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  • Rhea Lulla

The Extinction Crisis

Dodo, Sabertooth tiger, mammoth, ground sloth, golden toad, triceratops and Tasmanian tiger. These are some of the species that once lived on our planet, but are now extinct. Our planet, Earth is the only planet that we know of that is capable of life. But did you know that approximately more than 90% of all the species that have ever lived are now extinct?

When a species becomes extinct, there are many harmful consequences on the environment, survival of other species and could even threaten the existence of human beings in the future. When a species becomes extinct, they are taken out of the food chain. Animals that survived on the newly-extinct species have to find new sources of food or they would end up starving. This can damage the population of other plants or animals. If a predator becomes extinct, its prey’s population will increase, affecting the balance of the ecosystem.

If we are not careful, many endangered species such as white tigers, blue whales, red pandas, snow leopards, etc. may cease to exist in just a few short years.

One example of an endangered species is the tiger. Recent statistics indicate that there are approximately slightly over 3,200 tigers left in the wild on the entire planet. That's a catastrophically sharp decline from the 100,000 tigers that were estimated to be in the wild in 1990.

Another endangered species is the Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus). They can only be found at Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia. There are only around 60 Javan Rhinoceros remaining in the world. They are at great risk because of habitat loss, diseases, poaching, and potential inbreeding.

The red panda (Ailurus fulgens) is another example of an endangered species. Red pandas live in the Eastern Himalayas in places like China, Nepal, and Bhutan. There are less than 10,000 red pandas in the world today. They are endangered because of habit loss and poaching. To spread awareness, International Red Panda day is held every year on 17th September.

The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) is classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Only fewer than 50,000 Asian elephants remain in the whole world. Its population is one-tenth of the population of African elephants. Its population has decreased by around 50% in the last 75 years and its population is still decreasing.

Extinction is caused by many environmental factors like climatic heating, cooling, or changes in sea levels. But now in recent times, species are becoming extinct due to man-made factors like plastic, polluted air, thrash in the water, etc.

Thousands of species are in danger of becoming extinct and yet we are not doing enough about it. It is our duty to save all endangered species before it is too late.

We can contribute to saving many of their lives by

  • Stopping the consumption of birds and animals

  • Not using products made from the skin, hair, or any other parts of animals

  • Buying eco-friendly products

  • Spreading awareness about the danger these species are in

  • Avoiding the use of plastic as much as possible

  • Not littering in the habitats of species

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