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Imagine you are an animal. You’ve been wandering the wastelands, which used to be a lush green forest, what used to be your home. Its late spring, right about time for mating season. Normally, you’d be out calling for a mate, hoping that you can find one. Except they’re all gone. They were all forced to flee, because the forest was falling. With nowhere to hide, the others were eaten by predators. You’re the last of your kind, and your search for a mate has been in vain. It’s a fact: according to the ASPCA, an estimated 700 species on earth are extinct, wiped out of existence. Some died of natural changes, like mastodons and dinosaurs, but others are wiped out due to the interference of man, like the dodo and passenger pigeon. Should we protect earth’s endangered species from dying out forever? Yes.
Did you know that if just a single species dies out, it can potentially affect other species as well? If one species dies, it can possibly destroy an entire food chain. A single species is just one piece in the food chain, and chaos could happen if you remove it. One case is “Army ants, for example, are known to support 100 known species, from beetles to birds.”(Wagner) Its loss could have a devastating effect on the species dependent on it. Let’s face it, if we keep on killing off species, they’ll start taking others with them as well. Now, you may be asking, “Well, why would I care about plants and animals dying off? I’m a human! That’s none of my business!” Well, you actually SHOULD be worried about the state of endangered species, and you’ll find out more why next.
I’m sure that you never knew that species loss can also affect our economy. Yes, our economy, you heard me right. Some species fuel businesses and industries. One example is the common honeybee. “Beekeepers in 24 American states report that up to 70 percent of their colonies have recently died off, threatening $14 billion in U.S. agriculture.” (Wagner) The honeybee provides us with products such as honey and beeswax, and is a major pollinator of plants! Imagine it dying out! Another example is the problem of overfishing. It “Accounts for more than 230 million jobs worldwide. In addition, tens of millions of people depend either directly or indirectly on fishing for their livelihood. The fish they catch contribute roughly 16 percent of the animal protein consumed in the world.” (The Health of the World’s Oceans Is Rapidly Declining) From this you can see that fishing is a huge industry that impacts millions of people around the world. Simply put, no more fish to catch equals any more fishing jobs, and no more fish to eat, and we’re not even talking about the environmental impacts. Next, you’ll be hearing what else could happen if a certain plant species is wiped out, and it could hinder the health of the human race.
Did you know that certain medicines come from plants? For example, the drug aspirin comes from willow bark. “The natural world holds secrets to the development of new kinds of safer and more powerful pain-killers; treatments for a leading cause of blindness—macular degeneration—and possibly ways of re-growing lost tissues and organs by, for example, studying newts and salamanders.” (Human Health Depends on Plant and Animal Biodiversity) Think about it; we could develop new medicines and cures from studying plants and animals! One example are how pumiliotoxins, found in the skin of poison dart frogs, (Human Health Depends on Plant and Animal Biodiversity) which are currently at risk due to habitat destruction, along with many other amphibians. (dendrobates.org) who knows? Perhaps there are other species out there that hold new developments for medicine, like a cure for the common cold, cancer, or AIDS.
Now, I know that not everyone agrees with me. Some people say that protecting endangered species costs too much money from taxpayer’s wallets, and that species protection doesn’t even benefit us humans, and I politely disagree with that. While it is true that the effort of species conservation does cost lots of money, but with all the contributions and impacts that animals have on the environment, it is necessary and worth it to protect them. While helping humans is just as important, we need to realize that we’re not the only ones on this planet, and it’s our duty to protect life on it.
As you can see, we should protect endangered species which include not only animals but also plants and vegetation. When they die out, it can come to hit us years later with serious consequences. We should make more of an effort to prevent habitat destruction, poaching, and illegal trading of endangered and threatened species.
To summarize everything up, I have argued we should protect endangered species because it could possibly affect other species in the food chain, because it could affect our industries and economy, and because some species can help bring new developments in medicine. This is surely more than enough to show that endangered species need to be protected.
As I close my essay, please think of what I talked about here. As I said, we all live on this planet, and it’s just simply cruel to just simply wipe a species off the face of the Earth. Also, animals contribute to our planet’s biodiversity. If we just let species die off, and keep destroying their habitats, Earth just won’t be as interesting anymore. We need to preserve this biodiversity for our future generations to see and learn about. If we can manage a peaceful coexistence between us humans and animals on the planet Earth, it will be to the benefit for both of us.
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