The term extinction refers to the extinction of a species or a group of species in the fields of biology or ecology. While this is a relatively common process in the history of the animal species on Earth (eg, dinosaurs 65 million years ago), one factor in particular accelerates the situation : intervention Human.
Over the past 5 centuries, man has caused the extinction of more than 800 species ! According to official data, about 5,000 species are endangered, with numbers increasing dramatically over the past 10 years. The entire animal kingdom is alert, from mammals to amphibians, through invertebrates. Here is a short list of sadly iconic animals in this situation.
- The tiger is one of the most threatened animals in the world, hunted for its fur, its eyes, its bones and even its organs. On the illegal market, his skin can cost up to $ 50,000. Hunting and loss of habitat are the main reasons for its disappearance.
- The turtles : presented as the largest turtle of the world, the Leatherback turtle is able to swim around the world, from the tropics to the polar regions. She takes advantage of this great tour to look for a nest and food for her young. But since the 1980s, its population has been falling freely, rising from 150,000 to 20,000 specimens. Tortoises often confuse plastics floating in the ocean with food, which eventually cause their death.
- The Sumatran elephant is a majestic animal but one of the most endangered species of the entire animal kingdom. Due to deforestation and uncontrolled hunting, it is likely to disappear over the next twenty years.
What are the main factors in the disappearance of animals?
From a scientific point of view, extinction is a natural phenomenon that has been happening all along. However, our influence and actions have greatly affected the survival of hundreds of endangered species. The direct action of the Man is, you suspect, at the center of this major problem. Although there are hundreds, the main problems encountered are hunting, fishing, illegal trade and the introduction of non-indigenous animal species.
- The practice ofillegal hunting has caused the disappearance of several species and the endangerment of many other national and global (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceros and buffalos, chinchillas …).
- The intense fishingactivity on the coasts also plays a major role in the disappearance of marine species. In Chile, for example, sardines, anchovies and horse mackerel are disappearing.
- The trade of animal species and their export for scientific purposes, purely decorative (trophies, carpets…) or for reproduction, have jeopardized the fauna in certain regions of the world. One of the most dramatic cases is that of the Amazon parrot, torn from its habitat and ended up in a cage.
- The introduction of non-native animal species in some areas has considerably altered the ecological balance. While it is true that some animals adapt more readily to new ecosystems, others are much more fragile. Since predators are not large enough to regulate the reproduction of non-native species, this situation has led to competition with other species. Nature works as a harmonious whole and any change in one of its components affects its balance.
To find out more about endangered animals, check out the animal sub-themes on our site.