We may always hear the word “extinction,” and we know what it exactly means. It means species of animals will never be seen alive on our planet. The future generation will only get to them through pictures and hear them through stories. Some may not find It a big deal as we all don’t get to see them anyway, but to think their kind will never exist is tragic and heart-breaking.
According to psych.org, there are roughly 1.5 million species in the world, most of which are insects. About a dozen get extinct per day. Some extinctions are not noticeable while some drew attention, spreading all over the internet like the West African Black Rhinoceros that went extinct in 2011.
5 Primary Causes Of Extinction:
- Human Population
Human population increases with time, and as of now, we are at about an enormous count of about 7.6 billion. The growth in population means higher demands. We need food, shelter, and clothing. “Basic needs are distinguished from secondary needs that are instrumental in accomplishing them, and from whimsical wants that do not reflect anything about what it takes to be human,” wrote Paul Thagard, Ph.D. These things are from natural resources such as the forest, ocean, and wildlife which serve as a habitat to our wildlife. “Everyone needs food, water, air, shelter, and health care, but people only want to be rich,” Dr. Thagard says.
- Loss Of Habitat
How can something survive without a place to live? We may think big such as catastrophic events and calamities when it comes to extinction. However, the leading cause of it is the loss of habitat. Animals need a place to live where they can reproduce. Without it, they cannot multiply, hence extinction. Darcia Narvaez, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame, wrote, “Early life is the most critical time for shaping-by-habitat as so many biological systems are finishing their construction in response to postnatal experience.” She adds, “Though our trajectory is established by how well our basic needs were met in these sensitive early years, we do have the power to choose a different path later.”
The forest is life for animals. It is where they live and where they get food. When we clear out an area of trees, we decline them of their needs – food and shelter. Animals cannot build their houses nor can they cook their food. Nature provides it for them, so when we destroy the forest, we kill them as well.
- Poaching Or Hunting
Poaching and hunting may have been a way of life ever since the start of time, but that was when the population of animals was abundant. People back then were free to hunt because animals were not endangered. However, nowadays, some species are on the verge of extinction. It may be because of poaching and hunting that dates back in time and the difficulty to reproduce in today’s environment.
- Climate Change
Our world today is facing a significant issue of climate change. Some species live at a certain temperature that’s why the sudden change causes them to get weak, sick, and soon die. Furthermore, the cause of climate change which is the greenhouse gases destroy habitats and food sources. According to conservation psychologist and CEO of New Knowledge Organization John Fraser, Ph.D., “….there’s been a lot of conversation about how people understand the facts of climate change, but very little about how we process it in our minds and that is really going to be key to any kind of future change.” He says that climate change is “a really threatening issue.”
It is disturbing to realize that all the causes of extinction point to us, humans. Being the most intelligent of all species, we must guard and protect all that’s inhabiting the earth. Unfortunately, we seem to be the primary threat to their existence. It tends to be the “survival of the fittest.” However, how many more species of plants and animals have to be extinct before we understand that someday it can be us?