By Kieran Maloney
Nature gives us its beautiful colors and vibrant movement through water, plants and my personal favorite, animals. Considering all the amazing treasures Mother Nature has gifted us with, the least we could do is take care of these life saving instruments. There’s so much nature gives us that goes unnoticed. Our fresh air, our water supply, our food, and so much more are brought to us through nature and is the basis of our living.
According to the website Endangered Earth,“The species endangered include one in four mammals, one in eight birds, one third of all amphibians and 70% of the world’s assessed plants on the 2007 IUCN Red List are in jeopardy of extinction.” Everything may seem “just fine” in your neck of the woods, but these animals are at risk of losing their species because of how humans are neglecting to take care of this planet. There are over 30 animals and plants in Michigan alone endangered and affected by habitat loss and degradation, climate change, food systems, and species overexploitation. The loss of our wildlife means more than just losing the beauty of nature; our lives are at risk too. Without the benefits plants and animals provide us with, we won’t be able to function as we’re used to, and as time goes on, we will run out of resources and eventually become an endangered species ourselves.
The Endangered Species Act is one of the strongest forces in helping fix the threat to the lives of many endangered species. Over its 40+ years, the Act has had a 99% success rate in preventing extinction. Without this act, it’s projected that over 220 species would have gone extinct. New advancements to the act are being proposed daily to keep their success rate high and continue to help these plants and animals in the best way environmentally possible.
Along with the work being done though the government, simple steps can be taken in your own home to help. If you don’t know enough about wildlife endangerment, I suggest visiting one of many national wildlife refuges. There are currently seven located in the state of Michigan. While interacting with wildlife, scientists will tell you what measures you can be taking to help in your area. Also, use sustainable products around your home and avoid herbicides and pesticides. Recycling has more benefits than you might think. By recycling products, you can cut down on harvesting and collection of new resources that could be harmful to a species habitat.
Endangered.org says, “Never buy furniture made from wood from rainforests. Recycle your cell phones, because a mineral used in cell phones and other electronics is mined in gorilla habitat. Minimize your use of palm oil because forests where tigers live are being cut down to plant palm plantations.”. By supporting sustainable causes, you’re going the extra mile and helping in a way that would normally be out of reach for your daily activity.
Don’t let nature’s beauty disappear by our selfish actions. Work toward a better way of living while helping species around us.