Our planet is on the precipice of yet another mass extinction that could wipe out around 75% of Earth’s wildlife; an unparalleled biotic extinction unlike any other in 65 million years!
Skeletal remains of the Sumatran rhino
Do you know that more than half of the wildlife population on Earth has died out in the past 4 decades? Poaching, wildlife trafficking, global warming and loss of habitat are all the factors that have led to the creation of a living hell on Earth for animals.
Video: Extinction events that have occurred in the past
It’s Okay To Be Smart: The Sixth Extinction (Video) lists out various extinction event that has happened in the history of our planet. In conjunction with National Wildlife Day (NWD), we at Adventoro, would like to bring their plight to light before we end up crying over spilt milk.
First, a little bit about NWD; National Wildlife Day serves not just as a day of appreciation for wildlife sanctuaries, the blessings of Mother Nature and the diversity of fauna; it is a reminder of the atrocities committed against the co-inhabitants of our planet and a plea for us to not turn a blind eye and address the issues faced, today.
Here are 5 incredible creatures that are teetering on the brink of extinction:
The friendly orangutans are threatened in the wild
Arboreal (tree-living) creatures with blood-fire fur, the Bornean orangutans makes the list because its population has dropped a mortifying 60% since 1950 and is projected to decline even further in under a decade.
There are some instances in nature where evolution works against a species; orangutans, with the longest birth interval of land mammals, is an unfortunate example. That, coupled with illegal hunting and habitat loss, turns the situation from serious to severe.
Unsafe in its own natural habitat
The Hawksbill turtle might live a majority of its time underwater, but that doesn’t stop it from being in the crosshairs of poachers, falling victim to illegal trafficking due to the demand for shells, meat and eggs. Some cultures believe sea turtle eggs to be an aphrodisiac, whereas others believe that eating them will increase longevity.
Known as a keystone species, Hawksbills are underwater landscape gardeners, tending to seagrass beds and maintaining the health of coral reefs. Imagine what havoc would be wreaked on the ecosystem if the turtles are all gone?
Beautiful and ferocious, Malayan tigers are the epitome of the wild
The WWF has listed Malayan Tigers as critically endangered and it is certainly a cause for concern. The title of Mongobay’s Malayan Tiger Population Plunges to Just 250-340 Individuals speaks for itself.
Roaming the jungles of the Malayan Peninsula and southern edge of Thailand, these ferocious beauties are teetering on the brink of extinction in the wild as they are threatened by loss of habitat and human-wildlife conflict.
Please do not let these tigers follow the footsteps of the Bali tiger, Javan tiger and the Caspian tiger – all of which are NO LONGER roaming the Earth.
Sumatran elephants are playful, loving and motherly
Nature is interdependent and balanced. Factor in human intervention and that upheaves all balance in the ecosystem. Threatened by rapid developments and unbridled deforestation, the Sumatran elephants are helpless in the face of modernity.
The Sumatran Elephant plays an important role in keeping the health of the forest in check yet all efforts are counteracted by deforestation; its diminishing population (declining by a devastating 80% in less than 25 years) only serves to add fuel to fire.
Two-horned rhino without its horns; a sad sight
Imagine being in a world where there are only 100 people left – and you are one of them. It is almost impossible to fathom, isn’t it? Unfortunately for the Sumatran rhinos, this is THEIR REALITY.
A dismal population left on Earth, they are clinging on for survival though the future looks bleak. They are threatened by illegal trafficking and genetic loss; their horns are in great demand especially in Asian countries as they are used as traditional medicine. The Vietnamese even believe that it could cure cancer – a rumour that’s as lethal as a poacher’s rifle.
If you want to be the change the world needs, an advocate of wildlife or a silent supporter for animals incapable of combating the tide of devastation, support WWF and other like-minded organisations by donating or adopting an animal. Also, if you’d like to visit some of these animals in wildlife sanctuaries, check out Adventoro, for travel consultancy services and wildlife tours.