Earth Day is one of the biggest awareness raising days.
This year, the theme focuses on Protect Our Species.
Why do we need to protect them?
We know that a lot of species have been extinct, and more rapidly in Human Era. We have hunted them to the last one, instead of living with them.
Lives on Earth always rely on the others, one way or another. We can’t live without trees, water, and sea. Creatures in them help preserve their rich environment. If they become imbalance, that environment will fail. But it does not stop there. Other environments will start failing soon, too, as a chain reaction because “In nature, nothing exists alone”.
We all need each other to survive.
Now let’s see what have we done to species on this planet.
Here are the 10 shocking facts mankind did:
1. We are in the largest extinction period in 60 million years, when dinosaurs got annihilated.
In Earth’s history, an average of 1 to 5 species go extinct every year.
Now we are talking about this number, but every day! A lot of species will disappear before we even find them and what they benefits the environment.
2. Insect Populations have decreased dramatically.
In some developed countries, it has decreased by over 75% for the past three decades. This is alarming because 80% of wild plants need bees and others for pollination, and birds also need insects for food.
3. Habitat Destruction and Climate Change
Half of the world’s wild animal species have already lost from what we did to their natural habitats, forests, seas, mountains, the places keep coming.
4. Primates are under threat of extinction
They are our closest animal relatives, yet about 60% of the species are in danger. From our deforestation to poaching, we have come to this day when 75% of them keep severely decreasing for the past 20 years.
5. Marine Mammals are seriously caught
More than 650,000 whales, seals, manatees, sea otters, and polar bears are caught in a year. Sadly, a lot of these animals are the victim of badly-designed fishing gears and our garbage.
6. Our fishing industry has hurt whale species
For the past 20 years, studies show that about 70% of baleen whales, dolphins, porpoises, and sea lions, have been affected by our fishing activities worldwide.
7. The sky is having a problem as well
About 40% of the entire bird species are decreasing.
Nowadays, 1 in 8 bird is threatened with global extinction due to scarcity of food caused by climate change. Migratory birds are affected the most since they rely on seasons.
8. Big Cats are not surviving
If no action is done, our big cat families like tigers, leopards, panthers, cheetahs, and lions, are at their critical number. Many of them will disappear forever as fast as the next decade.
These top predators essential for the health of forest’s ecosystem are hunted just for their body parts and skins. Black rhinoceros and other species are in the same fate, too.
9. Lizards are not an exception
These species are in the critical decline, with 40% of them will be extinct by 2080. The climate change is the main factor since their keys of life are vulnerable to weather being cold-blooded.
Reptiles are crucial to the environment because most of them are small to large predators. They help control the population of insects and herbivores, either in forests or waters, making balanced ecology.
10. American Bison is not different from cattle
They once roamed the vast area of modern-day North America, even before the natives settle there, from Alaska to Mexico. Now, they can live in an area less than 1% of their original habitat. 60 million bison has gone down to 500 in just a hundred years. The almost total disappearance have caused great impact to grassland, savannas, plateaus, evergreen forests, including basins, that are benefited from the soil richness mixed with their manures and walking. Predators hunting from bison also have found their food scarce.
Ecologists sarcastically compare them as not different from a herd of cattle.
These are alarming facts we will definitely experience our living in the near future.
Their environments and ecology will fail one by one, to others like dominoes, until returning to us human devastating our food sources, more severe and frequent natural disasters, and loss of essential plant species forever.
However, it is still not too late to start caring more of the nature:
Stop using plastic for animals, especially sea lives.
Save energy and change to better options to fight Global Warming and Climate Change.
Don’t support illegal hunting and trading of wildlife and forest products.
Buy and have food, particularly seafood, from the sustainable sources, such as these certified labels:
These solution are well-known to most of us.
Let’s get up and start Protect Our Species, or they might just have only names for your children. You may be just one person, but don’t forget that:
One Small Change
One Big Difference