Gone Almost Too Soon: Endangered Animals and Their Ticking Time Bomb
At Eleco, we strive to highlight the many environmental issues that plague this earth. With the bustling shifts of life and abruptness of it all, it's good to take a step back and consider how our actions as humans have impacted not just our way of living but the environment around us.
Living as sustainably as we can prove essential to protecting our non-renewable resources and our beautiful wildlife. Since the industrial period, many demonstrations have solidified the consequences of our fossil fuel burning addiction and what it has initiated and encouraged -- habitat destruction and endangered species.
To give more of a visual representation of the species at stake, here is a list of animals that are at the risk of extinction:
The Florida Panther
Part of a North American cougar population located in Florida, these panthers are often sighted in pinelands, mixed freshwater swamp forests, and tropical hardwood hammocks. With these areas as their natural habitat, they have greatly diminished in appearance. Their prominent existence proves no longer due to habitat impositions such as highways and roads, posing a severe threat to their capacity.
Another high contributor to their constant population decline is increased hunting. They were one of the first species added to the endangered species list in 1973.
Luckily, there's still time to save these mammals from permanent eradication. By instilling a motive to protect Florida's vast interior rural terrain from development, diverting panthers away from highly-trafficked roads, and generating wildlife passages to connect conservation areas, we can ensure a better future and protected environment for them to travel.
The Monarch Butterfly
These astounding milkweed butterflies are a part of the Nymphalidae family. With distinguishing features, these creatures hardly go unnoticed. However, their lessened occupancy provokes the conversation about their potential extinction. It's unclear to researchers about the driving force behind their possible demise, but they believe that insecticides, habitat loss, wildfires, and ultimately climate change contribute. However, these ideal pollinators have many natural rivals. Their environmental predators, such as spiders and birds, also suffer from internal infection from parasites. Facing decades of challenges, the monarch butterfly population in eastern America has sharply decreased by 80%, dropping nearly 99% in western areas.
Many federal, state and private conservation programs are instilled to protect monarch butterflies, which is why they aren't considered a high priority on the endangered species list. Especially since they have thriving populations in other locations across the globe, it's stated that including monarch butterflies on the endangered species list would require the government to facilitate funding towards a detailed recovery plan.
If you want to take personal action towards preserving their residence, begin by planting nectar and milkweed herbs in your yard to supply these migrating beauties with some food. Remember to garden organically!
North Atlantic Right Whale
The North Atlantic Right Whale is one of the world's most imperiled large whale species, with the entire population only being around 400, with 100 reproducing females left. Registered under the endangered species list since 1970, these whales are becoming limited in numbers which triggers much concern. Their main challenge was in the form of human predatory behavior. For generations, many scavenged the sea to hunt for these whales for oil and baleen. Now, they're almost wiped out due to ship impacts and entrapments in fishing equipment. A whopping 58% of deaths happen due to these instances.
Their lives are often jeopardized by ocean exploration for oil and gas. They have also been affected by the high-powered airguns that obtain a reach of more than 250 decibels, resulting in hearing loss in these marine animals and disorganizing vital behaviors such as breeding and eating over large distances, blurring communications between individual whales.
New technology has aided in reducing the risk of whale extinction by providing ropeless fishing instruments that drastically alter the number of ship accidents while allowing fishers to continue their pursuits.
An endangered fish belonging to California's waters, these small, silvery bluefish face many struggles claiming their relevancy because of intrusions that prove to diminish their existence. Delta smelt is constantly terrorized due to anthropogenic changes to their ecosystem, such as invading species, water rerouting, urbanization, pollutants, and abstract tidal homes' transformation to leveed passages.
This is alarming because these fish are the best signals to review the San Francisco Bay-Delta's environmental status, an ecologically significant estuary that serves as a Mecca for California's waterways. Unfortunately, that environment is quickly disengaging.
Improving conditions includes:
Decreasing algae blooms that yield harmful effects to smelt.
Rehabilitating 5,500 acres of tidal areas.
Lessening stormwater pollutants from contaminating the estuary.
These endangered species are just mere examples on a list of hundreds of other animals threatened by more than difficult to conquer obstacles. Protecting these species as best we can is vital to enabling improved living conditions and opening the gates to a balanced ecosystem. Their future is in our hands, and it's essential we take action about the consequences society has implemented.