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Imagine a life in the near future where all species known to man are gone. What would cause that to happen? What can we do to help ensure that does not happen? Most animals in recent years have become extinct or endangered because of loss of habitat. There have been many challenges in preserving natural habitats, but people are coming up with ways to combat them.
Throughout history there have been many attempts to preserve natural habitats. According to Eric Bolen, the Audubon Society’s main focus since 1905 has been to preserve and restore natural habitats. The Audubon Society has chapters throughout the United States that work for a common goal. They mainly focus on renewable energy, wildlife conservation, safeguarding clean air and water, and preserving and restoring natural places. The society originally began to stop the slaughter of birds for the creation of hats. Now, they sponsor science programs doing research on birds and other animals to collect data on declining species. The conservation of land through national parks is another attempt to conserve species and their habitats. The United States was the first nation to set aside land for a national park in 1872 which inspired other nations to do the same. Roughly thirty years later in 1900, the United States became the first nation to pass a national conservation law. This law stated that it was illegal to transport animals across the border who were killed illegally. One last effort to save habitats and species is through the Endangered Species Act. The Endangered Species Act passed in 1973 protects plants and animals from anything that may threaten them such as hunting or collecting.
Although many efforts are made to protect animals, there are numerous counterattacks toward endangered species. The expansion of agriculture is one thing that aids in the loss of species and habitats. Fertilizer can runoff into ponds or bodies of water and cause a decrease of fish able to live within it. Farmers often abandon land after it becomes barren and cut down trees for more farming land. This process decreases forest land and hurts the animals who depend on it. Another thing leading to the loss of species and habitats is pollution. Pollution can decrease a piece of land’s ability to support plants and animals. Some places in the world such as Copper Hill, Tennessee, and parts of the former Soviet Union show the effects of pollution on land.
While there are many factors leading to the decline of animals and places for them to live, research is being done and efforts are being made today to ensure the safety of endangered species and their habitats. Pien Haung stated that Professor Brian Lapointe began researching coral reefs in Florida in the 1980’s. Over the past years, Professor Lapointe has watched almost half of Florida’s coral reefs disappear. Though this may be a bad thing, his research showed a positive aspect to it. The coral reef is not dying because of climate change as he originally thought, but from too much nitrogen as a result of poorly treated sewage and topsoil. As a result of his research, there is now hope to restore the coral reefs because an overload of nitrogen is easier to fix than changing the global temperature. In Michigan, efforts are being made to preserve habitats for bats according to Sandy Hausman. Old abandoned mine shafts are now being reopened to be used as habitats for bats because many humans tear down places where they live. The mine shafts are great places for bats to live because it stays at a constant temperature of 43 degrees and they can stay away from predators and winter weather.
Imagining a world without many of the normal or regular species in it is hard to do. If measures to protect habitats are not made, it may become a reality. Loss of habitat is one of the biggest reasons for the extinction of animals. Research has shown the reason for loss of habitat and why land is uninhabitable for some species. There have been many challenges in preserving natural habitats, but the new research is being used to save habitats for endangered species.
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