Endangered Species Day 2017 - Find Out How You Can Help Our Planet's Most At-Risk Animals

Endangered Species Day 2017 - Find Out How You Can Help Our Planet's Most At-Risk Animals

Posted by Leanne Sturrock on 19th May 2017

The 19th of May is Endangered Species Day, and the need to help our planet's at-risk animals is greater than ever. With populations of tigers, orangutans and rhinos (to name but a few) at alarmingly low levels, time is running out to save these gorgeous and innocent creatures. But why should you help? Let us list just a few very important reasons.

Animal Populations Are Not Falling Organically - Human Intervention Is To Blame

With habitat loss, poaching and the pet trade being among some of the largest threats towards wildlife, it is obvious that man largely causes these plummeting populations. But before you assume that here, in the western world, we're not so compliant in nature's downfall, take some time to consider your own daily activities. While you may not partake in logging activities or the burning of rainforests, the cosmetics you use or foods you eat are likely to be linked to such an issue (see: the problem with palm oil ). While the idea of baby orangutans being stolen from their mothers may haunt you, consider the popularity of other at-risk animals in the realm of social media (see: those famous videos of slow lorises 'adorably' raising their arms when being tickled - of course, many of us now know that this is a defence mechanism that the animal uses when under threat. And while you may think that your regular daily activities have minimal impact on the world we live in, you may want to read up on the impact our seemingly ordinary tasks have on global warming (and, as a result, the effects global warming have on our wildlife.) There is always more that we can do to aid the amazing creatures that inhabit the earth, and taking responsibility now is paramount to their survival.

The Animals Don't Just Need Us - We Need Them, Too

Our very existence relies on the ecosystem (and the creatures within it), and not just the other way around. So, while better nature should really compel you to care for the world around us, you may want to think about the role each creature plays on the space that we call home.

On a basic level, it's well-known that we need plants and trees to help sustain life on earth. Whether as a source of food, water or oxygen, the earth's flora offers so very much to us that we can't afford to be without it. In addition to providing us with sustenance, plants and trees also provide the animals with places to live, things to eat, or even a sole purpose of existence. For one thing, seed dispersal simply would not be possible without animals going about their daily lives: they carry seeds in their fur; they pass seeds that they've previously eaten; and they hide/bury acorns and the like in many different places, allowing life to grow thereafter. Without animals, these tasks would largely remain unfulfilled, and the human population would suffer greatly as a result.

Another way in which animals have aided our survival throughout history, is that they have provided us with food. Since the beginning of time, humans have consumed meat and other animal produce (milk, eggs and so forth) and, regardless of your individual stance towards animal consumption, it is evident that we need to curb the way we consume. The impact our consumption of animals has on the earth is major: the global livestock industry is more detrimental to climate change than the use of cars, trains, ships and planes combined; our oceans are being drastically over-fished, and many marine species are now facing sincere threat; and the amount of land used to grow grain and feed an abundance of animals, now far-outweighs the land that produce plants for humans to eat (56 million acres versus 4 million acres in the United States alone.) While it is necessary for some populations to continue eating meat - take, for example, the people of Raja Ampat, who still survive on relatively basic levels of line-fishing due to their location on the island - there is much that so many of us can do to help animal populations thrive, as well as allowing the earth itself to prosper and grow. If cutting out meat altogether is something that you cannot do, simply consider eating fewer animal products: the less we eat, the less supply-and-demand there will be and in turn, the less of an impact we will have on populations and the state of the world overall.

Most Importantly, All Species Play Their Role On The Earth - And It Is Our Duty To Protect Them

Every animal, no matter how big or small, plays its part in contributing to a healthy and diverse environment. There are so many reasons, in addition to the ways above, in which we can protect the planet's wildlife, and it is important that we start today. Whether you make your own individual changes at home (cutting out meat, being careful in your choice of cosmetics, recycling etc) or if you can become more pro-active in the exact locations where endangered animals need our help (see: our projects page), there really is something we can all do to make a difference to the lives of animals. Watch our Endangered Species Day video below to find out more, and consider making that change today.

 


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