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Let’s take extinction seriously

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The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service suggested the delisting of another 23 animal species under the Endangered Species Act because they are now extinct – causing another blow to the world’s biodiversity.

The reason that this matters is because the planet’s equilibrium to a large degree is dependent on biodiversity. This can cause an unhealthy imbalance of species, ecosystems or even animal migration into other ecosystems disrupting the animal population there.

Sometimes these imbalances are due to human interference, like what happened with the wolf population in the early 1900s near Yellowstone National Park. After residents killed off the wolf population, the elk population grew exponentially leaving the park in a deplorable state.

What happened at Yellowstone National Park shows the importance of different species to the environment.

Eight of the species that were proposed for delisting were mussels, more than half of these species are in the United States, according to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.

David Strayer an ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies said that he believed some of the mussel species that are now extinct in the United States must have played a key role in filtering water, affecting the quality of water, and stabilizing the sediment of those rivers. He also believes they must have affected the food chain in those ecosystems.

Now some of the mussels that are believed to be extinct have last been spotted as far as the 1970s.

More attention should be brought to these extinctions before half a century passes by. Other animals’ contributions to the world cannot be underestimated and they should be protected. 

These animals that went extinct may not be the giraffe or elephant we see at zoos, but they are just as important to the diversity in an ecosystem.

We need to create an environment where politicians are pressured to put more protective measures up for things or people that do interfere and create an imbalance in nature. Since the environment is an interconnected and intricate food web, we cannot exclude ourselves from the picture. Because we are at the top of the food chain, we have a responsibility to protect other species.

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