Many of the animals we see every day, whether it’s in real life or in pictures, are at a threat of becoming endangered, or even extinct, and we do not even realize it. These animals are important in preserving the biodiversity on Earth and I think that we need to make a better effort to make ourselves aware of threatened animals and help to restore and preserve their species.
The orangutan is one animal that is critically endangered. Both the Bornean orangutan species and Sumatran orangutan species are endangered, Sumatran more so with only around 7,500 left today. These great apes have a very low reproductive rate, which contributes to their population declines. They are also considered “gardeners of the forest”, which is important because they play a key role in dispersing seeds throughout their habitats.
2. Blue Whale
The blue whale is another animal that everyone has heard of, but may not realize is endangered. They are the largest animal on our planet and are an important factor in the health of our oceans. Hunting whales became illegal in 1966, but this activity largely contributed to their endangerment.
3. Polar Bear
The polar bear is considered vulnerable in regard to endangerment. Their declining populations is heavily due to climate change, specifically the loss of ice constituting their habitats. Like the blue whales, polar bears also play a vital role in the health and dynamics of marine ecosystems.
4. Monarch Butterfly
Even the popular monarch butterfly is near threatened. A recent survey of their winter habitat in Mexico found that the area occupied by their colonies has decreased 27% since last year. The annual migration pattern of these beautiful insects has been disrupted by climate change and habitat loss from human actions.
These are just a few of the many endangered species on Earth. Isn’t it sad to think about the possibility of animals like these disappearing from our planet? There are some ways that we can help to lessen the threats to these species though. We should make an effort to be more environmentally friendly in order to preserve the habitats of the animals around us. There are also many conservatories around the world that aim to preserve and restore endangered populations, and we can support them. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is a large organization that works to support and conserve wildlife across the world. To learn more about their work and ways that we can help, go to www.worldwildlife.org.