5 Simple Ways You Can Help Endangered Animals

Op-ed

Most of us agree that animal endangerment is a major problem in this era and we as a people contribute to this issue. Due to a number of reasons, including people living oblivious to the world around them, many species are going extinct. According to nbcnews, humans have driven approximatly 680 vertebrate species to extinction. Based on these proportions, researchers say that over a million species will be wiped out within decades. This may sound alarming but there is hope! There are many habits and simple actions that young adults/teenagers can take now to improve the natural world. Here are five simple ways you can help to protect endangered species, while conserving the natural world:

1. Reduce water consumption

As we know, water scarcity is a huge problem to humans. And as the world population increases this problem is ever-growing. Water scarcity doesn't just affect us humans, but often animals too. According to worldwildlife, research shows that only 3 percent of water on earth is freshwater and over 100,000 ecosystems depend on it. For example, many species in Africa including elephants and rhinos depend on water to sustain their familes. And as we use up all the water available to us, we rob these animals of their only life source.

How to help: According to Reset.org, reducing your water footprint can be a big help to endangered animals. Statistics show that in the USA alone, citizens use 7,786 liters per person a day. We may not notice, but sometimes we are using up much more water than we need. Simple tasks including turning off a water tap while brushing your teeth, spending less time in the shower, and only washing clothes when nessecery can impact water consumption, in a positive way. The average amount of water run down from a shower is about 15 gallons in 5 minutes. If everyone in my city decreased their shower time by 5 minutes, we would save a whopping 75 million gallons a day!

2. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Recycling can be a major plus to helping endangered animals. By recycling when we can, we keep dangerous and hazardous substances away from animals. Petshopandmore states that recycling also helps protect wildlife habitats by lowering greenhouse gas emmisons and reducing the need of mining and landfills that pollute the air and the environment. But even before we recycle, each of us can hep by reduce plastic usage in so many simple ways; take your own mug to the coffee shops, carry reusable bags to the stores. organize trash-up day at a beach or our own neighborhoods.

According to homeguides, over 100,000 marine mammals die each year of indegestion or entanglement of plastic debris left in the ocean, including endangered species like krill and sea turtles. We need to take action now otherwise, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

3. Educate yourself and others on endangered species in your area

Often, the first step to contributing to a cause, is to educate yourself and others on how important it is. This is no different for protecting endangered species. We need to understand the effects of our actions and educate ourselfves on the endangered animals in our areas. Bring awarness is different ways. There are multiuple websites, foundations, and organizations you can go to find ways to volenteer and stay involved, including the Jane Goodall Institute, Defenders of Wildlife and International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

We may not know it, but wildlife has a huge importance on an ecological level. Each animal plays an important role in the food chain. Every ecosystem is there to keep nature in balance, and all animals in a community are there to keep each other in check and maintain control. So, choose a species, find your favorite organization and pledge your support tod!

4. Preserve habitats and the environment

Preserving and protecting habitats are one of the most beneficial actions we can take to help endangered animals. According wwf.panda.org and animalmatters.org, habitat loss is identified as a main threat to 85 percent of all endangered species and appoximatly 5,760 acres of wildlife habit are destroyed per day. Some of the main factors that contribute to habitat destruction are mining and deforestation. This largely affects wildlife as a huge amount of land animals build homes and have food sources in trees and forests. Due to deforestation many animals are not able to find sustainable shelter. Mining also impacts wildlife as the ash spreads harmful pollutants that contaminate water supplies (as stated in # 2). And becuase of society's lack of care for the environment, we are losing wildlife at an insane rate.

So how can someone like you and I help? For starters, we can help reduce pollution. Try limiting the amount of trips you use in your cars, ride your bike more often. Eliminate wood stoves and fireplaces, add filters to chimneys, on a warm day, use fans instead of air conditiong and avoid using gas powered lawn equipment. We can also make our homes more wildlife friendly by adding bird feeders, adding water baths, and creating a natural enviornment for animals!

5. Show you care and influence others

Source: "DSC03771" by RosieTulips is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By showing we care about animals, each of us can influence friends and family into having empathy. One way we can show we care is to not by animal products for fashion, such as fur, leather, coral, ivory and other souveniers to show off. Instead we should persuade and encorage others to stop buying these products and reduce the demand of animal items, whether they are illegal or not.

Take Action!

All species play an important role and have a positive impact on the planet. However, as stated before, biodiversity faces a threat. Now is the time for you to get into the habit of applying these simple tips that will protect endangered species and prevent their extinction. It is reassuring that these simple actions can have a huge impact on your favorite endangered animal and help maintain balance on earth.

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Gautam Iyer

Gautam Iyer attends Elkins High School in Missouri City, Texas and is currently on the Junior Varsity cross country and track team. He has a knack for music and plays the violin and piano, while also reading non fiction and historical fiction novels and books. He is passionate about sharing ideas and information and believes he can achieve anything that he puts his mind to.


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