Will Humans Cause the Next Mass Extinction?
We all know of mystical beasts that the dinosaurs once were. These magnificent creatures roamed around our little planet millions of years ago, ruling all of the land. The era of the dinosaurs was an era with the richest biodiversity man has ever seen. These creatures have led us to many discoveries and many theories, yet, not a single person has ever seen a dinosaur, that is, because they are extinct. All we have are the remains they left behind for us. Unfortunately, dinosaurs are not the only organisms that have been doomed to extinction. Currently, there are animals that are extinct that we are not even aware of. In our forever-advancing world, animals are coming closer to extinction day by day, and unlike the dinosaurs, we are the ones causing it.
Extinction is the complete end of a species. When the last remaining individual in a species dies, the species has become extinct. While extinction is not as common now is it was in the era of the dinosaurs, many animals are being put on the endangered species list under the Endangered Species Act. An endangered species is a “species that are likely to become extinct throughout all or a large portion of their range.” To determine which species are protected by the Endangered Species List, there are many factors that are looked over:
- It must be determined whether or not the species’ main habitat has been destroyed.
- Have humans been affecting the species greatly by recreational, consumer, scientific, or educational means?
- Is the species being threatened by sickness or an overbearing amount of predation?
- Are there laws and limits already in place for the protection of the species?
- Are there human activities that are affecting the species’ survival in the long-term?
If most of these questions have been answered with a “yes”, then the animal goes on the Endangered Species List. Darwin assumed that “extinction lead to the arrival of newer, better species,” but I see different.
Animals can become extinct due to natural causes like change in weather patterns or competition being too high. Extinction can also happen due to lack of adaptation or increased predation. However, the presence of humans has made extinction more common. Lately, animals have become extinct because of pollution, deforestation, and hunting.
We humans have no control. We do not view ourselves as a part of an ecosystem. We believe that we are above nature, so we abuse it as much as we want. The amphibian population has drastically decreased due to our excessive pollution. Once we humans understand that we are part of nature, and not it’s oppressor, extinction will be a thing of the past.
- “Endangered Species Act – National Wildlife Federation.” Endangered Species Act – National Wildlife Federation. Web. 18 Jan. 2015.
- “THE EXTINCTION CRISIS.” The Extinction Crisis. Web. 20 Jan. 2015.
- “Thoughts on Extinctions, Evolution and Environmentalism.” Creation Science Movement. Web. 21 Jan. 2015.
- “Why Do Animals Become Extinct?” Why Do Animals Become Extinct? Web. 20 Jan. 2015.