Managed by Olivia

Human Contribution

Today, as you know, there are many animals that have sadly become extinct. Many people think that a big part of this is caused by human activity. You might be saying, "I didn't do anything!" but the truth is, you did. Do you own a real fur coat? Do you waste paper? Do you just dump your trash when you think no one is looking? And most of all... Have you done anything to help the dying animals? I'm sorry to say, that everyone on earth has had a part in some way, shape, or form. You might be saying now, "I'm to young to help... I can't do anything!" That is also a lie. Children, adults, senior citizens, anyone can take action... even you. We will tell you how humans have affected the lives of these animals in the following paragraphs.

It is a well known fact that humans have always hunted animals for food, fur, feathers, horns, tusks, and others. Sadly, this much hunting can lead to many species getting extinct. The dodo bird, a flightless bird, died out in the 17th century because they were hunted for food. However, this was a much better reason to hunt animals than the reasons for hunting today. Today, many people hunt animals for luxury items such as fur coats, or alligator skin boots, bags, and belts. The sad thing is that people don't really need any of this. It is easy to make shoes from fake alligator skins that look very authentic. It is also easy to make very soft coats that seem real. There are many people who say that they only want the "real thing" and this is very frustrating. What do those people care more about: their way-too-picky opinions about having real fur over an authentic looking fake or the lives of millions of animals? People make these decisions because they think animals are inferior beings to us human beings. This isn't true! These animals have lived in harmony with humans for centuries. Just because some are "hostile" doesn't mean they help our planet in some way or another. Also, poachers illegally hunt animals for money. Whenever they catch an endangered animal, they can get enough money to keep an average person going for one and a half years. This hunting for sport is not only bad, it is barbaric! Something needs to be done by the people other than the ones in charge because while the government is saying that they are doing all they can for the animals and the environment, they are actually purposely turning a blind eye toward poaching and hunting for sport. Anothr way people directly wipe out species is dishonesty. Fishermen would catch hordes of fish with nets, and sometimes dolphins and porpoises will get caught in the net. There is a law that states that fishermen are not allowed to intentionally catch dolphins and porpoises in their nets. The thing is, if the government says that it really was an accident, the fisherman gets to keep the dolphin. There are many cases where fishermen deliberately cast their nets into areas rich with dolphins so that they would get stuck in the nets. This is illegal becasue the areas are actually reservoirs for the endangered dolphins and porpoises. This dishonesty is also carried out with impunity because the government isn't looking closely enough at the fishing areas.

The biggest threat faced by wild animals today is habitat destruction. Obviously, wild animals need wild habitats, but their habitats are now getting destroyed. As you might have guessed, humans are the ones who cause habitat destruction. Humans cut down forests to clear land for agricultural purposes, like faming or raising cattle. They also want the lumber from the trees. This is a very serious issue with rainforests today. Scientists estimate that if humans keep chopping down trees at the same rate as people are going now, in as little as 10 years time, there will be little to no rain forest areas left in the world! This is why we need to take action now. Humans build huge luxury resort hotels and malls along beautiful coastlines. Roads and pipelines are built along even the most uninhabited, untouched areas. That means many people coming in to the wild, causing a distruption in the cycle of life in the wild. Pollution is also a huge issue dealing with habitat distruction. People literally dump trash into bodies of water, like oceans, that are teeming with animal life! Maybe you have heard about animals such as otters, dolphins, and penguins that are suffocated by a piece of plastic trash they start playing with, like a 6-pack drink holder.

Pollution can get into streams and rivers and dirties the water, sometimes making it toxic. As you know, during the water cycle, water is evaporated, condensation occurs, and then the vapor falls back to earth as rain. Well, when there is pollution mixed in with water bodies and the sun evaporates the polluted water, the water will go through the water cycle and come down as polluted or acid rain. Acid rain can dirty any body of water. Global warming is causing ice to melt, making it hard for polar bears to hunt. Polar bears can also be stranded on ice blocks because they broke off from the land. Sometimes, polar bears are even forced to swim through open, iceless water until they reach some sort of land. The polar bear usually does not survive, either because of lack of food, or because they drown on the way there.

All these changes that humans are making on the environment can disturb the life of animals everywhere. Many animals today are living in disgusting water or wandering around, looking for a place to live because their home was destroyed. Some animals die because their food source is cut off, either because the plants they live on have been cut down, or the animals they prey on are extinct. Many other animals die because of the amount of contamination in bodies of water they depend on.

So as you can see, with all these problems, it is very important to help out. Look at the "What Can We Do?" page to find out what can be done to help these poor animals.