

Endangered Species
All around the world there are animals that are being pushed to the brink of extinction. There are over 15,000 species on the endangered list, and of these 4,000 are critically endangered. Critically endangered species are taxon facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild (IUCN Red List), and is the last category given to animals before wildlife extinction. Animal populations are dropping at alarming rates and unless we take action, animals will become extinct before we know it. The greatest cause of species endangerment is habitat loss. This is caused from a number of things, construction of homes, buildings, roads, timber harvesting, creation and destruction of farmlands, etc. In South America, the creation of farmlands is drastically affecting animals and their habitats, especially that around the Amazon Rainforest. Because the land is so fertile around the Amazon, farmers are willing to cut down wildlife to create land with good farming soil. Pollution is the second largest cause that affects wildlife; it also happens all throughout the world. Water, air, and ground pollution affect wildlife and their habitats just about everywhere. Pollution in the air, along with global warming, affects all areas of the earth, including the arctic regions. Researchers from WWF have found that the changes in temperature are drastically affecting the depletion of ice caps in the arctic. Polar bears and walruses would lose the ice they depend on for hunting and resting (Mone). Ground pollution can release

Disque 2 toxins into the soil, which is where birds and other insects get their food, and many predators rely on birds as their main food source. The chain goes on and on and sometimes even affects us with our water source coming from the ground, below where some garbage is dumped. In relation to construction of homes and other buildings, we are shrinking animals habitats, affecting their competition. With a smaller habitat, more animals are competing for the same food source, causing some animals to die off due to weakness to other predators. Another cause of species endangerment is disease. Although humans may not initiate most disease affected by animals, some insecticides and pesticides we use do. Even though pesticides may leave our lawn looking nice, they are hazardous pollutants to the wildlife around us taking a long time to degrade and build up through the soils. The last main cause of endangerment to species is illegal hunting and poaching. Poaching is to take game or fish by illegal methods (Merriam-Webster). Poaching has led multiple species to extinction, or the very brink of extinction. One example is the rhinoceros. Rhinos were once a diverse species containing twelve subspecies, roaming as far North as Europe, and as far west as Indonesia. Unfortunately, the rhino has been an unlucky victim to poaching throughout the years. Today only five subspecies of rhino roam the earth, leaving us with the effects of what poaching can do. Species endangerment is a problem for all species in the world, even if one species isnt being harmed; it can be affected through the food chain. Animals have a place in nature just as much as we humans do. The extinction and endangerment of animals is a natural process that has been going on ever since the beginning of the earth. Although the effect of humans is causing an imbalance to their natural process, leaving the number of endangered species at an all-time high.

Disque 3 There are many ways we can help protect not only the wildlife that are critically endangered, but the wildlife around us. By simply recycling we can help prevent pollutants from destroying animals habitats and eliminate the risk of toxins harming them. Another way to protect local wildlife is by decreasing and even eliminating the use of pesticides and other herbicides. Informing people of the potential dangers they have on the environment is an easy way to help. Some alternatives to using harmful toxins to treat your lawn are predatory insects, such as ladybugs, which feed off of garden pests, or simply hand picking weeds. Captive breeding is taking place throughout the world and helping to make a change in the increase of endangered species. Many species have been saved through these programs, such as the Black-footed Ferrets. The goals of these programs are to establish populations that are large enough to be stable and live healthy on their own in the wild. Out of all of these solutions, the best solution is the preservation of wildlife habitats. National Forests, Wildlife Refuges, and state parks are just a few of the ways wildlife habitats can be preserved. Forests are home to 80% of the worlds biodiversity, and some 46-58 million acres of forest are lost each year, thats equivalent to about 36 football fields every minute (WWF). There are many advantages to the protection of wildlife and endangered species. Not only does preserving habitats save animals, it also saves trees and other plants that give off oxygen into the air, which we need to live. Captive Breeding programs give immediate help to care for animals and help increase animal populations. Recycling prevents forests from essentially turning into a landfill and toxins from entering the soil and water that many animals rely on. Although there are many advantages to these solutions, there are also disadvantages. To breed animals in captivity, it costs a lot of

Disque 4 money, and sometimes the result isnt positive. We cant force animals to live in a certain area, so if an animal migrates from a preserved habitat to a non-preserved one, they increase their risk of endangerment. Unfortunately, not everyone lives where recycling is provided. Some cultures arent given the option to recycle certain materials. Unfortunately, the use of pesticides is too big a cause to easily change. Businesses and homes all around the world use them for lawn care, knowing the effects they have on our wildlife. The protection of our natural forests and wildlife is the best solution because it protects wildlife while they live freely in their habitat. Wildlife preservations eliminate the chance of toxins being brought into animals wildlife and affecting their ecosystem. This is ultimately the best choice, because it reduces and ultimately eliminates all risks of endangerment by human activities.

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Works Cited
"About." IUCN Red List.IUCN Red List, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. Merriam-Webster. "Poach." Merriam-Webster.Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. Mone, Gregory. "January/February 2014." Discover Magazine. Discover Magazine, 20 Dec. 2011. Web. 13 Dec. 2013. World Wildlife Fund, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013.