Recently I read an article that the world id heading towards next mass extinction. Well this is not the first time when it is happening so. It is 6th mass extinction but what is most surprising is that this will be the first man made extinction . The earlier ones were due to natural calamities. I was shocked to the core reading this. On an average hundreds of species are already becoming extinct on a daily basis, thanks to human growth and industrialization.
Human beings have created havoc to the environment and today we standing on the verge of extinction. Though there are various species which are in the endangered list but I would like to write about 3 animals
- Bengal Tiger.
The tiger is not just any other species or just another wild animal which is symbol of awe. The tiger is a unique animal which plays an important role in maintaining the diversity of an ecosystem. It is at the apex of the food chain and keeps the population of wild animals in check, thereby maintaining the balance between prey herbivores and the vegetation upon which they feed. Therefore, the presence of tigers in the forest is an indicator of the health of the ecosystem. The extinction of this top predator will result in imbalance and eventually all the species in the lower level of food chain.
If the tigers go extinct, the entire food chain will be affected and eventually collapse.
Another reason why we need to save the tiger is that our forests are water catchment areas.
These tigers help to prevent over-grazing by limiting herbivores thus maintaining ecological balance.
Tigers are solitary animals and have large home ranges making them excellent species to provide safety to other species to survive.
Saving the tiger will help local communities which benefit from habitat resources and tourism.
If we save tigers we will save the planet.
About a century ago, some 100,000 tigers roamed the wilderness across much of Asia. But 100 years of human over-hunting of tigers’ prey, such as deer and wild pigs, and of poaching driven by demand for tigers’ skins and other body parts has been catastrophic. There are as few as 3000 tigers left. With increasing threat of poaching and reduction of habitat they desperately need our help to survive.
- Asiatic Elephant
Elephants, along with a number of other species, are considered to be ecological engineers because their activities modify the habitat in a way that affects many other species.
A recent research concluded that difference in abundance and species richness in the forest areas was probably a result of engineering by elephants, generating new habitats for a diverse array of frog species.
Elephants play a key role in maintaining the balance of all other species in the community.
They pull down trees and break up bushes, which help to create grasslands for other animals to survive. They help in creating salt licks that are rich in nutrients for other animals. Their foot prints create deep holes that water can collect in. Elephant dung is important to the environment as well. Baboons and birds pick through dung for undigested seeds and nuts, and dung beetles reproduce in these deposits. The nutrient-rich manure replenishes soils so that humans can have a nutrient rich soil to plant crops in. Elephant Droppings are also a vehicle for seed dispersal. Some seeds will not germinate unless they have passed through an elephant’s digestive system.
- One-horned Rhinoceros
Rhinoceros play an important role in the ecosystem. Rhinos’ grazing specifically helps maintain the grasslands, and those grasslands sustain numerous other species, whether directly or through predation. Rhinos increase biodiversity by selecting certain plants over others, giving other species more ability to grow.
Rhinos fulfill an important economic role in a community as source of tourist attraction.
“I am participating in the Save the Species contest for the book Capturing Wildlife Moments in India in association with Saevus Wildlife India, read the reviews for the book Capturing Wildlife Moments in India here