The extinction of certain types of animals has always occurred, such as the dinosaurs and dodo bird, but now more animals are on the verge of extinction than ever before. Human activities, such as logging, are the cause of more and more animals making their way onto the list of endangered species. Before we take up more of an animals land, cut down their homes, and pollute the waters that they live in, we should consider if this is the way we would like our homes to be treated.
Everyone has heard of elephants and most people have even been to the zoo and seen them. Elephants are a staple in everything relating to the wild kingdom. These beautiful creatures have now quickly made their way onto the list of most endangered species. Asian and African Elephants are most endangered and they once numbered in the millions across Asia and Africa. Unfortunately, due to an increase in the popularity of ivory, elephants were poached for their ivory tusks and even their meat. This poaching caused the number from elephants to drop to half of their original numbers in just a 10 year span. In addition to having their numbers decreased by poaching, human encroachment is now another problem. Elephants used to inhabit millions of unrestricted acres, however now they are restricted to small forests and bush in parks and preserves.
These amazing creatures, that few people rarely get to glimpse in their natural habitat, are unfortunately making their way near the endangered species list. The threat of polar bears nearing extinction is real, with 20,000-25,000 left in the wild they are currently not considered endangered by the government; however their numbers will decline if changes are not made. Polar bears have been known to habituate Alaska, Canada, Russia, and Greenland, however their numbers have been greatly diminished in Alaska due to aerial hunting. Aerial hunting has become a sport in Alaska where hunters will hunt wolves and polar bears from a helicopter. Once they see the animals they want to kill they will chase them until they become so exhausted they can not run anymore and then shoot them. This terrible and violent sport has even driven polar bears to extinction in St. Matthew Islands in Alaska. In addition to aerial hunting, global warming is the next biggest threat to polar bears. Polar bears thrive in areas where there are thin sheets of ice and plenty of water and fish. Global warming is causing ice sheets to melt and causing polar bears to lose their habitat.
Tigers seem to be another staple in the animal kingdom, since they are the king of the jungle, but they have been one of the most endangered animals in the world for several years. Unfortunately, the tiger population may have fallen as much as 95% in just the last 100 years, with as few as 4,000 left in the wild. There are only 6 species of tigers left in the wild as 3 have already become extinct. The Bali, Caspian, and Javan Tigers have all become extinct due to poaching, illegal wildlife trade, and human development of their habitat. If tougher regulations for tiger poaching and illegal wildlife trade are not made then the remaining 4,000 tigers may follow the same fate as the Bali, Caspian, and Javan Tigers. People also need to consider that tigers need some of their habitat and that development of lands where tigers live needs to be moved. It is estimated that tigers live in less than 30% of the space that they did only a decade ago.
While many marine turtles are currently listed as an endangered species, none may be as endangered as the Hawksbill Turtle. There are currently only 8,000 nesting females known to exist today. In the 1970’s and 1980’s over 1 million Hawksbill Turtles were killed to use their shells and skins to create items like jewelry and leather. In addition to marine turtles being hunted for their shells and skins, they are also facing extinction due to loss of nesting area due to human development, excessive egg collection by people, and water pollution. These are all unfortunately man made problems and without human poaching, pollution, or development of the beaches the marine turtles could be thriving today.
Most people are familiar with dolphins not the vaquita. The vaquita is also known as the gulf porpoise and slightly resembles a small dolphin. They grow to be almost 5 feet long and weight approximately 120 pounds. They have a dark gray smooth skin and their shape also resembles that of a dolphin, except that they have black circles around their eyes and mouth. The vaquita has the possibility of facing extinction since there are only 150 left in the wild. The vaquita population has been diminishing due to killings from commercial fishing lines and nets. There are currently several programs in place to try to keep the vaquita from becoming extinct.
There are many more animals that face extinction and are currently endangered. There is plenty that you can do to help. For a list of some basic things you can do to help animals for free you can read more at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5428608/free_ways_to_help_animals.html?cat=53. The World Wildlife Fund is also a great organization that focuses on helping wild animals and cleaning up the planet. They are always looking for volunteers and donation at http://www.worldwildlife.org/who/index.html.