It’s taken a significant amount of time for ecosystems throughout the globe to reach the right self-sustaining balance. It’s obvious that a sudden removal of one piece can break this entire balance. The loss of a single species threatened by extinction produces much more like a sequel. In a more general sense, given that harmful human activities are usually behind this species disappearing on us, maybe seeing a few actual examples may look like a good wake up call to head us in the right direction.
On a rough estimate, there are only about 35,000 critically endangered leatherback turtles left in the world. This sea turtle’s value to the environment comes mainly through its consumption of jellyfish. Jellyfish prey upon fish hatchlings and the decline of leatherback turtles has been matched by an explosion of jellyfish populations as a natural consequence. This, in turn, has posed a threat to populations of multiple fish species. Part of the decline in leatherback numbers has been attributed to soft plastic debris in the oceans. Once devoured, the plastics block the turtle’s digestive system and lead to extinction. Keeping these plastics far from reaching the oceans would be a solution. Bigger threats come from longline fishing and raiding of eggs. Turtle eggs have been viewed as delicacies in many parts of the world. Bettering the protection of nesting sites could give baby turtles better odds for living. Discouraging longline fishing by not purchasing swordfish, the prime target of this fishing method, is even more effective.We can rebuild sea turtle populations this way. Just remember, one adult female turtle is the equivalent of hundreds or thousands of eggs over her lifetime.
Green Sea Turtles
Another valuable asset to the globe’s oceans environments is the endangered green sea turtle. This species is particularly noted for its fondness of seagrass. Hardly any other sea creature makes use of this resource to the same extent the green sea turtle does. When seagrass is kept in check, it’s able to form wider mats instead of wasting energy on vertical growth. Larger seagrass fields with shorter blades provide ideal shelters and hatcheries for various fish and other creatures. Unlike leatherback turtles, green sea turtles are hunted for their meat. Discouraging human consumption of both turtles and eggs will help this species immensely.
While illegal hunting accounts for some reduction in Amur leopard numbers, bigger culprits are excessive logging and forest fires in its native region. This situation makes it simple to understand why its preservation is vital. As the natural environment in the Amur River area is destroyed by clearing forests, both leopard and tiger populations face extinction. These large cats play an important role in keeping medium to large herbivore numbers in check under normal circumstances. Of course, eliminating huge numbers of trees at once isn’t particularly normal. Preserving the Amur leopard primarily means saving the local woodlands. Fighting poachers has helped stave off extinction and establishing firebreaks in its habitat has also reduced the loss of forests. Since plants can regrow over these firebreaks, they constantly have to be reestablished to remain effective.
These three examples show how pulling one thread from a piece of fabric can cause the whole thing to unravel. These examples also demonstrate how it’s entirely possible to undo the damage and save species threatened by extinction. The key is using teamwork that spans nations and continents.