Pollution in many forms has endangered many animals. Pesticides and other chemicals introduced to an ecosystem may significantly harm untargeted species. For example, DDT used to fight mosquitoes was eventually linked to declines in the reproductive rates of birds. Other forms of pollution such as thermal, light and noise pollution can each reduce survival rates of local animal populations.
Invasive species are one of the key biotic reasons for animals being endangered. Many species arriving in a new ecosystem are ill-adapted and quickly die off. However, some species are able to exploit the ecosystem to the detriment of native organisms. Small ecosystems such as those on islands are significantly affected by the introduction of invasive species but even native continental and oceanic populations can be devastated through competition or predation by the invader.
What can we do to help endangered animals?
There are many things we can do to help endangered animals, here are a few suggestions.
Protect wildlife habitats. As we said, Habitat loss is one of the biggest causes of extinction. Do your bit to preserve wildlife habitats. Volunteer to maintain a local nature reserve, campaign against deforestation or create a space for nature in your garden.
- Educate others. People are more likely to want to save animals if they know about them. Spend time doing some research and spread the word.
- Stay away from pesticides and herbicides. Animals are venerable to pollutants that can build up in the environment and can die if they consume high levels.
- Shop ethically. Avoid buying products made from endangered animals, such as rhino horns.