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Deforestation Impacts Everyone Essay

1221 words - 5 pages

Forests play a hugely significant role on planet Earth. They act as "Earth's lungs." (WWF, n.d.) These "lungs" purify the air trapped in the atmosphere and are positively involved in the daily lives of all living things. However, the environment's harmful cigarette, deforestation, permanently removes the forest cover from an area and transforms that previously forested land to other uses. Deforestation is the primary cause of losing these valuable forests and it is occurring at an unimaginably rapid pace. According to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), "The lungs of the planet are increasingly being likened to those of a heavy smoker." (WWF, n.d.) Specifically relating to deforestation, there is a rare rainforest that is known as the "largest coastal temperate rainforest on the planet." (The Nature Conservancy, 2014) This rainforest is 6.4 million hectares and it stretches along the coast of British Columbia. (Bethel, 2014) It is the Great Bear Rainforest. It has a variety of grizzly bears, salmon, and timber trees. However, deforestation in the ecosystem of the Great Bear Rainforest has resulted in the adverse environmental impact of biodiversity loss to bear, fish, and plant, species.
“The Great Bear Rainforest is home to over 2,500 salmon runs.” (Temple, 2005) At the moment, the Pacific salmon is the evident species inhabiting the forest. Salmon are keystone species. This means that they play a vital part towards the ecosystem together as a “critical food source for many wildlife species and as an upstream vector in the distribution of marine-deprived nutrients through the forest.” (David Suzuki Foundation, 2005) When this forest gets cut down, the entire ecology of the nearby water bodies drastically changes in a negative manner. “Since 2001, 46% of logging in the Great Bear Rainforest … has taken place in the region's most productive salmon bearing watersheds.” (David Suzuki Foundation, 2005) Watersheds offer critical reproducing habitats for a few of Canada’s healthiest wild salmon. Furthermore, small streams are highly sensitive to ecological changes caused by deforestation. The salmon inhabited and spawning in small streams have a high chance of becoming endangered and possibly extinct. Also as of 2001, “only 8% of the small fish-bearing streams flowing through logging sites were fully protected” and 65% of the greatest fecund salmon habitats still remain unprotected. (David Suzuki Foundation, 2005) Deforestation causes run-off that leads to toxic water and spawning beds full of silt and clogged with debris. The population of the Pacific wild salmon is alarmingly dwindling. As a result, deforestation in the Great Bear Rainforest has led to the biodiversity loss of fish species.
Bears are at risk of biodiversity loss due to deforestation in the Great Bear Rainforest. For example, “83% of the most suitable grizzly bear habitat is at risk of development.” (David Suzuki Foundation, 2005) The decline of salmon caused by deforestation has...

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