Us humans have disrupted the balance of nature. As a result, animals are facing the greatest rate of extinction since the dinosaurs were wiped out. While awe-inspiring David Attenburough documentaries do spread awareness, the onus to save our world lies with us.
Therefore, for 2019’s Earth Day, it’s all about protecting our species, because in the years to come, Nemo, Melman and Dumbo may be the only accounts of what a fish, giraffe and elephant look like.
According to the Earth Day Network, there’s an estimated 32,000 species of fish in our waters. However, overfishing is a massive problem as global fishing production was measured at 171 million tonnes in 2016, including a third of fish species that are being sourced at unsustainable rates.
These apex predators may rule the waters, but us humans have their numbers pinned down, thanks to our affection with their fins. Although they may seem like sea monsters to most of us, sharks are also known to be one of the most misunderstood creatures in the world.
Crustaceans play a massive role to maintain the balance of the ocean. They consume algae which clears the water and allows for sunlight to reach the seabeds. Therefore, the overconsumption of species like the krill, does more harm than good to the environment, as penguins, whales and seals will soon be unable to chow down on their favorite meal.
Speaking of whales, the world’s largest mammal plays a huge role in regulating the ocean by feeding in the depths of the deep blue sea and recycling nutrients. However, over the years, plastic waste has grown to be one of the main causes of their loss in numbers.
Coral reefs have a massive hand to ensure the continuity of marine species by providing shelter for them. Additionally, coral reefs are perfect for promoting destinations as great island getaways and ecotourism spots.
Bees and insects
Nobody likes bees. For a creature so small, they sure are annoying. However, they play a massive role in keeping the balance of nature, as bees are crucial in helping plants pollinate. According to the Earth Day Network, crops produced by bee pollination is valued over $577 billion.
Almost half of the world’s birds population are facing extinction. Illegal wildlife trade and pollution are the main reasons behind this. Therefore, having a negative impact on crops, because birds, just as bees, are crucial for pollination purposes.
The declining numbers of elephants are well documented, with illegal poaching being the main reason behind this. In turn, this heavily impacts tourism, especially in Africa. The Earth Day Network estimates elephant poaching has caused an annual loss of $25 million for the local travel industry.
The world’s tallest animal is not the first name on our list of endangered animals. However, it’s time for a change. To put this into scale, there are more elephants than giraffes in Africa. Therefore, it’s about time to get them listed on the U.S. Endangered Species Act and protect our species.
Gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos make up the main categories of great apes. While mountain gorillas have improved their numbers, the same can’t be said for other species. As per the Earth Day Network, the beauty of these creatures also helped generate a whooping $400 million for Rwanda’s ecotourism industry in 2017.
Last but not the least, there wouldn’t be any wildlife, if our trees are all gone. Therefore, the flora is the single most important resource to sustainability.