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“There are only as few as 3,200 tigers left in the wild,” says Sarah Goddard, species officer at WWF-UK.

They say you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. It’s true. We all take things for granted in life. We spend too much time wanting and pursuing, and we fail to see what’s there right in front of our eyes. Not enough time is spent in the present, appreciating what we have now, in the moment. It’s the reason most of us live with a shadow of guilt. Only when something good is taken from us, do we realize how special it was.

Wild animals – the ones we know and love – like the tiger, the elephant, the chimpanzee, the whale, the gorilla, the rhino, and many other animals, are on the brink of extinction. Before long, these animals will no longer exist on our planet. If we don’t do something soon, these living beings will disappear from this earth and be gone forever. Is this the legacy we want to leave behind for our grandchildren?

Why are so Many Animals Fading From the Planet?

Goddard explains to OGP, “The cause of this decline is human activities.” Many things we do without even thinking about the potential impact it may have on species, such as,”The land we use for living space, food, clothing, housing, fuel; the things we buy; and the waste we produce – all this contributes to the main causes of species loss.” The main causes being :

  • Habitat loss
  • Unsustainable trade
  • Bycatch
  • Climate change
  • Invasive species
  • Pollution
  • Human-animal conflict

Animals are losing their homes and it’s a devastating tragedy. The sad truth is, they shouldn’t have to live in zoos and sanctuaries. They should be living in their natural habitat, enjoying their freedom.

Which Species Will We Have to Say Goodbye to First?

Mark Jones, executive director of the Humane Society International tells OGP, “There are many,” species will have to say goodbye to if nothing is changed.

“Among the big mammals, it’s believed that the Javan rhino Rhinoceros sondaicus may be the rarest, with as few as 35-45 rhinos remaining in the Ujung Kulon National Park at the western tip of Java in Indonesia,” he says.

However, there are endless other species that are hanging on by a thread.

For instance, “Only 150 Western Gray whales remain that are still at threat from oil and gas exploration in the North Pacific waters that surround the Sakhalin islands off Russia”, Sarah Goddard, species inspector at WWF-UK tells OGP,  “There are estimated to only be 55 adult Maui’s dolphins left.”

It’s clear we have an enormous crisis on our hands. It’s up to us to change the future.

How Can We Help? 

If we don’t act soon, we face losing hundreds of animals from our planet. Whoever you are, wherever you are, you can help. If you don’t want to let nature die, please reach out and help. There are many ways you can help and make a change! One of easiest ways you can help is by altering your lifestyle choices and being a conscious shopper. As a consumer, you have a great deal of power. Opt for environmentally-friendly foods and products and the companies you’re buying from will listen.

“Help locally by cleaning streams, getting solar panels on your roofs and exploring other ways to use less and waste less, watching out for wildlife on the roads and encouraging co-existence,” says Cindy Hoffman, spokesperson for Defenders of Wildlife. She also suggests “donating to conservation groups.”

Goddard tells us to “Reduce, reuse, recycle. This mantra should be first and foremost when making decisions as part of our daily lives – at work, on vacation, when we’re out shopping, and at home. In particular, we can all work to save water and save paper.”

Another way you can help is by spreading the word. Tell others and persuade them to help. Start your own campaign. Hand out leaflets. Sign petitions. Or write into your local newspaper and express your sadness and concern about the issue of endangered species.

Please, let there be a future for the animals we share our planet with. Don’t let them disappear.

Image source: Stoltz Gary/Wikimedia Commons

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