Planet Earth houses an estimated 8.7 million different species, with approximately 6.5 million living on land and 2.7 million in the oceans. The diversity of plants and animals living on this planet is part of what makes it so special to explore, but beyond that, it’s part of a very delicate balance within the ecosystem.
When a species becomes endangered, it doesn’t just affect that one species, it often affects the entire dynamic of a given area. This means that, if a species becomes endangered, the surrounding environment and other species living nearby could be impacted in serious and often unexpected ways.
The U.S. Endangered Species Act has been making pretty big headlines lately, as the Trump administration has proposed some changes and declined a number of endangered species from being protected by it.
The U.S. government has made numerous attempts to dismantle the Endangered Species Act or prevent animals from reaching the “endangered” status when they rightfully deserve to be protected. Last month, multiple bills were proposed that seriously threatened the Endangered Species Act. You can read more about that in our CE article here.
It’s difficult to understand how anyone could oppose the Endangered Species Act (ESA), yet the Republicans have made an alarming 233 legislative attempts to either threaten endangered species or essentially dismantle the Endangered Species Act in general. Created to protect more vulnerable plant and animal species from dying off, it’s a small price to pay to save lives and protect the delicate balance of our ecosystem.
In an effort to shed light on the importance of protecting endangered species, photographer Tim Flach captured a series of photos that depict the personalities and characters of some of the world’s most threatened animals.
This majestic bird is considered to be “critically endangered,” as these eagles breed slowly and fewer than 10% of chicks actually reach adulthood.
This species is considered “critically endangered” as well, largely because their horns and meat are in high demand. However, nature has also played a part in its decline, as a deadly bacterium wiped out much of the population.
The yellow-eyed tree frog is one of many frogs that lay their eggs on vegetation over still water during the rainy season, but these little guys are currently endangered.
Though monarch butterflies have yet to be classified as an endangered species because they haven’t been evaluated in this capacity, many people have speculated that they require further protection. Between 1997 and 2016, monarch butterflies experienced a 74% decrease in population. Though conservation efforts are underway, it’s clearly necessary to take a closer look at how we can protect these beautiful butterflies.
This species is threatened/approaching extinction all over the world, as they’re eaten in many places, such as Africa, and their skin is often made into handbags and other fashion accessories.
Threatened for a number of reasons, from loss of habitat and hunting to being poached and sold on the black market, these tigers are considered “endangered.”
Polar bears are currently considered a “vulnerable” species, as their habitat continues to be destroyed as more sea ice melts. Polar bear hunting contributed to this problem for many years as well.
In 2003, researchers found hippo numbers had decreased by an astonishing 95% during eight years of civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Hippos are also poached for their ivory canines and for their meat.
These turtles are worth a lot of money on the black market, and so poachers are the main reason that these animals are threatened. Mainly found in Asia, they are listed as “critically endangered.”
These beautiful birds are endangered as a result of habitat loss and demand for them as pets. They’re considered a “vulnerable” species.
White-Backed African Vulture
These majestic birds are considered to be critically endangered. The photo taken depicts part of these birds’ role in the ecosystem, as it only takes one hour for a flock of vultures to strip an entire cow carcass down to the bone.
These animals are absolutely incredible, and although we may admire them for their beauty, each and every one also plays a crucial role in the ecosystem. We often view ourselves as outside of the animal kingdom, but in reality, if these species are lost, this will affect the environment, which in turn will affect us.
Helping to protect these animals is the least we can do, and it’s important that we do our best to preserve their habitats and end poaching and hunting of threatened or endangered species!
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