Endangered Species: Why it Matters

+On+the+move.+Manatees+often+migrate+whenever+temperatures+drop%2C+and+usually+reside+in+Florida+during+the+winter.+Tourists+have+created+more+problems+for+Florida+Manatees+by+attempting+to+do+things+such+as+petting+and+feeding+them.+%E2%80%9CManatees+are+suffering+substantially+and+there+are+people+who+come+down+from+different+areas+of+the+United+States+that+don%E2%80%99t+have+manatees+or+water+of+any+kind+just+don%E2%80%99t+understand%2C%E2%80%9D+said+Mrs.+Kathryn+Bracciano+%28Environmental+science+teacher%29.+

On the move. Manatees often migrate whenever temperatures drop, and usually reside in Florida during the winter. Tourists have created more problems for Florida Manatees by attempting to do things such as petting and feeding them. “Manatees are suffering substantially and there are people who come down from different areas of the United States that don’t have manatees or water of any kind just don’t understand,” said Mrs. Kathryn Bracciano (Environmental science teacher).

Jamie Donaldson, Staff Reporter

As the human population grows, habitat space and animal species decrease. There are several explanations for why this sudden decline is occurring, but in order to understand these factors, one must know why the endangered species list is necessary. If life is endangered, it means it is likely to become extinct if it is not helped.

 Endangerment of a species can occur for several reasons, including poaching, habitat loss and invasive species affecting their environment. While those are the most common several others that can harm a population. Pollution, low birth rate and genetic vulnerability may also contribute to a species survivability. 

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) can provide federal protection for the species that need it most. 

Some animals that are currently recognized on the endangered species list include the Bengal Tiger, Hawksbill Sea Turtle, Asian Elephant and Red Wolf. While these species are familiar to many, it is not commonly known that they are close to extinction. Despite several efforts to conserve these creatures, new species are being added to the list daily.  

For example, the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) was relisted as endangered. It was initially put on the list in the 1970s but was  removed, which caused an up rise of poaching without the ESA’s protection, later causing the wolves to reclaim a spot on the list.  

As more problems arise, so should the conversation efforts.

So, what can be done to help?  One way to offer your aid to different animal species is to adopt. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) offers several animal species you can symbolically “adopt.”  In this adoption process you can receive a plush of your animal, an adoption card, a gift bag, etc. What one receives is based on how much money is donated to the cause. 

Restoring habitats is also a way to help. Habitat destruction is the main threat to most endangered and threatened species. For example, as the population in Florida is rising, competition for land and water resources between animals and humans is heightened. To combat this, you can help restore wetlands, plant native species in your area, support reforestation projects, recycle and cut out the use of singe-use products.

If money is an issue, many zoos and organizations offer volunteer programs with several opportunities to learn about endangered species, such as cleaning beaches or educating on the cause. Picking up trash and recycling are excellent ways to help and can easily be incorporated into your daily life. 

With threats rising with the human population, it is imperative we do our part to protect our surrounding wildlife.

Sources:

Endangered Species | What We Do | Listing and Critical Habitat | Overview (fws.gov) 

Gray wolves are relisted in Endangered Species Act (msn.com) 

Species Adoptions (worldwildlife.org) 

Top 10 ways to save wildlife | ShareAmerica  

https://myfwc.com/conservation/special-initiatives/wildlife-2060/loss/#:~:text=Habitat%20loss%3A%20wildlife%20needs%20wild%20lands&text=The%20addition%20of%2018%20million,become%20more%20isolated%20and%20degraded

https://www.ourendangeredworld.com/eco/habitat-loss-solutions/