Will Extinction Ever Become Extinct?

The beauty of the natural world is truly something magnificent to behold and a heritage that we seem to be struggling to conserve.

Image: By Strickland, H.E. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Our planet is teeming with life from single celled organisms to the giant blue whales gliding through our vast oceans. All of these organisms are, in some way, part of a delicate infrastructure that allows life to survive on our planet.  In some places ecosystems are self-sufficient and continue to thrive, whilst others are in need of our assistance to remain functional.  The beauty of the natural world is truly something magnificent to behold and a heritage that we seem to be struggling to conserve.

I read once that an estimated 50-150 species become extinct in the tropics every day! This is due to the constant deforestation taking place in our rain forests. These species, some of which may not have even been discovered, are removed from our planet without understanding what potential they held for us or the natural world.

Recently it was announced that the western black rhino, one of four sub species of the well known black rhino in Africa, is now extinct. It was listed as critically endangered in 2000. Having identified that poaching was the cause, it seems that extensive anti-poaching efforts should have been put in place to stop the decline of this species. However, it is apparent that the Cameroon conservation authorities made no such efforts. So inevitably the western black rhino has been poached to extinction, by organised gangs, because it possesses a valuable horn that is used in traditional medicines. The sad thing is a rhino’s horn is made out of keratin, no different to the protein that makes up your hair and finger nails.

The IUCN Red List contains 3879 species listed as critically endangered, that we know of, and the question is what proportion of these will face the same fate as the western black rhino. I’m sure the case of the western black rhino is not the only instance of extinction that could have been easily avoided. The reason given in this case was “lack of political will”. If any questions arise from this case it should be: why is there a lack of political will to protect our natural heritage? Not just in Cameroon but internationally. So many species continue to decline and without a bigger incentive to protect our natural world, I worry that extinction is the only thing that is guaranteed to increase.


One Comment

  • Unfortunately extinction will probably never become extinct itself… It’s a sad thing, but there will always be people who don’t see the value in keeping a species alive.

    I guess those of us who do need to work even harder 🙂

    Annie@GreenTravelReviews 20th February 2014 at 2:05 pm Reply
Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.*

Tick the box or answer the captcha.

You might also like

  • Sumatran Rhino Extinct in Malaysia

    It is vital for the survival of the species that all remaining Sumatran rhinos are viewed as a metapopulation, meaning that all are managed in a single program across national and international borders in order to maximize overall birth rate.

    By Alex Taylor
  • Tracking Turtles

    Scientists have used innovative ways to track female loggerhead turtles. The data reveals that return to the same nesting beaches to lay eggs year after year, therefore, these key locations should be a focus for conservation efforts.

    By Alex Taylor
  • Tourists Object to Macaque Exploitation

    It is not uncommon to see animals being exploited for tourist’s photo opportunity. Encouraging new research shows that, in Morocco, 88% of people who were surveyed object to the use of barbary macaques as photo props for ethical or animal welfare reasons.

    By Alex Taylor
  • Elephant Poaching Decline

    Scientists have reported that elephant poaching in Africa has declined, from 10% in 2011 to 4% in 2017. However, even at current poaching rates, elephants remain in serious danger of going extinct.

    By Alex Taylor