Animal Extinction and Endangerment in Africa Not many people realize how important other animals are to the survival of humans. Humans are constantly negatively impacting the lives of animals. Habitat loss, hunting, fishing and many other factors lead to a species becoming endangered, and in some cases it can lead to extinction. Africa is a continent that is rich with biodiversity. There are about 1,350 endangered animals in Africa.
This report will go in depth about African wildlife and what needs to be done to prevent those species from becoming extinct.In Africa, the greatest threat to wildlife is habitat loss. “Around 90% of original African forests have been cut down” (African Wildlife Foundation, 2013). Deforestation can lead to habitat loss, but it can also hurt the environment by eroding soil, decreasing water supply, releasing carbon and threatening food security. “Many Africans use wood as fuel for heating and cooking which causes many trees to be cut down everyday”(African Wildlife Foundation, 2013). While some parts of Africa are quite developed, there are still many counties that unfortunately don’t have the technology to be able to use other energy sources. While trees may not be the main source of energy for more developed countries such as Algeria or Botswana, they are cut down for the purposes of infrastructure expansion.
“Forest loss and degradation is mostly caused by the expansion of agricultural land, intensive harvesting of timber, wood for fuel and other forest products, as well as overgrazing” (World Wildlife Foundation). The Ethiopian wolf is a species native to Ethiopia. “There are fewer than 600 adult individuals remaining” (African Wildlife Foundation, 2015).
The population is decreasing for two main reasons, agriculture and disease. The species only lives in 7 isolated enclaves in the Ethiopian highlands. The increase in Agriculture means that more land is being taken up by humans which leads to habitat loss for the wolves and other species. The highest population of this species is located in the Bale Mountains, where they are at a very high risk for rabies. Canine distemper is also an immense issue in that area. Unfortunately there is currently no cure for the disease and it is contagious.
Another example of an endangered animal in Africa is the African Mountain Gorilla. The world’s remaining mountain gorillas live in 3 countries spanning 4 national parks. The biggest threat to this species is deforestation, there are currently less than 1000 in the wild. “The forest where mountain gorillas live is fertile and rich in biodiversity. This has made it one of the most populated regions in Africa, with 85% of the population making its living by growing food on the land. As people move closer to where gorillas live, they also bring the risk of spreading human diseases to gorillas such as the flu, pneumonia, and even ebola” (World Wildlife Foundation, 2013). This issue would be hard to solve, because most African countries are densely populated and the population of humans is still increasing. It is also difficult to treat wild animals with these diseases.
Developing countries do not necessarily have the technology and education to solve these problems. Each species has different reasons as why they are endangered or extinct. There are ways to prevent further issues and to solve the ones that are present. Deforestation can be reduced by using other power sources such as nuclear, wind and solar energy. For cities, building apartment building takes up less green space and can house more people. Education the citizens about proper family planning and birth control methods will also reduce the need to cut trees down. In conclusion, we are the ones who cause most of these environmental issues, so it is our job to help make the Earth a more sustainable place to live for us and other living things.
Africa is losing its wildlife, but we can help prevent further loss by changing the way we live. It will take time, but time, patience, determination and proper education but we can solve these problems.References:http://www.awf.org/wildlife-conservation/mountain-gorilla http://www.awf.org/land-protection/threats