Endangered Habitats and Species: Losing Our Wild Treasures

Nature Provides Many Resources

Natural resources such as coal, petroleum, oil and natural gas take thousands of years to form naturally and cannot be replaced as fast as they are being consumed. Eventually natural resources will become too costly to harvest and humanity will need to find other sources of energy.

 

When do Natural Renewable Resources Become Endangered?

Plants & Animals:  Extinction Is Forever

Many endangered animals live in countries least able to sustain them, and suffer the consequences of poverty, ecological degradation, and conflict.  Plants are vital to the survival of all other life forms on Earth, and form the basis of most animal food chains, including that of humans.



Trees:  Tropical & Temperate Forests

Many forests have been cleared for their lucrative hardwoods, rapid population growth and most recently,  agricultural development.  Once theses forests are gone, the land is prone to erosion and flooding.  Loss of trees reduces local rainfall and may even disrupt the global climate.



 

Oxygen/Clean Air: Oxygen is produced by plants and is consumed by animals. Animals need oxygen to “burn” the food they eat in order to get the calories (energy) they need. When plants and forests are destroyed/die from acid rain and pollution, they can no longer absorb carbon dioxide from the air, nor release oxygen into the atmosphere. The weight of the water in the river is 90% oxygen atoms.  When the river is polluted, oxygen is depleted from the water and all living things die.

 


Land/Soil:  Overgrazing reduces the usefulness, productivity, and biodiversity of the land and is one cause of desertification and erosion. It is also the cause of of the spread of invasive species of non-native plants and of weeds.  When natural vegetation is removed, the plants and trees are no longer there to absorb rainwater and protect the soil from wind. 



 

Fish:  When natural vegetation is removed in watershed areas, the soil erodes into the water and smothers fish and plant life.  When pollutants drain into rivers, lakes, streams and estuaries, the toxins are carried throughout the water and kill the aquatic life.  

 

 

 

 

 

Biospheres Of All Living Things:  When pollutants destroy and affect an entire ecosystem, all things suffer.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Animals

 

 

 

 

Atmosphere

 

 

 

 

Birds

 

 

 

 

Coal

 

 

 

 

Energy

 

 

 

Flowers






Fossil Fuels

Metals

 

 

 

 

 


Minerals





Natural Gas

 

 

 


Oceans





Oil

Oxygen

Plants










Solar Energy





Soil





Timber









Renewable Vs. Non-Renewable