Animals’ Extinction Is Closer than It Appears

Have you ever considered the imminent danger of animals’ gradual extinction? Have you ever imagined the wildlife without unique animals such as elephants or pandas? Are you aware that the number of endangered species is on the rise? Do you know what the roots of the problem are?

Climate change is one of the most prominent causes. Climate change materialises because of fossil fuels, deforestation, urbanisation, increasingly intensive agriculture, and people’s lifestyle worldwide. This catastrophic phenomenon impacts all living creatures, including humans, animals, and plants.

The gradual loss of ecosystems and biodiversity is a serious concern, especially since the Earth’s temperature is increasing. It is expected that in the case of doing nothing and continuing to increase at the current rate, the Earth will become 1.5 °C warmer.

According to NASA, the planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 1 degree Celsius since the late 19th century. However, most of the warming occurred in the past 40 years. A good illustration is a bushfire in Australia that lasted three months. It was known as a direct consequence of climate change. Around 83 hectares were burnt, affecting nearly 140 million reptiles, birds, and mammals.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species has pronounced that not only is biodiversity declining, but more than 40,000 species are threatened with extinction. Such species include amphibians, sharks and rays, conifers, reef-building corals, mammals, and birds. Also, a list of animals is mentioned, such as cheetahs, Asian elephants, mountain gorillas, African elephants, tigers, giant pandas, snow leopards, and polar bears. Let’s look at a few of them to find out why!

The fastest land mammal is failing!

(A cheetah in its natural habitat. Photograph: Pixabay.)

The number of cheetahs has been halved over the last 40 years and has reached about 7,000.  This reveals that cheetahs, the fastest animal on the earth, are failing to save themselves from changes in the climate. Although cheetahs are known as a “Vulnerable species”, if the trend of decreasing them continues, they will soon be extinct.

Could you imagine the future wildlife without its fastest land mammal?

lovely sleepers at risk of thirst and starvation

(A koala bear gripping a eucalyptus tree. Photograph: Pixabay.)

Like cheetahs, koalas face habitat loss due to land clearing, deforestation, urbanisation, drought, and bush fires. People destroy the eucalyptus tree forests and then koalas miss their source (eucalyptus leaves) for food and water. On the other hand, when CO2 in the air increases, the eucalyptus leaves fail to produce high-quality nutrition. Therefore, these slow-moving animals have no choice but to cross a long distance to find something to eat, and may be hunted by other animals, people, or killed by cars. 

Despite having thick fur and skin, koalas cannot bear high temperatures. Unfortunately, global warming, as a crucial issue, has remained unresolved.

Hungry white homeless giant

(Polar bears atop grey stones. Photograph: Pixabay.)

The cycle of polar bears’ extinction should be apparent: The earth is warming, temperatures keep rising, sea ice across the Arctic is melting and shrinking. Therefore, polar bears have lost their habitat to survive. Additionally, around 40 percent of them die out due to starvation.

It’s your turn

From the above examples, it is clear a domino effect will occur. Fuel increasing emissions, global warming, as well as climate change through deforestation, urbanisation, generating greenhouse gases, and many other behaviours. These all directly impact animals’ habitats and food sources, leaving them to die one after another. If this trend continues, various species are highly likely to die out. Animals’ extinction does not belong to the future, it is for today. 

As young people and the future generation, you might want to know what you can do to cease this trend. So, take a look at our Eco-Advice sector to see how you can make major contributions by doing some small actions.

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