The 10th anniversary of Endangered Species Day will be carried out today by The Living Desert and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The event is resumed to a presentation of a program meant to raise awareness and educate people about the threat of extinction in the Cheetah and the Western Pound Turtle cases, the two highlights of the top ten list of endangered species this year.
The Living Desert will go on with the development of their initiative, in their endeavor to support wildlife and to make people more conscious about the risks of biological diversity degradation. They will be posting on their social media page on an hourly basis in order to offer more attention to this vital issue.
One in eight birds, one in four mammals and a third of all amphibians are threatened with extinction. This poses a very delicate question to the biologists who are taking care of the wildlife and to those who observe, analyze and report about animal populations worldwide.
Lately, the World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Index reported that the population of vertebrate species declined by more than half in 40 years. This represents a very rapid extinction pace, given the fact that the general goal for species survival in captivity, where they can benefit from all life conditions, is 100 years. For endangered species, this is the very highway of extinction.
On the other hand, biological diversity tends to increase. Rapid development leads to genetic variations translated in new species as evolutionary trees branch. But this is still not a viable hope for the future, as according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, more than 16.000 species of animals and plants are facing extinction.
Researchers warned that human behavior and civilization have gone over the boundaries of nature and committed serious transgressions against the planet. We have too much deforestation which causes high levels of carbon dioxide in the air, we have excess nitrogen and phosphorous in the ocean, all these causing a thigh rate of extinction among animal species.
Primates are in great danger. More than half of the 633 known species are in danger. Lemurs are said to be on their last life path. The African Lion is in great danger too, with only about 400 specimens left of the distinct subspecies of the West African lion. 250 of them or fewer are thought to be of breeding age.
The wild giraffe population dropped 40% in 15 years while researchers, biologists and scientists try to warn people and find alternatives for the natural habitat of the endangered species.
This is worrying data which calls for action. Presently, Zoos find it difficult to reintegrate animals in their natural habitats, after they were used to a different, regulated lifestyle. The released animals are more vulnerable, thus more exposed to death. Still, wildlife organizations are struggling to keep the animals facing extinction in safe places and motivate their breeding. However, it would be much better if measures could be taken at a larger scale, with humans realizing the importance of keeping alive the entirety of our eco-systems, without taking over natural wildlife habitats.
Image Source: nwf.org