1. Learn about endangered species in your area. Teach your friends and family about the wonderful wildlife, birds, fish and plants that live near you. The first step to protecting endangered species is learning about how interesting and important they are. Our natural world provides us with many indispensable services including clean air and water, food and medicinal sources, commercial, aesthetic and recreational benefits. For more information about endangered species, visit endangered.fws.gov and join our activist network to receive updates and action alerts.
2. Visit a national wildlife refuge, park or other open space . These protected lands provide habitat to many native wildlife, birds, fish and plants. Scientists tell us the best way to protect endangered species is to protect the places where they live. Get involved by volunteering at your local nature center or wildlife refuge. Go wildlife or bird watching in nearby parks. Wildlife related recreation creates millions of jobs and supports local businesses. To find a wildlife refuge near you, visit www.fws.gov/refuges/ To find a park near you, visit www.nps.gov To find a zoo near you, visit www.aza.org
3. Make your home wildlife friendly. Secure garbage in shelters or cans with locking lids, feed pets indoors and lock pet doors at night to avoid attracting wild animals into your home. Reduce your use of water in your home and garden so that animals that live in or near water can have a better chance of survival. Disinfect bird baths often to avoid disease transmission. Place decals on windows to deter bird collisions. Millions of birds die every year because of collisions with windows. You can help reduce the number of collisions simply by placing decals on the windows in your home and office. For more information on what you can do, check out these tips from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
4. Native plants provide food and shelter for native wildlife. Attracting native insects like bees and butterflies can help pollinate your plants. The spread of non-native species has greatly impacted native populations around the world. Invasive species compete with native species for resources and habitat. They can even prey on native species directly, forcing native species towards extinction. For more information about native plants, visit http://www.plantsocieties.org.
5. Herbicides and pesticides may keep yards looking nice but they are in fact hazardous pollutants that affect wildlife at many levels. Many herbicides and pesticides take a long time to degrade and build up in the soils or throughout the food chain. Predators such as hawks, owls and coyotes can be harmed if they eat poisoned animals. Some groups of animals such as amphibians are particularly vulnerable to these chemical pollutants and suffer greatly as a result of the high levels of herbicides and pesticides in their habitat. For alternatives to pesticides, visit http://www.beyondpesticides.org.
6. Slow down when driving. Many animals live in developed areas and this means they must navigate a landscape full of human hazards. One of the biggest obstacles to wildlife living in developed areas is roads. Roads divide habitat and present a constant hazard to any animal attempting to cross from one side to the other. So when you’re out and about, slow down and keep an eye out for wildlife.
7. Recycle and buy sustainable products. Buy recycled paper, sustainable products like bamboo and Forest Stewardship Council wood products to protect forest species. Never buy furniture made from wood from rainforests. Recycle your cell phones, because a mineral used in cell phones and other electronics is mined in gorilla habitat. Minimize your use of palm oil because forests where tigers live are being cut down to plant palm plantations.
8. Never purchase products made from threatened or endangered species. Overseas trips can be exciting and fun, and everyone wants a souvenir. But sometimes the souvenirs are made from species nearing extinction. Avoid supporting the market in illegal wildlife including: tortoise-shell, ivory, coral. Also, be careful of products including fur from tigers, polar bears, sea otters and other endangered wildlife, crocodile skin, live monkeys or apes, most live birds including parrots, macaws, cockatoos and finches, some live snakes, turtles and lizards, some orchids, cacti and cycads, medicinal products made from rhinos, tiger or Asiatic black bear.
9. Harassing wildlife is cruel and illegal. Shooting, trapping, or forcing a threatened or endangered animal into captivity is also illegal and can lead to their extinction. Don’t participate in this activity, and report it as soon as you see it to your local state or federal wildlife enforcement office. You can find a list of state wildlife departments at http://www.fws.gov/offices/statelinks.html.
10. Protect wildlife habitat. Perhaps the greatest threat that faces many species is the widespread destruction of habitat. Scientists tell us the best way to protect endangered species is to protect the special places where they live. Wildlife must have places to find food, shelter and raise their young. Logging, oil and gas drilling, over-grazing and development all result habitat destruction. Endangered species habitat should be protected and these impacts minimized.
By protecting habitat, entire communities of animals and plants can be protected together. Parks, wildlife refuges, and other open space should be protected near your community. Open space also provides us with great places to visit and enjoy. Support wildlife habitat and open space protection in your community. When you are buying a house, consider your impact on wildlife habitat.
Join the Endangered Species Coalition Activist Network to stay involved.
Many people consider that the protection of endangered species can be explained by quite obvious reasons, but some people still question why it is important to save animals from extinction. Therefore, the following essay on extinction of animals will make an attempt to clarify the question of animal protection. The current extinction of animals essay is aimed at providing well-grounded arguments as for why animals should be saved from dying out. The main question to be answered in the following animal extinction essay is whether there exist any environmental benefits in relation to species preservation. The paper will provide arguments in favor and against animal protection in an attempt to explain the necessity to protect endangered species and make it clear that animal extinction is not beneficial for both the environment and the humanity. Overall, the world community should take measures in order to improve the situation and prevent drastic consequences for the humanity.
What does the word “endangered” mean? Before we start the debate, there should be provided some background. It is common knowledge that species are considered endangered if there is any risk of extinction, which can be caused by a number of factors including climatic changes and influence of humans. Therefore, in order to clarify whether certain species are endangered or not, there is a need to observe the trends of the growth and decline of these very species and the reasons of why they are at a risk of dying out.
As for the arguments in favor of animal protection, one of the most notable arguments refers to a high level of biodiversity. The word “biodiversity” means the diversity of biological species. If the biodiversity is in order, it indicates that the environment does not need any interventions. However, the destroyed balance in the diversity of biological species means that some animals are endangered and therefore need to be preserved. All this means that if the cornerstone species are removed from the ecosystem, whether these are plants or predators, this can entirely destroy the whole environmental system. Furthermore, endangered species are also an indicator of the state of human health. For instance, after certain species like the Bald Eagle have become extinct, the environmental dangers associated with their extinction have resulted in harmful effects on the human health. This means that proper measures should be taken in order to prevent the potential damage to human welfare. When something goes wrong in the ecosystem, it also affects the humans in this way or another, which means that endangered species give an important warning to the humanity.
Another aspect related to animal extinction is that many species that have become extinct are considered a kind of cultural symbol. An example of such symbols is elephant ivory that has caused a real epidemic in terms of poaching. The same refers to tiger pelts that have long been considered a valuable symbol across the world. This argument leads to an assumption that the preservation of endangered species is in many ways similar to the restoration of destroyed cathedrals or other iconic buildings that have a symbolic meaning for the humanity.
One more important issue is the scientific value of various endangered species. It is a fact that many species are on the verge of extinction but at the same time prove to be useful from the scientific perspective. A number of plants that are included in the lists of endangered species are valuable for the development of such spheres as health care, namely cancer investigations, and agriculture when it comes to the development of organic insecticides. If these species are destroyed before the researchers have a chance to investigate their properties to full extent, it will definitely have a number of negative effects for the whole humanity. Specifically, cancer research is of great importance, because the cure for this disease has not yet been found, and maybe some of the species of plants being on the verge of extinction would be valuable for solving the ever-increasing problem of cancer.
As for the arguments against animal preservation, it needs to be noted that according to some people, researchers spend too much financial resources with little effect. The efforts directed towards animal conservation often cause harm to the local industries, including farming and mining. However, a counter argument would be that the destruction of industries in its turn causes harm to the environment, as former workers of farms and other industries turn to using illegal means of earning money, including poaching. Some people claim that the cost of animal protection is not significant. Ecotourism has become a successful attraction for people. The adventures that one can experience in Safari definitely bring much money to the world economy. Due to ecotourism, people can see some rare and exotic species that they would never be able to see anywhere else. Various species introduced in national parks across the world attract numerous tourists and consequently, bring much money to their owners at the same time contributing to the research on endangered species. This proves that animal protection is nevertheless important despite numerous contradictions that continue to arise across the global community.
Among other counterarguments against natural conservation is the fact that the humanity might well do better without certain species. Many people seriously doubt that wolves and other dangerous species should be preserved. Another issue of concern is that many people across the world are dying of various incurable diseases and starvation. Then why do the governments of the developed countries spend huge amounts of money on animal conservation instead of helping poor nations? Some people simply do not see the point in animal protection as this aspect does not seem to be of great importance for them.
Despite all the arguments against animal protection, it is still important to preserve the natural surroundings as most researches prove that the balanced ecosystem plays an important role in ensuring the welfare of the humanity. Therefore, endangered species should be protected at all costs.
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