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Species Going Extinct

The rates of human contribution to extinction of species is a debatable issue but it is a general agreement that the rate of species extinction due to destruction of the habits is soaring. The causes of the extinction come hand in hand with consequences.

Human activities have been the major cause of the biodiversity interference due to factors such as population increase, industrialization and pollution. Deforestation that is expected to continue is the considered one of the express cause of extirpations. Overexploitation arising from fishing and hunting is a significant extinction driver. Human mediated climate change is contributing significantly to extinction of species. Global warming has caused unpredictable dynamics in biodiversity and in the process leading to species being extinct or transforming to a totally different composition of what they were over a very short period of time. Natural events such as fires and volcanic eruptions that can also contribute to extinction by eliminating an entire species especially when they had specific restricted habitat. Invasive species contribute to biodiversity loss leading to extinction. An example is the introduction of the brown tree snake to Guam island after World War II which is attributed to have led to at least 17 species of birds. It should be noted that a vital decrease in population can in the long run lead to extinction even if the drivers are eliminated or mitigated. Some species will slowly disappear when the biodiversity of their habitat is interfered with by surviving the current shock at what point they may be ‘’living-dead’.

Species vary in terms of vulnerability to extinction owing to life history, behavioral, physiological and morphological characteristics. Large-sized species with restricted habitats are more prone to extinction as a result of human interference with their habitats because of their low population densities. Small-size species at times are more vulnerable when they have restricted habitats such as the perching birds in America. Rare species are more vulnerable to extinction compared to common species because of the specific habitats and low population densities. Animals with low reproductive rates and frequencies are more vulnerable to disappearing. Species with exhibiting high secondary sexual characteristics are prone to extinction as they cannot effectively reproduce when changes occur to their habitats. The rapid environmental and climatic changes prejudice the existence of species by demand instant adaptations.

The extinction of any size of species comes with ecological consequences that are devastating to another species. Various species depend on each other and mostly parasitically or symbiotically. The extinction of a species in a given habitat will likely lead to the extinction of another species that had a relationship with them. An example is that when large cats which do not pray on birds reduce, the birds are likely to have lesser numbers because of the increase in number of mesopredators that feed on them and their eggs and can subsequently become extinct. This draws reversely and over time may lead to further reduction of the large cats in such habitats and maybe their extinction. Many coextinctions between interdependent taxa have occurred without barely being noticed. In 1937 a louse was discovered to have suffered the same fate of extinction with its host pigeon 23 years later.

Science holds that extinction is a normal part of evolution but the current arte of extinctions are alarming as they are contributed majorly by human activities which interfere with the biodiversity. The rates that keep multiplying enormously sends a warning on the ecological balance. Species vary in terms of vulnerability and the extinction of one species tends more likely to contribute the extinction of another or other species.

References

Sodhi, Navjot S., Barry W. Brook, and Corey JA Bradshaw. “Causes and consequences of species extinctions.” The Princeton guide to ecology 1 (2009): 514-520.

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