What are the reasons for the extinction of animals?
In fact, the reasons for the extinction of animals are many many, and endangered animals are also many in case they have not received the required protection by man, especially since the extinction rates are accelerating significantly, as researchers believe that they have increased by (1,000 to 10,000) times.
This is due to the activity practiced by a man during his life on the planet, and extinction occurs for animals when the last known specimen of it dies without leaving a genetic successor to it, as more than 99% of the living organisms that used to exist on the Earth’s surface have now become non-existent., Perhaps the most important reasons leading to the extinction of animals are the following:
Habitat destruction :
Habitat destruction is the biggest cause of animal extinction at the moment, due to deforestation and cutting of trees, which in turn led to the extinction of many animals, especially those animals that live in integrated ecosystems in the forest, which leads to the possibility of the disappearance of most rainforests in the next hundred years if Man continues his current behavior.
So far, man has transformed and destroyed 13 million hectares of forests, and not only land habitats, but even marine ones, many coral reefs are also threatened with extinction, and these reefs are home to 25% of marine animals, and 27% of them have been destroyed.
Loss of genetic diversity :
Genetic diversity is the difference and diversity that exists within each species of animals, as this genetic difference allows them to adapt to the changes that occur in the environment, and undoubtedly the greater the genetic diversity, the more it helps them to survive and not be endangered, and the loss of genetic diversity occurs when animals of the same species or family mate.
As a result, it has little genetic diversity, as is the case with Cheetahs, which scientists believe have gone through long periods of monogamy, so it has little genetic diversity, and as a result, it has become poorly adapted to changes in the environment at the same speed as other animals, which puts it at risk of extinction faster.
It is worth noting that human activity may sometimes lead to the loss of genetic diversity, especially with the abundance of bad habits practiced by some humans, represented by indiscriminate and unfair hunting of some animals, which leads to a decrease in the numbers of these animals.
This, in turn, leads to a decrease in breeding pairs, which are able to produce offspring with which they can survive and resist the threat of extinction.
Animal poaching often leads to the depletion of some species of animals or the survival of a small number of them that are vulnerable to extinction and disappearance from the planet at any time،
Humans often target wildlife by killing or capturing animals for a variety of reasons, such as killing them for food, feathers, fur, oil, or medicine.
Technology has helped Man in the field of fishing so much that he can catch large numbers of animals at the same time, which leads to the disappearance of this type of animal, as is the case with some types of fish.
Global warming :
Global warming contributes to the impact on the atmosphere and it, in turn, significantly affects the forms and lifestyles of all living things on the Earth’s surface, including animals, and fact that the known information about global warming and its direct effects on the life of animals is still not discovered all its aspects.
But it certainly leads to the infection of many diseases for this category of living, which puts it at risk of extinction.
Environmental pollution :
Pollution often affects the lives of animals, exposing them to extinction, and pollution has many forms, such as the introduction of chemicals, whether to the soil, water or air, and this would interfere with the metabolism of animals that cannot adapt to it, so they die one by one،
Air pollution is represented by the introduction of many pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, soil and water pollutants, including metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, pesticides, and herbicide compounds،
If these elements work together, which leads to an acceleration in extinction rates, it is noted that animals of large and rare sizes are more vulnerable to extinction than small ones that can adapt to some polluted environmental conditions.
Consequences of animal extinction :
The fact that each species of living has a role to represent and a function to participate in the ecosystem, and in the event of its death or loss for any reason, this would disrupt the ecosystem completely, losing balance and biodiversity, which leads to a change in the entire ecosystem and endangering the food chain and other serious consequences.
Therefore, the extinction of a certain species of animals will have many consequences, including the following:
Changing ecosystems :
Ecosystems have always been balanced and are a gift from Almighty God, but the extinction of some species of animals for any reason may lead to their removal from the food chain and thus affect the overall ecosystem.
For example, if a predator became extinct, such a thing would increase the prey it was feeding on, which ultimately leads to an imbalance in the balance of ecosystems.
Endangering the food chain :
Perhaps one of the most serious consequences of the extinction of some animals is the interruption of the food chain or its endangerment; since each species of living has always had a function in the ecosystem in general and in the food chain in particular, and therefore its death or loss would lead to a disruption in the food chain.
And, of course, it will affect other species of living organisms that live in the same ecosystem.
Loss of the healing riches of nature :
One of the serious consequences of the exposure of animals to death and the risk of extinction is the loss of Natural Resources involved in the manufacture of therapeutic drugs, which are used in the treatment of many serious and non-serious diseases, especially since many drugs are manufactured by extracting chemicals from some animals.
As in the treatment of skin cancer, a single molecule of a rare marine bacterium is taken.
Endangering the pollination of plants :
Also, one of the important consequences of extinction for some animal species is what happens to plants that depend on the animal in their pollination process, for example, bees pollinate many plant species.
Especially since those plants make up a large part of the diet on which man depends in his daily life, and therefore the loss of the pollinating element also puts plants at risk of extinction in the long term.
Impact on the economy negatively :
The extinction of animals would significantly affect the economy, as the United Nations conducted a study in which it concluded that the continued loss of various species of animals would affect by 18% the output of the world economy by 2050.
The fact that many industries are negatively affected by the loss of some animals, for example, the loss of many numbers of bees in the global honey industry, which is worth fifty billion dollars per year, and the loss of cod off the coast of Newfoundland due to overfishing, has greatly harmed the economic life of local fishermen in the region.
Solutions to protect animals from extinction :
There are many solutions that humans can follow to reduce the risk of extinction, and perhaps among those solutions are the following:
- Work to raise community awareness about endangered animal species in the country and work to avoid all human actions that would raise the risk of extinction.
- Work to protect the places where endangered animals live so that the access of anyone trying to reach them is prevented in order to kill them and benefit financially from them.
- Work on taking some positive steps for each person to make the environment around us safe, clean, and free of pollution, such as throwing garbage in the places designated for it.
- Disposal of hazardous waste in a safe way, which makes the environment, whether land or sea, safe, clean, and free from many causes of pollution.
- Minimize the use of chemical pesticides, as they are considered to be harmful pollutants to wildlife, especially since they take a long time to decompose and accumulate in the soil.
- Refrain from buying anything made from an endangered animal such as ivory, coral, fur, and other things.
- Stop eating all the meat of endangered fish and replace it with abundantly available species.
- Stop practicing any act that endangers the life of animals, such as illegal fishing, catching, or capturing animals for material benefit.