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Species In Extinction Essay

It is not a secret that the ecological situation on our planet is rather complicated. Apart from the common worries about global warming, industrial pollution, and rain forests being cut down, there is also the huge problem of the extinction of species; and while humanity can, hopefully, somehow stop the processes it is directly causing, it is unclear whether this extinction can be prevented or at least slowed down.

Although the words “mass extinction” definitely sounds alarming, it is not something uncommon for our planet. At the moment, we are witnessing the sixth mass extinction of species. During the past 500 million years, there already were five mass extinctions (with the largest of them being the Permian-Triassic and the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinctions, 245 and 65 million years ago respectively), causing from 14% to 84% of the genera or families to completely disappear from the fossil record. During the first of them, the majority of the marine invertebrates, as well as a huge number of terrestrial plants and insects disappeared; the second one mostly affected the dinosaurs. Even in a relatively not-so-distant past, some animal species had gone extinct completely: about 11 thousand years ago, during the Pleistocene-Holocene period, about 100 terrestrial species died out, including mammoths, saber tooth tigers, rhinos, and some birds (NCBI).

Moreover, there are two kinds of extinction: the one after which there is no “replacement” of an extinct species with a new, more adapted one—the “dead-end extinction” which is basically the end of a certain evolutionary lineage; and taxonomic extinction, which implies that during the evolutionary process, certain species had changed to such an extent that they should be considered a different species (NCBI).

Currently, there are 14,000 to 35,000 endangered species only in the United States; 16,928 species worldwide stand on the edge of dead-end human-caused extinction, and in order to save them, a significant amount of effort should be made. This is especially difficult considering the fact that every species’ extinction can lead to the disappearance of other species that are somehow bound to it: for example, if bees die out, many types of plants will not be able to reproduce, and will have either to adapt quickly, or will have to vanish. Such changes tend to accumulate astonishingly fast. Throughout the last five centuries, about 1,000 species of all possible sizes and shapes have gone completely extinct: huge mammals such as woodland bison of West Virginia and Arizona, US: passenger pigeons and Culebra parrots; Rocky Mountain grasshoppers, and so on. And this is just those of them that we can see relatively easy; it is probably impossible to calculate how many kinds of microorganisms disappear every day before scientists even get a chance to discover and study them. The size does not matter for nature: the tiniest organism is as important for the ecosystem as the largest of mammals (Center for Biological Diversity).

The good news is that it is in fact possible to not only slow down extinction, but to save some species from the danger of vanishing. In the early 1990s, there was a program of reintroducing captive-born condors to their natural environment in California, Arizona, and northern Mexico. Before the program was launched, there were about 20 of these condors left; currently, there are more than 200 of these birds inhabiting their “original” environments. The condor’s recovery, as well as some other examples, shows it is possible to move some species away from the extreme brink. For example, gray wolves, who were almost completely killed during hunting across the whole North America by the end of 1970s, are now a relatively prosperous species counting around 3,500 specimen. Northern elephant seals are nowadays numbered around 150,000 along the West Coast, although there were fewer than a hundred of them left alive just recently. All this became possible due to the significant efforts of reintroduction (National Geographic).

Moreover, with the power of science, it is possible not only to reintroduce endangered animals to their natural environments, but to bring back those of them that are believed to have completely disappeared. New discoveries in genetics, in particular the advancements connected to CRISPR-Cas9, give humanity hope of bringing back animals considered to have disappeared forever. Ecologists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, believe the two species that would be especially reasonable to resurrect are the woolly mammoth, the last of which died about 4000 years ago, and the passenger pigeon, a gray bird with a red breast, once common all over North America and, which had gone extinct in early 1900s. Scientists believe that due to technological progress, the chances of such de-extinction, so to say, are high, so the question is not “if,” but rather “when” this will be done. Both of these species were functionally unique species strongly affecting their environments, so their vanishing had changed the ecosystems they lived in as well. George Church, the lead researcher working on the resurrection of a mammoth in Harvard University, believes these precursors of modern elephants would help turn the modern Arctic tundra back to grasslands: mammoths used to contribute to grasslands’ spreading by knocking down trees and spreading grass seeds in their dung. In their turn, the passenger pigeons were extremely important for the forests they lived in as well (ScienceMag). Reviving these two species will likely solve a number of ecological problems in an effective and quick way.

As it can be see, mass extinction is not something that had never happened before on Earth. Currently, we are witnessing the sixth mass extinction, with the main difference being the human factor greatly contributing to species’ disappearance. There are ways, however, to slow down or even turn back the processes of extinction; one of them, the more traditional one, is the reintroduction of cage-bred species to their natural environments. The other more advanced one involves the most recent advancements in genetics, and will probably allow scientists to resurrect animals believed to have gone extinct forever. Thus, there is still hope for planet Earth.

Works Cited:

  1. National Research Council (US) Committee on Scientific Issues in the Endangered Species Act. “Species Extinctions: Extinctions Over Geological Time.” NCBI. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.
  2. “The Extinction Crisis.” Center for Biological Diversity. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.
  3. “20,000 Species Are Near Extinction: Is It Time to Rethink How We Decide What to Save?” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.
  4. “Should We Bring Extinct Species Back from the Dead?” ScienceMag. N.p., 26 Sept. 2016. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.
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I need your comments about my essay...Please and if I have problem in my writing, tell me??

Nowadays, many animals have disappeared from the earth whether by natural reasons or human's hands particularly the extinct animals which we need to pay more attention to protect them from vanishing. In fact, I disagree with idea that animals have been created to serve human being so that we have the right to do whatever we want on them. I strongly support the claim that extinct species will only be saved if the public have changed its behaviors such as destroying lands and hunting.

Destroying lands plays an important factor which threatens the existence of animals. As an excuse of expanding economy and investment, many people start devastate forests in order to build buildings, flats, factories and farms. Accordingly, lands shrink and animals become exposing to the anger of natural without shelters. Furthermore, if people do not take animals homes, they spoil their lands by producing the factories garbage, dirt and poisons. As a result that led at the end to a massacre of animals.

Besides, Land detriment, haunting is another element which helps animals to disappear. Haunters hunt animals to sell their valuable parts which are considered very expensive. For instance, in Africa, hunters exert great efforts to track down rhinoceros to gain its costly horns which people use to make daggers that cost from 500YR to 2millions YR. Also, Ivory trade aids to reduce the number of African elephants to 400,000 the end of century.

In summary, we have to stop demolish forests, which are the homes of animals, and hunting animals to save endangered species then keep the balance in the earth. We should not forget that we still need them in our meals. In my opinion, protecting those animals is not person's duty but it is of all human being's accountability.

Nowadays, many animals have disappeared from the earth whether by (because of) natural reasons or human's hands, particularly the endangered animals which we need to pay more attention to to protect them from vanishing. ( I know it's strange, but sometimes two the same prepositions can be placed next to each other. I'll try to explain. We say - to pay attention to something. In your structure the preposition 'to' goes to the end, it can't just disappere.) Extinct animals are animals that have already died, so we can't protect them from vanishing, while endangered animals are creatures that still exist, but at the same time they are in danger of extinction.

In fact, I disagree with the idea that animals have been created to serve human beings so that we have the right to do whatever we want with them. I strongly support the claim that (?????) species will only be saved if the public change its behaviors such as destroying lands and hunting. (or I think extinct species would have been saved if the public had changed its behaviors)

As an excuse for devastating forests in order to build buildings, flats, factories and farms many people....(The way your wrote this sentences is not correct. I started the new one and you can continue)

Accordingly, lands shrink and animals are exposed to the d anger of nature , risking to be without shelters.

Furthermore, if people do not take animals' homes, then they spoil their lands by producing the factories garbage, dirt and poisons. As a result, that led(??? maybe leads) to a massacre (???) of animals in the end.

Besides Land detriment, haunting is another element which make animals disappear.

Also, Ivory trade aids to reduce the number of African elephants to 400,000 the bythe end of the century.

In summary, we have to stop demolishing forests, which are the homes of animals, and hunting animals to save endangered species then keep the balance on the earth. We should not forget that we still need them in our meals. In my opinion, protecting those animals is not aperson's duty but it is the accountability of all human beings.

We should not forget that we still need them in our meals.---- THIs point is just killing me. What do mean, actually? As I understand, the main point of your essay is that humanity should be concerned about other living beings and try to save our planet, and then you said that we need them only to eat their meat!? So, are you saying that we have to take care of animals to use them then? Just explain, please. It's not very clear to me.

Thank you for your comments. What I meant that we still need cheese, milk and many things from them that we are in need to them in our life. :)

Oh, now I see .

In fact, I disagree with idea that animals have been created to serve human beings so that we have the right to do whatever we want to them.

I strongly support the claim that extinct species will only be saved if the public have changed its behaviors such as destroying lands and hunting.--- extinct species cannot be saved, because they are already extinct. You should change the word extinct to endangered.

Destroying lands plays an important role in threatening the existence of animals. As an excuse to expand economy and investment, many people start to devastate forests in order to build buildings, flats, factories and farms. Accordingly, lands shrink and animals become exposed to the anger of nature without shelters.

apostrophe:
Furthermore, if people do not take animals' homes, they spoil their lands by producing the factories garbage, dirt and poisons.

Haunting is what a ghost does!
Besides, Land detriment, hunting is another element ...

:-)

In summary, we have to stop demolishing forests, which are the homes of animals, and we have to stop hunting animals. We should save endangered species and keep the balance in the earth.

what does this sentence mean?

In my opinion, protecting those animals is not person's duty but it is something for which all humankind should be held accountable.

I really Appreciate your comments all. You've really helped me a lot.



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