Animal Population Decrease
♦ Major Causes of Wildlife Loss
- habitat degradation,
- climate change,
- invasive species,
- diseases→threaten to wipe out wildlife in large numbers
All of this human development produces pollution. Waterways are polluted with runoff from manufacturing facilities, factory farms, and the gas and oil that collects on roadways. Mining practices discard unusable heavy metals and minerals into groundwater sources.Air is polluted by the fumes from traffic and burning fossil fuels. Pesticides sprayed onto crops inadvertently kills other plant species. Garbage and littering fill the land with non-biodegradable plastics that can be consumed by animals both on land and in the sea. All of these reasons and more explain why pollution is directly responsible for the loss of wildlife biodiversity. But, indirectly, it is responsible for more deaths because it causes global climate change. All of those greenhouse gases released into the air not only have a direct impact on the quality of air and water but they go on to trap solar radiation which leads to increased global temperatures, natural disasters, and glacial melting. Global climate change has exterminated all wildlife.
Finally, disease among plants and animals is responsible for a loss in biodiversity. Disease is almost an aftermath of the aforementioned causes of wildlife loss because it occurs in unhealthy and unbalanced ecosystems. Although they are naturally occurring, an unhealthy ecosystem cannot fend for itself and fight off virus, fungus, and bacteria in the same way a healthy ecosystem can. Lower levels of biodiversity mean that the plant and animal community is less resilient to disease.
3. Invasive Species
Human involvement does not stop with these causes. Increased globalization means that people are now traveling farther and faster than ever before taking with them new ideas, business prospects, and finished goods around the world. While this sounds like a positive advancement for civilization, it also comes with negative consequences. This increased mobility has also allowed for the spread of non-native plants and animals to move into new areas. Non-native wildlife is referred to as invasive species and they are responsible for the loss of all wildlife and for threatening all endangered specs. Invasive species move into an area and quickly reproduce and spread. They outnumber native species, preying on them and competing with them for food resources. This decreases the biodiversity thereby changing the structure of the ecosystem.
♦ What Can Be Done?
- Within urban areas, residents need to be educated and empowered to work at a local level to promote small scale conservation efforts.
- Business owners need to be held accountable for the environmental degradation that their work may cause and further mandated to reduce and offset this destruction.
- Policy makers on an international level need to tackle wildlife trade and poaching concerns.
- National government should focus on converting their nations to renewable energy sources.
- On an individual level, people need to focus on reducing, reusing, and recycling products, but since this problem is large, it cannot be fixed by one person. Action is necessary across boundaries and cultures, from the lowest levels of society to the highest. The problem can no longer be ignored.