Eng 101 Sect. 31
Welcome to the Jungle, We've Got.. Where Did They Go?
Imagine that one day your great grand-children or even your grand-children grow up believing that Polar Bears and Pandas are as mythical as unicorns. Due to factors such as illegal game hunting, environmental pollution and human encroachment into habitats, more and more species of animals are becoming endangered every day. It is society's duty to discover the source of the problem as well as find solutions for them in order to sustain what precious wildlife is left. By instigating protective laws for the threatened species, breeding them in captivity and releasing them in the wild, banning over-hunting, and many other ways, we can ensure that the wildlife that we have grown up with is still here for future generations to enjoy.
One major reason for loss of habitat is deforestation and human encroachment. The reason the changes can be so dire is because "when changes occur at a fast pace, there is little or no time for individual species to react and adjust to new circumstances. This can create disastrous results, and for this reason, rapid habitat loss is the primary cause of species endangerment" (Kurpis).One of the big concerns of deforestation is the loss of biological diversity in certain habitats. Biodiversity is the "total variety of life on earth" (Endangered Species 34). This directly correlates with the Allee effect, in that the population may not be viable enough for the density of the habitat any longer (The Allee Effect). One big example of this is the loss of tropical rainforest habitat. Tropical Rainforests add up to about 50% of the world's plants and animals lives being reduced to nearly half of their area. In Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Western Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Haiti, Nigeria, and Togo, forests have all but disappeared. The main reason for this great loss is logging, and agricultural and urban expansions. This vast amount of habitat loss directly results in animals having less places to live and therefore often times starve due to lack of prey available. (Endangered Species 33-34).
It is true that while habitat loss is a big deal, it is possible that the threat to biodiversity in general has been greatly exaggerated. Some also believe that the formula used to make an estimate on the number of species and the rate of extinction in the rain forests is highly inaccurate, thus leading to disturbing but false facts. Many scientists opposed to the idea state that "any estimate of biodiversity must be based upon surveys of areas which are small enough for biologists to personally scrutinize" (Endangered Species 42). Many times tests taken to see how affected animal population are are thrown off by either unpredictable natural factors as well as by polling populations in areas far too great to fully take into account. However, the measures taken to raise awareness about habitat loss has in no way hindered the attempts to save the rainforest, and the ecological problems that the clearing of the rainforests have posed are still far too great to ignore.
There are also other reasons for habitat loss that are not in the name of expansion and over-population. The simply quest to gain an aesthetic look has also played a role in taking animals' environments away and forcing them into states of starvation and eventually endangerment, or worse. People think that their clean open-air parks filled with a selective kind of trees is good for the environment because it is protecting a piece of the natural habitat, but in fact it is doing more damage than good. People have a "tendency towards trying to make nature neat and parklike" and this has resulted in the clearing of bush, the selective removal of many species of trees, and the removal of dying or dead trees and stumps. This landscaping results in poor ecological surroundings that take away the natural diversity that the wildlife from around those areas once thrived...
Cited: Chen, L.-l, and C Hui. "Habitat Destruction and the Extinction Debt Revisited: the Allee Effect." Mathematical Biosciences. 221.1 (2009): 26-32. Print.
"Endangered Animals in Sweden." Ambio 7.3 (1978): 130-33. Web. 1 Nov. 2011.
Kurpis, Lauren. "Causes of Endangerment." Endangered Species - EndangeredSpecie.com. Endangeredspecies.com, 2002. Web. 19 Oct. 2011
Stalcup, Brenda. Endangered Species: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1996. Print.
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