In the last 50 years, animals have become extinct at a rapid rate, and many other species are critically endangered, meaning they may become extinct soon.
- Animals are losing habitats for a variety of reasons, almost all caused by humans. Humans cut down forests for farmland or factories. They dam rivers to make reservoirs. They pollute lands and water with chemicals and poisons.
- Wildfires, droughts, floods, and hurricanes are also destroying animal homes at an unprecedented rate.
- Many groups are working to reverse this trend by creating wildlife preserves or fighting for better land management.
- It’s complicated though because in many parts of the world, people are struggling to survive too. Farmers in the Amazon, for example, who burn forests down are simply trying to feed their families.
- Animals and humans are interconnected. When one species is harmed or becomes extinct, others are affected. Honeybees, for example, are dying in large numbers. When they die, plants that depend on them for pollination can’t produce fruit, resulting in less food for animals and humans.
- Habitat: The land, water, and resources that make up an animal’s home
- Reservoir: A manmade lake or place to hold water
- Unprecedented: Something that has never occurred before
Questions and Answers:
Question: Can we reverse the damage to animals’ habitats?
Answer: Yes! In many parts of the world, people are working to restore or create new habitats, such as wetlands and forests. We must find ways to provide for both humans and animals and use land, water, and resources sustainably.
At home with your family, you can plant trees, shrubs, and other plants for animals that offer shelter and food. Your family can avoid using pesticides and other chemicals that harm animals.
Watch a video from the Wildlife Conservation Society: