Endangered Animals: Is It Too Late?

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Photo Collage with Caption: How do we save these endangered animals

Image of Sudan the rhino. His species is critically endangered as he is the last male alive at 43 years old.Over 19,000 species are listed as endangered. Two species have gone extinct every day since 2010. ~WorldBank.org

The Last Generation

We may be the last generation to see these amazing endangered animals. Elephants, Tigers, Rhinos, Great Apes, Whales, Polar Bears will disappear forever unless everything that can be done, is done to save them. We must stem the tide of endangered animals going extinct. Our generation has the task of changing the direction of the future and as you will see, the right kind of effort is being made already.

We have brought together the best infographics on Endangered Animals that we could find. We hope this will inspire you to take steps towards changing the future for these incredible animals.

The first step is awareness. You will find that here and on the next 9 posts.

In the final post on Endangered Animals, we have compiled a list of organizations that have carved out what piece that they can contribute to changing the future and we hope you will support them by volunteering, making a financial contribution, or sharing their work with others. We can personally vouch for some of them and many more are known to us as ethical, sound organizations that have submitted to different types of accreditation, however, you should always do your own due diligence through organizations such as Guidestar which makes many non profit financial documents public.

These Animals Went Extinct in the 21st Century

These Animals Went Extinct in the 21st Century

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Animals that went extinct in the 21t century

These animals are gone forever, let’s stop the extinction of others

Infographic of critically endangered species

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Let’s not let them disappear!

We humans caused this crisis; we humans can solve it!

” align=”alignleft” width=”474″]Ways we're endangering animals

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Climate change doubters–Who loses? The Animals obviously, and ultimately all of us.

The Reasons Animals Become Endangered

The reasons why animals become endangered are complicated and simple at the same time. Many of the causes overlap and some are ones that humans have no part in causing (Remember the dinosaurs? At least we didn’t cause their extinction). This doesn’t let us off the hook very much though.

Habitat Destruction, Climate Change and Pollution

This one’s all ours. We seem to be quite good at reproducing our species to the detriment of other species. In other words, because there are more of us, there’s less room for them. We mow down their forests for products, farm on their prairies and build piers off of their coastal lands without a thought to who might be currently living there and what needs they have. We build cities right in the middle of other animals’ habitats.  That’s like, “Hey honey, let’s make the house, bigger.” “Sure, dear” (Sounds of a bulldozer tearing neighbor’s house down) Neighbor says, “Hey, you can’t do that!” Your response, “Oh, I didn’t know you were there and oh, by the way, we just did. Move along now.” There’s nowhere left for “them” to go.

Our modern society has developed with a cost to the environment. Greenhouse gases have had a detrimental effect on the temperatures experienced on the planet. Polar ice caps are melting earlier and forming later which is habitat destruction for Arctic and Antarctic animals. Drought has been the experience elsewhere on the planet (such as here in the Southwest US, where I live) and animals have had to leave their natural habitats to find water or they die.

There are corporations and business that are more concerned with the bottom line rather than the impact their by-products and waste have on the environment. It’s easy to blame “them”, but every time I drink water from a plastic bottle for convenience or I don’t take my reusable bags to the grocery store, I am contributing to the polluting of our world too.

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The issue should never be about the extinction of any particular animal, it should always be about the cruelty and exploitation, which will lead to their extinction. ~unknown

Exploitation: Illegal and Legal

Exploitation can take many forms; some that you may not have thought of. It’s easy to vilify the trophy hunter who kills majestic elephants or regal lions and tigers just for the “fun” of it so they can have that trophy head or skin to put on their wall or they want the powdered rhino horn as an aphrodisiac. But what do you think about the hunter who hunts for parrots in the rainforest, nets them, smuggles them across many borders and forces them into a breeding program so that Americans can have their “hand-raised” parrots. That bird and its offspring will never soar over the tops of millions of acres of rainforest trees, communicate within his or her family group and raise their own nestlings in the environment that they thrive in. Instead, they may be relegated to a small cage (no matter how large the cage, it’s still not the rainforest) in someone’s kitchen for its 50-100 year lifespan and may even pluck its own feathers out as a sign of stress. We don’t have a tendency to think of that as exploitation, but comparing their rich life in the wild with the best life an owner can possibly give, and it becomes clearer. There was a time I wanted a parrot so badly, but luckily, at that time I couldn’t afford the one that I wanted. Later, I learned about how they end up here and I’m so glad I didn’t buy one. If you seriously want one of these birds, there are so many in rescue that enjoy a relationship with people since that’s all they’ve ever known. Yes, there are bird rescues. Where else would the birds go when they’re either no longer wanted or their owner dies without making arrangements for a bird that might outlive them by 30-60 years? Our relationship with wild animals is complicated; thinking about the impact of our relationship with them is new for the western culture. It’s one that we cant ignore or soon we won’t have to worry about a “them” to have a relationship with!
Exploitation also comes in legal forms. Overfishing and overhunting a species or certain area. We overdevelop land so that animals are pushed out of their natural habitat and become nuisances in others or they aren’t able to survive. We use overly cruel methods to collect a single body part for a “delicacy” and never reflect upon the impact on the animal, the species or the planet.

Illegal wildlife trade leads to endangered animals

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Threats to the Ocean leading to endangered animals.

Mr. Elephant, you don’t need those tusks, do you? Why yes, I do.

Poaching is the Ugliest Cause of Animal Species Endangerment

Poaching, also known as the illegal wildlife trade, is the illegal capture or killing of an animal to make a product for human consumption or for use to humans as a live species. That might be a trinket or a potion to cure infertility. It might also be capturing baby chimpanzees to smuggle somewhere to be a pet. Poaching can also be trophy hunting without a permit or in an area that’s off limits, like a wildlife preserve or sanctuary.

Threats to the Ocean leading to endangered animals.

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Threats to endangered animals in the oceans

The oceans are key to all life on the planet. Without healthy oceans, we can’t survive.

The role in plastic waste in endangering animals in the ocean

The role in plastic waste in endangering animals in the ocean

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Plastic waste as a cause of animals becoming endangered.

Humans, this one we have to own, individually.

Seal with an embedded collar of plastic garbage

Image courtesy of photographer Ewan Edwards and The Clipperton Project FPWC

Plastic Ocean filled with trash; endangering animals

Floating garbage creates a threat to marine animals.

Image of the destruction of a Palm Oil Rainforest

Forest destruction (home of Orangutans) to produce Palm Oil

Palm Oil Harvesting Endangers Orangutans

Palm Oil Harvesting Endangers Orangutans

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Palm Oil Harvesting Endangers Orangutans

Our dependence on palm oil will be responsible for the extinction of the orangutan, unless something is done soon

Infographic about how creating Sustainable Palm Oil saves endangered animals' lives.

Infographic about how creating Sustainable Palm Oil saves endangered animals’ lives.

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Sustainable Palm Oil Harvesting helps to save Endangered Animals

Is it possible to create sustainable Palm Oil? Read this infographic to find out.

Natural Causes

Finally, there are natural causes that take a species to extinction. Having a weak genetic makeup as the manatees and giant pandas do makes a species vulnerable to extinction if any stress is placed on it. With little genetic variation, the species does not adapt well to changes in its environment. Having a long gestational period and few offspring like the Mountain Gorilla and the California Condor place the species at risk as well. We may not be able to fix these issues but we can lessen the environmental stress on these animals through proactive conservation actions.

If you’re interested in following what topics we will introduce weekly, please sign up for our mailing list and you will be entered into a free giveaway of a beautiful, just published, photo book by Nat Geo of gorgeous wild animals. Entries will be accepted through 11:59 PM, Friday April 14, 2017 Pacific time or when we reach 100 entries, whichever comes first. One entry per person. No purchase necessary. Winner will be notified by email and has two weeks to respond with shipping address. Book will only be mailed to US and Canadian addresses.