Many people consider that the protection of endangered species can be explained by quite obvious reasons, but some people still question why it is important to save animals from extinction. Therefore, the following essay on extinction of animals will make an attempt to clarify the question of animal protection. The current extinction of animals essay is aimed at providing well-grounded arguments as for why animals should be saved from dying out. The main question to be answered in the following animal extinction essay is whether there exist any environmental benefits in relation to species preservation. The paper will provide arguments in favor and against animal protection in an attempt to explain the necessity to protect endangered species and make it clear that animal extinction is not beneficial for both the environment and the humanity. Overall, the world community should take measures in order to improve the situation and prevent drastic consequences for the humanity.
What does the word “endangered” mean? Before we start the debate, there should be provided some background. It is common knowledge that species are considered endangered if there is any risk of extinction, which can be caused by a number of factors including climatic changes and influence of humans. Therefore, in order to clarify whether certain species are endangered or not, there is a need to observe the trends of the growth and decline of these very species and the reasons of why they are at a risk of dying out.
As for the arguments in favor of animal protection, one of the most notable arguments refers to a high level of biodiversity. The word “biodiversity” means the diversity of biological species. If the biodiversity is in order, it indicates that the environment does not need any interventions. However, the destroyed balance in the diversity of biological species means that some animals are endangered and therefore need to be preserved. All this means that if the cornerstone species are removed from the ecosystem, whether these are plants or predators, this can entirely destroy the whole environmental system. Furthermore, endangered species are also an indicator of the state of human health. For instance, after certain species like the Bald Eagle have become extinct, the environmental dangers associated with their extinction have resulted in harmful effects on the human health. This means that proper measures should be taken in order to prevent the potential damage to human welfare. When something goes wrong in the ecosystem, it also affects the humans in this way or another, which means that endangered species give an important warning to the humanity.
Another aspect related to animal extinction is that many species that have become extinct are considered a kind of cultural symbol. An example of such symbols is elephant ivory that has caused a real epidemic in terms of poaching. The same refers to tiger pelts that have long been considered a valuable symbol across the world. This argument leads to an assumption that the preservation of endangered species is in many ways similar to the restoration of destroyed cathedrals or other iconic buildings that have a symbolic meaning for the humanity.
One more important issue is the scientific value of various endangered species. It is a fact that many species are on the verge of extinction but at the same time prove to be useful from the scientific perspective. A number of plants that are included in the lists of endangered species are valuable for the development of such spheres as health care, namely cancer investigations, and agriculture when it comes to the development of organic insecticides. If these species are destroyed before the researchers have a chance to investigate their properties to full extent, it will definitely have a number of negative effects for the whole humanity. Specifically, cancer research is of great importance, because the cure for this disease has not yet been found, and maybe some of the species of plants being on the verge of extinction would be valuable for solving the ever-increasing problem of cancer.
As for the arguments against animal preservation, it needs to be noted that according to some people, researchers spend too much financial resources with little effect. The efforts directed towards animal conservation often cause harm to the local industries, including farming and mining. However, a counter argument would be that the destruction of industries in its turn causes harm to the environment, as former workers of farms and other industries turn to using illegal means of earning money, including poaching. Some people claim that the cost of animal protection is not significant. Ecotourism has become a successful attraction for people. The adventures that one can experience in Safari definitely bring much money to the world economy. Due to ecotourism, people can see some rare and exotic species that they would never be able to see anywhere else. Various species introduced in national parks across the world attract numerous tourists and consequently, bring much money to their owners at the same time contributing to the research on endangered species. This proves that animal protection is nevertheless important despite numerous contradictions that continue to arise across the global community.
Among other counterarguments against natural conservation is the fact that the humanity might well do better without certain species. Many people seriously doubt that wolves and other dangerous species should be preserved. Another issue of concern is that many people across the world are dying of various incurable diseases and starvation. Then why do the governments of the developed countries spend huge amounts of money on animal conservation instead of helping poor nations? Some people simply do not see the point in animal protection as this aspect does not seem to be of great importance for them.
Despite all the arguments against animal protection, it is still important to preserve the natural surroundings as most researches prove that the balanced ecosystem plays an important role in ensuring the welfare of the humanity. Therefore, endangered species should be protected at all costs.
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Kean University Continuing Education
Implementing the Science Standards K-4
Plants and Animals in the Environment
Plants and animals interact with each other in the environment. They also interact with the environment itself. The plants and animals depend on each other.
Animals and humans depend on plants. Animals need food, protection and shelter. In human terms, food, clothing and shelter.
- Plants are used as sources of food and goods for humans.
- They can be used for shelter.
- They provide shade for protection from the hot sun.
- Humans use plants for fuel. We also use plants to make cloth, dyes and medicines.
Some people use plants and plant material as decoration to make themselves attractive.
Animals and humans depend on other animals. In the food chain, some animals eath other animals and use them for food. Humans also use animals as sources of food and clothing.
Plants benefit from animals.
- Animals are used by some plants to disperse seeds.
- Some animals can eat other plant-eating animals.
- Bees and other insects help pollinate flowers.
- Earthworms aerate the soil so that the roots of plants can better obtain oxygen.
Relationships between animals and plants are complicated. The food chain begins with the Sun shining on plants. The plants use sunlight for energy to make food. The plants are at the base of the food chain.
The plants are eaten by various types of animals. A particular type of plant may be eaten by more than one type of animal. In addition, a particular type of animal may be eaten by different types of animals. Some food chains share components. A given plant or animal may be found in more than one food chain. These interconnected food chains form a food web.
Examples of food chains and food webs
A food chain always derives its energy initially from the Sun. Writing a food chain this way would be as follows.
Sun ---> corn plant ---> cow ---> human
Students at the K-4 level are expected to remember about the Sun as the source of energy and write it at the beginning of each food chain. Scientists remember that all energy comes from the Sun so they generally begin each food chain with a green plant.
The following set of food chains might be expected in a coastal area of New Jersey near the shore where there are marine creatures, predators and humans.
algae ---> mollusk ---> human
algae ---> mollusk ---> bird
algae ---> sandworm ---> fish ---> bird
algae ---> sandworm ---> fish ---> human
microflora ---> sandworm ---> fish ---> bird
microflora ---> sandworm ---> fish ---> human
microflora ---> arthropods ---> bird
microflora ---> arthropods ---> fish ---> bird
microflors ---> arthropods ---> fish ---> human
It can be seen that these individual food chains share components (fish, bird, human) and they also share common pathways (sandworm ---> fish or algae ---> mollusk). They can be put together to form a food web as shown in the figure below.
In this figure, the algae and microflora are at the producer level and the mollusk, sandworm and arthropod are at the primary consumer level. The other consumers may be at different levels depending upon the nature of each of the food chains in which they participate.
Interactions in the community
A community consists of all of the plants and animals in a given area. All these plants and animals depend on each other. The plants in the community provide food. They use sunlight to produce food for themselves and the community. Only plants can produce food. Consult Pyramid of Energy in Ecology for additional information.
The food pyramid relationship
When the food supply changes, the sizes of the populations of organisms depending on that food supply change. For example, if there is plenty of water and abundant rainfall there will be good growth of plants. The populations of animals depending on these plants will increase. On the other hand, if there is a drought, there will be a smaller supply of plants. The animals depending on these plants will decrease in population as a result of the decrease in the plant population.
Properties of the ecosystem
Thee are some components of the ecosystem that are important to animals.
- presence of natural enemies
- temperature and rainfall
Some animals will migrate from one place to another in order to meet their needs. A permanent change in the ecosystem could cause an organism to become an endangered species.
Human needs and the environment
The environment is impacted by humans. When human needs impact the environment, the result can be beneficial or detrimental. Humans use parts of other organisms for food and clothing. Some animals are used as pets for humans for enjoyment or protection. Animals can be used for asistance when compensating for disabilities and to perform work or provide recreation.
Humans can control and alter the environment. Farming by humans increases the amount of food by encouraging plants to grow by cultivation. Humans can also control the environment to compensate for disabilities. Humans can permanently damage the environment. The resources and minerals that are removed from the ground are not renewable.
- Pictures of plants and animals
- Science Journals
1. At the outset students discuss the different habitats or ecosystems in the area of the school and in New Jersey. Among others, we have the forest habitat in northwest New Jersey, the Pine Barrens, the shore, and urban environments and habitats including parks.
2. Students work in groups or individually. They select a plant or an animal that is common in the community and study it. They write about it in their Science Journals. Some examples:
- oak tree: uses sunlight to grow and food, makes acorns (oak tree seeds), provides habitat for birds and squirrels
- squirrel: lives in the oak tree, eats acorns.
3. Students combine their individual studies to determine the relationships between the different plants and animals they have studied.
1. Students make presentations to the class about the plants and animals they studied. In their Science Jorunals, all students write about the plants and animals in the environment.
2. Students develop food chains based on the relationships they have discovered between the plants and animals. Example:
Sun ---> oak tree (acorn) ---> squirrel
3. Students make posters about their food chains using pictures as illustrations.
4. Once the individual food chains are completed, they are studied by the class to see if there are any common organisms and pathways. The food chains are then combined into a food web. They draw the food web in their Science Journals.
1. Students investigate other ecosystems and habitats that they have not studied or that are not found in New Jersey. They make diagrams in their Science Journals to illustrate the food chains and make them into food webs.
2. Students investigate the marine environment and the food chains that are present in the ocean. They learn that the ocean will be called upon to provide more and more food in the future, a field known as aquaculture.
3. Students investigate nutrient cycles in the environment. They learn about the role of the bacteria and fungi of decay in the process of recycling organic nutrients in the ecosystem.