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Should We Be Pouring so Much Money Into Endangered Species?

Opinion

August 04, 2023

Is it worth it?

That's the question many people have asked themselves throughout the years, becoming more and more persistent each time. From the thought that the money could be used for a different cause, to the overwhelming indifference to the animal kingdom, people always find an excuse to give up on this problem.

As human beings, we have a natural inclination to protect and care for the world around us. This includes the many species of animals that are currently endangered. However, as we continue to pour more and more money into conservation efforts, it's important to ask ourselves: is this the best use of our resources?

There's no denying that endangered animals are in dire need of our help. Many species are on the brink of extinction, and without conservation efforts, they may disappear forever.

So, now is your time to make a choice! But first, let's take a look at some facts, so you can shape your perspectives properly.

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The Threat

Humans are responsible for 99% of endangered species, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). As a result, the current extinction rate is 1,000 to 10,000 times greater than natural.

Many endangered species have continued to decline as a result of human activity. One of the primary causes of species extinction is habitat deterioration. Natural ecosystems are being degraded and fragmented as human populations continue to rise and urbanise.

Many species suffer as a result of the loss of food, shelter, and breeding grounds. Another important driver of species extinction is over-exploitation. The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth between $7 billion and $23 billion per year.

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Climate change is also a big hazard to many species. Species are unable to adapt to their new habitat when temperatures increase and weather patterns shift. Rising ocean temperatures raise the possibility of permanent loss of marine ecosystems.

Another big concern to many species is pollution. Chemicals, heavy metals, and plastic waste are all contaminants that can hurt or kill numerous species. For example, plastic garbage in the water can injure or kill marine species like sea turtles, dolphins, and whales.

The Balance

The balance of the whole world is one of the most important things we need to consider. One of the primary reasons for saving endangered species is their contribution to the preservation of biodiversity, our planet's most essential and complex trait. Biodiversity refers to the cultural, ecological, and evolutionary processes enabling life.

It encompasses all living animals, from microorganisms to mammals, and all forms of habitat, including rainforests, coral reefs, mountains and deserts. Everyone and everything is part of a varied ecology.

Image Credit: Antony Trivet from Pexels

The loss of biodiversity has far-reaching effects on both the environment and humans. As a result, endangered species supply important resources to human populations. Many species are cultivated for food, medicine, and other purposes.

Furthermore, our planet may be home to between 10 and 50 million species. None of these beings exists in a vacuum. All living creatures are part of the biosphere, a complex, often carefully balanced network.

The earth's biosphere, in turn, comprises several ecosystems comprising plants, animals, and their physical habitats. Nobody knows how the extinction of creatures will affect the other members of their ecosystem, yet the extinction of a single species could cause a disastrous chain reaction that affects many other species.

Agriculture and Biodiversity

Many seemingly small types of life are beginning to exhibit considerable agricultural benefits. Farmers are using bugs and other creatures that feast on crop pests, along with plants that have natural poisons that repel hazardous insects. These are known as "biological controls," and they are often a safer, more effective, and less expensive alternative to synthetic chemicals.

Image Credit: Ryutaro Tsukata from Pexels

How can they be protected?

Endangered species protection is a challenging subject that necessitates a comprehensive strategy.

Here are a few methods for protecting endangered species:

1. Restoration of habitat

The restoration of deteriorated ecosystems to their native form is known as habitat restoration. This involves recovering forests, wetlands, and other ecosystems devastated by human activity. Endangered species can benefit from habitat restoration by providing them with the food, shelter, and breeding grounds they require to live.

Image Credit: Richard Verbeek from Pexels

2. Environmental Education

Conservation education is an important weapon in the fight to save endangered species. It entails teaching people about the value of biodiversity and the risks that endangered species face. Conservation education may help increase awareness about the need to protect endangered species and teach people about how their activities affect the environment.

3. Development that is both sustainable and long-term

Sustainable development entails using resources to fulfil current demands without jeopardising future generations' capacity to meet their own. Sustainable development, such as lowering carbon emissions, can help safeguard endangered species by reducing the environmental effect of human activities.

Image Credit: Charles Miller from Pexels

How can you help?

Various organizations and projects rely on donations to help protect endangered animals. For example, you can donate to wildlife sanctuaries that rescue and rehabilitate endangered animals. Such sanctuaries provide a haven for animals that have been injured, orphaned, or confiscated from illegal trade.

Another way to support endangered animals is by purchasing products from companies that prioritize sustainability and ethical practices. Some companies donate a portion of their profits to conservation efforts or partner with organizations that work to protect endangered species. By choosing to buy from these companies, you can help support their efforts to conserve wildlife.

Moreover, you can also invest in eco-tourism activities that support conservation efforts. For instance, some wildlife reserves offer guided tours that generate revenue to support conservation programs. By participating in these activities, you not only get to experience nature up close, but you also contribute to the conservation of endangered animals.

Spending money on endangered animals is a way to support conservation efforts and protect the planet's natural resources. By donating to wildlife sanctuaries, buying from sustainable companies, and participating in eco-tourism activities, we can all play a role in preserving endangered animals for generations to come.

The Time to Act is Now!

So to sum up everything that we discussed previously, YES, conservation of endangered animals is worth it.

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Threats to endangered species are varied and are frequently caused by human actions such as habitat loss, over-exploitation, and pollution.

However, there are other ways we can act to safeguard these species, including supporting conservation initiatives, decreasing our carbon footprint, and pressing for tougher legislation and regulations to address animal trading and habitat degradation. By taking action to preserve endangered species, we can guarantee that our world remains a varied and vibrant habitat for every species, including humans.

Ioana Moga
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Ioana is a high school student who has a passion for writing. In her free time when she's not doing schoolwork, she can be found reading books, finding new music, or watching Youtube.

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