Threatened by Extinction

Fallon Carney, Staff Writer

Extinction: the state or process of a species, family or large group being or becoming extinct. Extinction is threatening many species everyday.

The World Wildlife Fund estimates that between 10,000 and 100,000 species are becoming extinct every year. There are about 100 million different species coexisting on our planet. Scientists estimates that about 150 to 200 species of plants, insects, birds and mammals become extinct every 24 hours. WWF biologists say this is nearly 1,000 times the “natural” rate and is greater than anything the world has experienced since the extinction of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago. Out of all species that have existed, 99.9 percent are now extinct. Most species perished during five cataclysmic events. Some biologists believe we are in the throes of a sixth mass extinction. 

One of the most endangered species is the Northern Right Whale. The Northern Right Whale is the most endangered whale species. It is found around the Atlantic coasts of Canada and the US. There are approximately 350 different whales still found. This whale is needed for its oil as well as its easy production process. By the 1890’s, commercial whalers had hunted Northern Right Whales to the brink of extinction. Just like most other marine life, fishing gear entanglement and vessel strikes are one of the most common causes of ocean mortality. 

Jarrett Glenn (11) stated “It’s kind of hard to live with the fact that humans are ruining wildlife and don’t care. I go fishing with my friends a lot and we try to leave everything how it was when we got there.” 

The number one cause of extinction is caused by humans destroying natural habitats. Deforestation has killed more species of animals than we can count. Full ecosystems live in forests, when humans cut down forests they are destroying the home of many species. Not only is it destroying the homes of the species we know exist, it destroys the habitat of species that haven’t been discovered yet.  

Jaden Webb (9) said that she feels deforestation is bad because all animals need a place to live. “Once they go extinct that’s the end of them. They are killing a lot of different animals by taking their habitats away from them.” 

The Mountain Gorilla is also one of the most endangered species. There are only an estimated 302 to 408 Mountain Gorillas left in this world. People began to hunt Mountain Gorillas because of their aggressive behavior. Humans feared for their safety as they believed Mountain Gorillas posed a great risk to their way of life. Gorillas are in no way a threat to life, we are more of a threat to them then they are to us. 

While deforestation may benefit us more, we need to start thinking about the animals it is killing. Once a species goes extinct, we may never see that species again.