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Why We Should Stop Extinction Essay

2262 words - 9 pages

The extinction of indigenous animals has been an ongoing problem that has not received the attention it deserves. Biologists have studied the pattern of mass extinction with growing concern. The world’s species are declining at a rate 10,000 times faster than normal according to a census of the world’s species (Dugan). What is causing such a rapid increase in extinction is unknown however there is one thing that is indisputable: human interference is playing a direct role.
Poaching is the illegal hunting, killing or capturing of animals. Poachers sell the animals as pets, foods, and fur. During the 1960s jaguars, leopards and tigers were poached for fur and meat. The animals organs and meat were then sold as aphrodisiac medicines and the skin was used for making accessories. During the sixties and seventies, around 18,000 jaguars were killed every year for their beautiful coat. Formerly prized furs, such as those from the leopard, cheetah, or jaguar, may no longer be hunted in the countries where they are indigenous, and many other countries forbid their importation (Miller). Another example of an animal being hunted to near extinction is the whaling industry in the 19th Century. Southern Right Whales were hunted because they float when dead, can yield, many barrels of oil, have long baleen plates and come close to shore. Whale oil was used for candles, light fuel, soap, heating and lubricant. Baleen or “whalebone” was used in corsetry, bookbinding, whip, and umbrella making (Environment). Between the years 1835-1844 whales in New Zealand and Australia were hunted to near extinction. As a result the hunting whales was no longer profitable and by 1935 the whales were internationally protected through the League of Nations and by 1978 all the whaling in Australian waters had completely ceased (Environment). Hunting and trapping is the legal hunting killing or capturing of animals. The problems with the hunting and trapping are the same as the problems associated with poaching. Fortunately, hunting and trapping is legal and can be easily controlled. Legislators can enact legislation limiting the amount of each species that may be hunted. This will not help with the poacher problems however it will help reduce the number of animals killed by hunters who obey the law.
Introduced species are species introduced into an eco-system by an outside force usually humans. There are many ways in which the introduction of non-native or exotic species negatively affects our environment and the diversity of life on our planet. The greatest impact introduced species have is the changing of an entire habitat because many native species thrive only in a specific habitat. For example when the zebra mussel was accidentally brought to the United States from southern Russia it transformed aquatic habitats by filtering prodigious amounts of water and settling in dense masses over vast areas. At least thirty freshwater mussel species are threatened with...

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