Threats to biodiversity
Environmental studies tutorial
Threats to biodiversity
Biodiversity is an essential factor for the survival of the living world in general and of humanity in particular. The less species we have (animals and plants), the fewer people we will have on earth. In recent decades, the loss of biodiversity has increased. Here are the main causes of threats to biodiversity.
Today, the major loss of biodiversity in the world has been caused by man. Man has started to abuse or abuse most of these natural ecosystems.
Due to the senseless and unsustainable use of resources, once productive forests and grasslands have been turned into deserts, and wasteland has increased all over the world. Rapid industrialization, urbanization and population growth have resulted in massive deforestation and consequent habitat loss in the worldwhole.
For example, mangroves have been cleared for the production of fuelwood and shrimp, which has resulted in a decline in critical habitat for marine fish reproduction.
Forests around the world, especially tropical rainforests such as the Amazon, are under unforeseen threat largely due to conversion to other land uses.
Scientists have estimated that human activities are expected to wipe out around 10 million species by 2050. It is also estimated that at the current rate of extinction, around 25 percent of species of the world will suffer a fairly rapid extinction. Rich biodiversity such as rainforests, wetlands and coral reefs around the world will make up the bulk of this extinction.
Poaching of wildlife
Poaching of wildlife for commercial and commercial purposes has been on the rise for severaldecades. It has been a major cause of the extinction of hundreds of species and the endangerment of many more, such as whales and many large African mammals, Asian tigers, etc. Most of the extinction in the last hundreds of years is mainly due to the harvest ove for food, fashion and profit.
Illicit wildlife trade leads to the extinction of many species of wild animals and plants. Elephants are poached for ivory; tigers and leopards for their skin; pangolins for meat and scales; and rare wood is targeted for hardwood furniture.
Illegal wildlife trade in the world is estimated at between 7 and 23 billions of dollars in illicit revenues per year. It is now considered the world's most lucrative crime after drugs, humans and weapons.
In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly announcedunanimously adopted a resolution to fight against illegal trafficking in wildlife. The Sustainable Development Goals have defined specific goals to combat poaching and trafficking in protected species.
Human-wildlife conflict refers to the interaction between wild animals and humans and the resulting negative impact on both. The growth of human population and the resulting destruction of wildlife habitat for human habitation and economic prosperity results in a reduction in the resources or lives of some people and wildlife.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) defines this conflict as "any interaction between humans and wildlife that has a negative impact on human social, economic or cultural life, on conservation population of wildlife or the environment. »
Although the human-wildlife conflict is also aAs a human civilization, in modern times the degree of conflict has increased due to the sharp increase in human population in recent centuries.
Since human populations develop in the habitats of wild animals, the territory of natural fauna is displaced. The reduction in the availability of natural prey / food sources leads wild animals to seek alternative sources. Alternatively, new resources created by humans attract wildlife resulting in confl ict. Competition for food resources also occurs when humans attempt to harvest natural resources such as fish and pasture.
Conflicts between humans and wildlife have many consequences. The main consequences are -
- Destruction of wildlife habitat
- Damage and loss of human and wildlife life
- Dcrop damage and livestock depredation
- Damage to human property
- Decrease in wild animal population and reduction in geographic ranges
- Trophic cascades
Besides the above, there are other causes of threat to biodiversity. Factors such as climate change, invasion of non-native species also add to biodiversity losses in some or the other.