ENVIRONMENT Role Of Humans In Animal Extinction BY DR. HAMAD SHAFQAT

Today we are witnessing the decline of nature at rates unprecedented in human history. It is a global problem and requires immediate human intervention to avoid further destruction. Ecosystems, wild populations, and animal species are vanishing fast. The intermingled web of life on the planet Earth is now under immense stress and increasingly frayed. And this is being directly caused by human activities, which will eventually pose a serious threat to humanity itself.

As the human population continues to expand at a tremendous rate, the need for food, land, and shelter has risen exponentially. With the total world population hitting 7 billion in number, we are crowding, poisoning, and eating all other species to extinction. Humans are clearing land for industry, housing, and agriculture like never before. According to the IUCN's Red List, loss of the habitat is identified as the primary cause of threat to 85% of all species. According to WWF, during the 1990s, almost 94 million ha (equivalent to 2.4 percent of total forest area) of the global forest area was lost. Of the whole deforestation area, nearly 70 percent area was converted into agricultural land for crops and more so livestock . As a piece of land gets cleared of the plantation, the animals living there disappear. Everything, from bugs in the ground and birds that ate them, all vanish.

Some species may migrate to other lands nearby. But the majority of the animal population eventually die due to the lack of food and shelter. Red Wolf is a critically endangered specie since 1967. It faces a constant threat of habitat loss from the land development and commercialization of the habitat areas. These wolves are mainly found in Pamlico and Albermarle Sounds, North Carolina. Another example of species facing imminent extinction threat is Florida Panther. It has been classified endangered since 1967 and is continually losing habitat land because of exponential urbanization and land development projects in Southern Florida. Almost 100 to 120 Florida panthers remain since reports from 2011.

Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit

Washington. San Joaquin kit fox was very common until the late 1930s, but as people began to convert forested areas into agricultural lands and housing areas, this species was also listed in endangered animals. There is fewer than 7,000 population of kit fox today. The list of threatened species because of activities like land development and urbanization is a very long one. Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbit is also an endangered animal. They face extinction risk due to the loss of habitat resulting from agricultural development in areas of Columbia Basin.

Please consider adopting, not having more kids. The world is headed for doom if we continue duplicating like bacteria.


Mike Barrett, executive director at WWF, perfectly captured the essence of the current scenario. He said, "We are sleep-walking towards the edge of the cliff." He further added that humanity had abolished 60% of the birds, fish, reptiles, and mammals since the 1970s. If we were to minus 60 percent of the human population, it would mean complete eradication of the human population from areas like Africa, China, Europe, Oceania, South America, and North America. This is the approximate scale of destruction we have caused over the years. At this point, we are way ahead than the prospect of losing wonders of nature. Human actions now are actually jeopardizing the future of our generations to come. Nature is not a 'nice-to-have luxury' - it is a life-support system for us.