Endangered Species

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       A quarter of all living species on the planet could be extinct within the next 50 years, as ecosystems are destroyed. To prevent this from happening, millions of dolars have been rased and allocated to various conservation projects to protect threatened wildlife and slow the reduction in the diversity of living things.

       In the case of the Javanese Rhinoceros, a very rare mammal as there are only 50 in Indonesia, reseves have been established. Another method often used to enlarge the numbers is captive breeding. From the remaining 30 representatives of the Arabian Oryx, an antelope hunted to near extinction, 700 animals were raised in captivity and later returned to their natural habitat.

       Birds of prey are also on the decline. This has been accelerated by the destruction of their feeding and nesting places. Pesticides and herbicides in their food cause sterility, malformation and mass dtahs. Eagles, falcons and condors are now being provided with uncontaminated food and their breeding cicles are being monitored. The fact that, at the moment, there are fewer than 40 Californian Condors shows how urgently help is needed.

        Many countries have joined in banning both kiling of endangered animals and the tarding in the articles for which they are killed. Elephants, slaughtered for ivory, and polar bears, shot for their fur, now have some chance of survival, due to the coordinated efforts of many organizations which are urging governments to outlow their exploitation. To stop the trading in the skins of the tiger, cheetah, jaguar and snow leopard, people are being discouraged from buying furs. Among other animals which arre mercillessly hunted are whales, walruses, sea turtles and seals. Also driftnetting -called the most destructive fishing technology ever devised by man -and overfishing are teaking a heavy toll on amrine life. Only by providing safe sea and land sanctuaries will we succeed in saving these species from extinction. This should be the moral obligation of every human being.


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