Last week, we talked about deforestation. Specifically, we discussed its primary causes and corresponding effects, as well as some of the personal actions we can take to help alleviate the problem. Amongst the implications of deforestation, the extinction crisis is arguably one of the most alarming. In this post, we’ll dive deeper into this topic and take a look at some of the things we can do about Earth’s disappearing wildlife.
According to the Center for Biological Diversity, we’re currently experiencing the largest world spate of species loss since the wipeout of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, with dozens of species becoming extinct each day. Unlike past mass extinctions, caused by natural occurrences such as asteroids, or volcanic eruptions, the current crisis is almost entirely caused by human action. In fact, the Center states that 99% of currently threatened species are at risk from human activities (primarily activities driving habitat loss, an introduction of exotic species, and global warming).
To understand the prevalence of extinction, let’s begin by taking a closer look at the numbers. Every two years, The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), publishes a Living Planet Report that documents the state of the planet – including ecosystems, biodiversity, and demand on natural resources – and what it means for humans and wildlife.
The research and findings included in WFF’s 2018 report revealed that all of Earth’s vertebrates (i.e. all mammals, amphibians, and birds) experienced a 60% population decline from 1970 to 2014 (which is the most recent year with available data). The report showed that the fastest wildlife decline occurs in freshwater habitats, which lost 83% of their vertebrate populations between 1970 and 2014. (please note that these habitats experience approximately 4% decrease in their vertebrae population each year). The planet’s tropical regions are also losing vertebrate species at an, especially dramatic rate, with South and Central America suffering an 89% decline since 1970.
So, at this point you’re likely wondering: what animals are at risk and need our attention, and, what can I do?
There are 18 animals on the WWF critically endangered list:
- Amur Leopard
- Black Rhino
- Bornean Orangutan
- Cross River Gorilla
- Eastern Lowland Gorilla
- Hawksbill Turtle
- Javan Rhino
- Malayan Tiger
- South China Tiger
- Sumatran Elephant
- Sumatran Orangutan
- Sumatran Rhino
- Sumatran Tiger
- Western Lowland Gorilla
- Yangtze Finless Porpoise
We’ve listed below some things we should all be doing in order to protect endangered species.
- Recycle and purchase sustainable products – much of what threatens populations has to do with development and the natural world being used to produce new goods
- Reduce your eco-footprint in all aspects of your life, and cut back on your water consumption
- Avoid plastic at all costs
- Grow native plants
- Educate your friends and family about wildlife, birds, and plants that are at endangered in your area
- Volunteer your time to protect wildlife or make a donation to a wildlife organization. Some of our favorite non-profits that contribute to this cause include:
Kiwi Energy is dedicated to sustainability and helping improve our planet for all of its inhabitants. We do this by offering environmentally conscious products and supporting organizations and groups running environmentally friendly projects through the Ecogold Environmental Fund, including Wild Forests and Fauna, Earthwatch Institute, and more. For every new customer acquired by Kiwi Energy, a portion of the proceeds are donated to the fund.
Be sure to practice the actions we talked about in this post to help protect endangered species, and remember to sign up for Kiwi Energy and join us in our mission of creating a more sustainable future.