We have mentioned several times the word extinction, but we haven’t honestly talked about the causes of it. Of all the species that have lived since the beginning of days, more than 99 percent are now extinct, and part of the remaining species are endangered. Why?
As time goes by, more and more plants and animals are on the verge of extinction because of different factors, and as you might know, humans are one of the biggest threats to the planet. Extinctions have happened numerous times throughout our history and they were caused by natural events like volcanic eruptions. Nowadays the situation has changed and the factors are not only natural. Here you have the top causes of our current extinctions:
- Overhunting. The Homo sapiens have been on the planet approximately the last 50 thousand years. We can’t blame our race for all the extinctions, but we can definitely say that humans have been fundamental to today’s ecological havoc. The hunting of the fur, organs, the ivory of elephants, sharks, baby bears, monkeys, etc. are just some examples of the human predation. Live animals have been sold to people that desire an exotic animal as pets or for medical research. Even the legal hunting is affecting the species lead it them to become endangered.
- Habitat destruction. It is currently the number one cause of the existing extinctions. Today, more than 13 million hectares of forest have been destroyed causing the death of many species. Deforestation has ended an uncountable amount of our ecosystem and is still affecting a big part of our planet. Every living organism needs a place to live where he can find the food and allows the procreation. Humans are destroying habitats in different ways: buildings, clearing forests, paving over meadows, draining rivers, and more.
- Pollution. Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, petroleum, sulfur dioxide and others chemicals are interfering with the balance of nature. Species are unable to cope with those contaminants and they’re dying because of it.
- Climate change. As all we may know, climate change is a constant danger to all the species of the earth. The past years we have lived so many variations of our environment that are affecting the planet and all the living organisms considerably. The winter is colder than ever, and the summer is hotter. We have hasty weather changes that are not supposed to happen and we all can appreciate that’s something is happening and we should take actions to prevent fatal consequences.
If the world was more informed about what is happening and instead of destroying environments we join together to recover our planet, we might succeed. Extinctions of species affects us all and is getting worse. Of course, it’s fair to say that extinctions can happen without human intrusion because they’re part of evolution but we’re contributing enormously in the process making everything worse.
Extinction is forever. We’re losing biodiversity and is a massive threat to humanity.