There are many species that contribute to the natural processes in our planet’s ecosystems. It’s easy to overlook the importance of wildlife to our world because of how far away some animals appear, but there is no denying that wildlife plays a significant role in the overall scheme. Humans, plants, and animals are all required to create the complex web of life. This system can be altered by extinction which will affect the lives of all living things on Earth.
Many people automatically think about how global heating and climate change affect human life. We must also examine the impact of climate change on animals. We also have to look at the effects of human activities like overhunting and pollution on animal populations. While many animals adapt to habitat loss changes, not all have been successful.
Animals are essential to our environment. They play an important in maintaining the food web, helping fight climate change and everything in between. We disrupt the natural process by placing certain animals at risk and disrupting the balance in our ecosystem. Although extinction is a natural process, humans have made it more common. A 2019 report showed that approximately 1 million animal and plant species are at risk from human activity.
We have compiled the following list of extinct species. There are also steps you can take now to help endangered species.
8 Extinct Animals That You Need to Know About
The largest Woodpecker in North America was the Ivory-billed. They measured between 18 and 20 inches in length with a wingspan of 30-31 inches. Their long, pale bodies allowed them to remove bark from trees in order to feed on beetle larvae. Their bodies were black and had two white stripes running down their necks.
The extinction of this bird species has been controversial. A 2005 video showed sightings in Arkansas of the bird, which was condemned to extinction 50 years ago. Some suggested that the tape might have shown a woodpecker similar to the native North American Pileated Woodpecker.
The U.S. government declared this species extinct in 2021. However, new research, which has not been peer-reviewed yet, suggests that the ivory-billed Woodpecker may still exist in the U.S.
Splendid Poison Frog
Most people think of common frogs. They are the ones with olive green, gray or brownish skin. Many species of frogs struggle to survive in their moist habitats.
The magnificent poison frog is one of the most endangered animals in the world. The poison dart frogs are a species that includes the splendid poison frog. These frogs were among the brightest frogs in the entire world. These bright red frogs lived in Western Panama’s humid lowlands and wet montane forest habitats.
Splendid forest frogs have been extinct since 2020 announced by The International Union for Conservation of Nature. This species’ extinction is unlike other species that are wiped out due to natural events.
This species was threatened by habitat degradation and deforestation. The splendid poison frog was affected by human settlement and logging. Researchers believe that the 1996 chytrid fungus fungal epidemic contributed to their extinction.
Lake Lanao Freshwater Fish
One of the most ancient lakes, Lake Lanao, was home to 17 freshwater fish species. It’s the second largest lake in the Philippines, and research estimates it to be about
Smooth handfish measured 5.9 inches in length and lived in Tasmania’s coastal waters. Handfish are usually homebodies, so they have difficulty adapting to new environments. They were, therefore, vulnerable to threats.
The modern-day extinct species of the smooth handfish was the first marine fish to die. The number of handfish species in the world dropped to 14 from the previous record. It was officially declared extinct by IUCN in 2020.
These animals died due to habitat destruction. These animals were driven to extinction by human activities like fishing and pollution.
Bramble Cay Melomys
Bramble Cay melomys gets its name from its habitat, Bramble Cay, a small vegetated coral island in the northeastern region of Australia.
The tails of these rodents were long, with large feet and small ears. Their fur was a combination of a red-brown and gray-brown color. They measured 6 inches in length and weighed less than a quarter pound. Their habitat was below 10 feet above sea level. The animals became more concerned about the rising sea level and temperature.
The Bramble Cay melomys made history as the first mammal to go extinct in its natural habitat. This means that the Spix’s Macaw is now extinct in its natural habitat, but there are still a few hundred in captivity.
Deforestation and illegal pet trading are two of the main reasons for their extinction in nature. Captive breeding programs aim to increase this species’ population and reintroduce them back to their natural habitat.
Baiji, the other name for the Chinese river dolphin or baiji, is a pale-blue-gray dolphin measuring up to 8 feet in length. The home of baiji was the Yangtze River, China, for approximately 20 million years. This dolphin was easily identifiable by its narrow, long beak and small eyes that were higher up on the head. Baiji dolphins are also calm and will actively avoid boats.
Baiji is the first species of dolphin to be driven extinct by humans. Scientists conducted a comprehensive survey of the Yangtze River in 2006 but couldn’t find evidence that the species existed. According to the IUCN, in 2017, the baiji was given the conservation tag “possibly endangered.”
The decline of baiji can be attributed to environmental pollution of the Yangtze River, dam construction, river polluting, and boat traffic.
Western Black Rhinoceros
The Western black rhinoceros was one of the rarest species of black rhinoceros. This rhino subspecies was dark gray, contrary to its name.
They were large and bulky, just like other rhino species. Their two horns could be used to identify them. They lived in the grasslands of West and Central Africa and could change direction quickly and move quickly. They had poor sight, but they were able to sense the smell and hear better than their peers. These unique qualities didn’t save them.
These rhinos died primarily because of human intervention. They were victims of poachers who would take their horns to make huge profits off of horn trading. These horns would be used as decorations or in traditional Chinese medicine.
These rhinos were last seen in 10 individuals in 2000. In 2011, researchers declared them extinct.
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How can we Protect Endangered Species?
According to the 2018 Our Living Planet Report of The World Wildlife Fund, wildlife populations have declined by 60% from the period 1970-2014. We can still take steps to stop the decline in natural processes and protect wildlife.
Are you ready to save animals? You can take these four steps to help save animals from imminent extinction.
Learn About Endangered Species
It is crucial to learn about endangered species, especially those that are local to your area. You can learn more about the importance of animals within our ecosystems by educating yourself.
It also helps to highlight the most vulnerable animals and allows you to take steps to help them. You can also help animal conservation organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund and the Jane Goodall Institute.
Purchase Sustainable Products
One of the most important pace to protect wildlife is to adopt a sustainable lifestyle. Many of the products on the market are made from trees that haven’t been managed sustainably. This can negatively impact wildlife habitats. For example, products that have Forest Stewardship Council certification can be assured that they are responsibly managed.
It is possible to choose chemical-free and non-toxic products which help protect marine life. You can also make sustainable swaps in your everyday routines. This means choosing eco-friendly sunscreen and recyclable packaging. It’s all about being a conscious consumer.
Avoid Pesticides in Your Yard
While you may use pesticides to control certain pests, they are chemicals that can harm animals and insects. Other animals may be exposed to them if they are used to kill pests. Animals can be exposed to these chemicals and may develop health problems or disrupt their reproductive ability.
You can avoid poisoning by using pesticide alternatives such as companion planting, biological control methods and natural pesticides. Our guide to natural insecticides keeps houseplants pest-free.
Select Responsible Wildlife Tourism
You’ll likely find yourself traveling to wildlife areas if you are an avid traveler. While exploring and traveling is wonderful, it is important to prioritize responsible behavior.
You should only take photos of animals in their natural environment, not forced selfies taken from their homes.
Support local economies and avoid feeding animals. You can also adopt more sustainable travel practices from the airport to the hotel.