The loss of one species often means the loss of another. Case in point; when gray wolves were hunted to near extinction in Yellowstone National Park, beaver populations also decreased significantly. This is because elk, without the wolf as its predator, grazed more heavily on plants needed by beavers for winter survival. This cause and effect species decline in happening all over the world. At ever-increasingly alarming rates.
"The conservation of endangered species is important for humans as well. A well-balanced ecosystem purifies the environment, giving us clean air to breathe, a healthy water system to support diverse marine life, and arable land for agricultural production. It also provides us with unique plants with medicinal properties, which serve as the foundation of our medicines. When ecosystems fail, our own health is at risk. By saving endangered species, we are ultimately saving ourselves," according to the Global Vision International USA website (gviusa.com).
Although there are so many endangered species across the globe, there are also incredible efforts underway to save many of them. Governments, nonprofits, international organizations, local communities, and individuals are working together to protect and restore population levels, and drive awareness campaigns to engage others in vital conservation work. As an individual, you can make a difference by learning about and raising awareness about endangered species in your area, and across the world. A sustainable way to do that is to get involved as a volunteer, partnering with governments and organizations on existing projects.
Now we'll get into a few interesting facts about endangered species. How many do you know?
1. A species is declared extinct after many years of not being spotted. Because it takes so long to define an entire species as extinct, it is probable that there are many species already gone that we are unaware of. And once in a while we get lucky and a small group of previously-thought extinct animals will show back up. And Thank goodness for that! But that doesn't happen very often.
2. 99% of currently threatened species are at risk from human activities, primarily those driving habitat loss, introduction of exotic species, and global warming.
3. As many as 30 to 50 percent of all species are possibly heading toward extinction by mid-century.
4. The World Wildlife Organization focuses on saving certain species that help sustain other species. They protect wildlife such as pandas, whales, rhinos, marine turtles, primates, polar bears, and big cats.
5. Freshwater ecosystems are home to more than 100,000 known species of plants and animals, and are now one of the most endangered habitats in the world as a result of human development, pollution, and climate change. This includes many many species of frogs.
Rangers are on the frontlines of conservation to protect some of the world's most endangered species like tigers, elephants and rhinos. Send thank-you cards to those who protect endangered species. Sign up at
I urge each you to help. Time is not on our side. Pick an endangered species that you love and do what you can to help protect them. If you don't help, we may all too soon be gone.
That does it for me this week. I invite you back again next week. Until then, have a happy and safe weekend. PEACE.