Endangered Species and Loss of Biodiversity
By Prof. Liwayway Memije-Cruz
Endangered species are those that are presently in such small numbers that they are in immediate jeopardy of becoming extinct. Threatened species could become extinct if a critical factor in their environment were changed. Scientists ranked “species extinction and over loss of biodiversity” as one of our greatest environmental problems, and Time magazine referred to the staggering loss of biological diversity as the “death of birth.”
The main threats to biodiversity arise from loss of habitat and disruption of ecosystems due to pressure of growing populations and unsustainable resource use. The most important causes of extinction related to human activity involve habitat alteration for clearing and burning of forests. exploitative and illegal logging, fuel wood collection, encroachment, wetland conversion, degradation of grasslands, inappropriate development in coastal areas and urbanization. Poaching, hunting, introduction of exotic species, and pollution also contribute substantially to biodiversity loss. Marine life is also vulnerable to outside intervention such as extensive oil explorations.
Why Save An Endangered Species?
1. Plants and animals provide us with food, clothing and shelter.
2. Plants supply nearly one quarter of the world’s pharmaceuticals.
3. Plants and animals play a critical role in maintaining the delicate balance of ecosystems upon which all life depends.
4. Plants and animals provide us a sense of day-to-day continuity that is vital in maintaining a sense of security in the world. Many of us would agree with me that simply by virtue of their existence, plants and animals with which we share the Earth have an inherent worth aside from usefulness they offer us and thus have a right to continued existence.
Humankind too is threatened by the irretrievable loss of species, ecosystems, gene pools and ecological processes. On the verge of extinction we have to do our share. If species continue to disappear at the present rate, many will be gone and we too will be gone forever.
What Can We Do To Prevent the Loss of Biodiversity?
1. Educate the youth on the economic value of biodiversity.
2. Participate in the conservation and protection of biodiversity.
3. Plant trees that entice birds, bees, butterflies and other animals.
4. Provide habitats for birds, bees, and butterflies in the house yard. Include adequate food and water to encourage species to stay.
5. Follow the regulations on harvesting, collection, transport, and trade of species