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Human's Role in Endangering Animals

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Millions of years before humans, extinction of living things was linked to geological and climatic changes, the effects of which were translated into major alternation of the environment. Environmental changes are still the primary causes of the extinction of animals, but now the changes are greatly accelerated by humans' activity. Governments, big businesses and even individuals are directly responsible of endangering hundreds of animal species. Although some measures are being taken to help specific cases of endangerment, the universal problem cannot be solved until more serious steps are taken towards limiting humans' interference in animals' natural life.

Governments bear a major responsibility in harming animals not only by producing industrial waste and poisoned gases but also by introducing alien species into habitats. In fact, pollution accelerated by new industrial revolution is one of the most dangerous threats to animals' life. Many species of salamanders in New England, for example, are dying out because the ponds in which they breed and the moist soil in which they must live are watered by acid rain. Moreover, global mean temperature has already risen as a result of greenhouse gas emissions, and major changes in the fauna and flora are inevitable consequences. Humans, on the other hand, have also affected the habitats that remain relatively untouched, such as Australia. Entire continents have been thrown into chaos as a result of introducing alien species into habitats. Alien species, without their natural enemies, can consume all the food available in their introduced habitats, leaving none for the native fauna. The Tasmanian tiger is an example of this; it was overpowered by introduced dogs on the Australian mainland and was forced out of the mainland to Tasmania, where it eventually died out. Furthermore, if a predator is introduced, the native animals will not recognise it and will be hunted easily without any resistance. This, as a result, could seriously disrupt the ecological balance and endanger many native species.

Big businesses can also harm animals seriously by destroying their habitats. This is mainly because of human housing and development needs. Residential areas, new factories and farms have taken up the space of millions of square kilometers of grasslands and forests around the world. These areas were all potential habitats for countless species of animals, and clearing them to make a way for human civilisation have resulted in much mass extinction. For example, as tropical forests were cut down, some animals had progressively smaller feeding and living spaces which pushed them to move into human communities. Extermination of marauding monkeys, roaming tigers, or foraging deer is easy to justify by people whose livelihood is threatened. Unfortunately, if the current rate of forest loss continues, a huge quantity of animals and plants will definitely disappear.

Not only governments and big businesses do affect animals but also individuals can play a cardinal role in endangering them. Species that face overexploitation are, indeed, the ones that will most likely become severely endangered or even extinct. Unfair Whaling is often justified as supplying a source of protein for protein-poor populations. Actually, whales supply is only 1% of the protein needs of any countries, such as Japan, that is actively engaged in whaling. Many species, on the other hand, have been hunted to the point of extinction just for their fur, hides or feathers. These include the big cats, alligators, kimonos, eastern grey kangaroos, and birds of paradise. So how many animals will be slaughtered before it is decided too many are dead?



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