Animals, Plants, Animals by Brianna Moore

May 15th, 2013 | By | Category: Youth Blog

“There is no doubt that the tropical rainforests of the world are in danger. Every hour approximately six species of life in our tropical rainforests are destroyed. Experts agree that the number one cause of extinction in the tropical rainforest is due to the destruction of the tropical   environment.” – Jason Albright

blue eared pheasant

Blue-Eared Pheasant

Every day, more and more animals and plants are facing extinction because of humans.  The more room humans require, means more roads, parking lots and other man made entities and less space for animals and plants.  For example, the beautiful rain forests are being destroyed at an astronomical rate.  Destroying the thin bands of the rain forest around the equator is killing countless numbers of animals and plants.  In fact, our negligence has caused many animals and plants to already become extinct and many more are currently facing extinction.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has estimated that losing one plant species can cause up to 30 plants and animal species to disappear, too. Most scientists, however, believe the worst is yet to come, and that there is a lot we must do.

 

giant panda

The endangered Giant Panda with cub

First we need to become familiar with what the term “endangered” means. Below is a list of words to help us understand what it means to endanger the existence of wildlife on the Earth.

 

Endangered Species Glossary 

Biodiversity– exists when many different species live in the same environment. Biologists and ecologists agree that biodiversity is necessary for a healthy world. Without biodiversity, an ecosystem can break down. When species become extinct, there is less and less biodiversity.

Endangered –  An endangered species is on the verge of extinction. Unless something is done to help the species, it is believed that the species will disappear forever.

one horned rhino

The endangered Indian Greater One-Horned Rhino

 

Endangered Species Act – Passed in 1973, the Endangered Species Act is the law that decides what plants and animals are

endangered of becoming extinct, and what should be done about it.

Extinction – The loss of all members of a species. When a species goes extinct, it can never come back.

Habitat -The place where an animal naturally lives.

Recovery plans – created to save endangered plants and animals from becoming extinct. The recovery plans attempt to make the species stable and increase their numbers.

Sanctuary – A place where animals can live in peace and safety.

Species – A group of plants or animals that are all related and that can all breed with each other. For example, all house cats make up a species since they are all related and can breed with each other. Lions are a different species from house cats. Lions can breed with other lions, but they can’t breed with house cats.

Threatened – A species is threatened when it is not currently thought to be in danger of extinction, but it is in trouble. If things do not change for the species, then it will probably become endangered.

 

rainforest orchid 1

Endangered Rain Forest Orchid

rainforest orchid 2

Endangered Rain Forest Orchid

Plants
Through photosynthesis, plants provide the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat and are thus the foundation for life on Earth. They’re also the source of the majority of medicines in use today. Of the more than 300,000 known species of plants, the IUCN has evaluated only 12,914 species, finding that about 68 percent of evaluated plant

species are threatened with extinction.

Unlike animals, plants can’t readily move as their habitat is destroyed, making them particularly vulnerable to extinction. As a matter of fact, one study found that habitat destruction leads to an “extinction debt,” whereby plants that appear dominant will disappear over time because they aren’t able to disperse to new habitat patches.  Global climate change is likely to substantially exacerbate this problem. Also scientists say, warming temperatures are causing quick and dramatic changes in the range and distribution of plants around the world. With plants making up the backbone of ecosystems and the base of the food chain, that’s very bad news for all species, which depend on plants for food, shelter, and survival.

The rain forests of the world are supremely important to the world’s ecosystem as the climatic and environmental stabilizers. The trees of the rain forests bind up over 200 billion tons of carbon in their bodies, carbon that otherwise might be in the form of carbon dioxide and contribute to the growing greenhouse effect. Without healthy rain forests, the global warming problem we are now experiencing will seem minor in comparison.

So, will you join me by helping to spread the word about the reality of global climate change and the harm humans are causing to the environment? You can help the planet by planting a tree or simply reducing, reusing and recycling during your daily lives.  Remember, every little bit helps and it only takes one person to start a chain reaction!

 

By Brianna L. Moore, Volunteer Youth Blogger

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