The loss of habitats is something that we are all aware of, but maybe don’t discuss as often. I love animals more than humans sometimes because we have changed the planet in so many ways and are responsible for the extinction of many species, which is pretty shameful. Habitat destruction should be discussed even more than it already is and some serious changes need to occur right now before we destroy everything completely. One way to do so is to educate everyone on what is exactly going on and motivate people to participate in making a change.
We have done many things that have been harmful to animals and have caused extinctions. Things such as abusing animals, using them as entertainment instead of letting them live in their natural habitats, and using their skin for fashion. Another terrible thing that has caused extinction is habitat destruction. The world’s forests, swamps, and lakes are disappearing because humans are building more housing, more roads, more pipelines, etc (Evans, 2011). According to EarthTimes, “Human activity is responsible for the loss of around half of the forests that once covered the Earth. Although these can recover and can even be sustainably harvested, their rate of loss is about ten times higher than the rate of regrowth” (Evans, 2011). Loss of these habitats also means the loss of other living species. For example, habitat destruction will be responsible for the extinction of 120 living primate species within the next ten to twenty years (Evans, 2011). The animals that will probably be affected more are the bigger ones such as tigers, mountain gorillas, pandas and lions because they require a bigger area of land for a healthy living and breeding population (Evans, 2011).
“Habitat loss is also a huge problem in the marine environment. Destructive fishing, using deep trawlers and dynamiting coral reefs destroy entire ecosystems. Coastal habitats are destroyed when land is drained for development. Excess nutrients from fertilizers or domestic sewage flow into the sea, causing harmful algae to form, blocking out the sunlight and depleting the water of oxygen” (Evans, 2011). The marine environment is another habitat that needs to be protected more because it’s also a great resource for humans. If the sea isn’t taken care of, then it can’t take care of us as well. For example, fish and water. We need fish because it’s beneficial to our health and we need the water. What happens when all of that is eventually destroyed?
There is also another environmental issue that is contributing to the one discussed here and that’s climate change. Climate change will cause many habitats to become inhospitable. For example, “A study in Nature indicated that within the next 50 years a quarter of the world’s land animals and plants could become extinct. This is around a million species” (Evans, 2011).
Human intervention is a cause for this habitat destruction and needs to be taken more seriously. Right now the only thing that can be done is educate those around us on how to be more responsible for our environment. We need to be aware of what we can do in order to save more animals from extinction and we can start by taking care of their habitats. When you take care of the habitats, then more species will be saved over time. By destroying everything, we will end up causing the predicted extinctions and then what? Can you imagine a world with destroyed habitats and not seeing specific animals anymore such as lions, tigers, and gorillas? Personally, I can’t imagine a world like that and I don’t want to. We need to take responsibility and educate ourselves on how we can change our destructive ways.
Evans, M. (2011, May 10). Habitat Loss and Degradation. Retrieved from http://www.earthtimes.org/encyclopaedia/environmental-issues/habitat-loss-degradation/