Should it matter to human beings that other living organisms are disappearing from the world? Many think so. Human beings depend completely on plants and animals for their survival on the planet. Therefore, it is important to conserve the species in the ecosystem to make them more stable. Endangered species are the ones that are considered at risk of extinction. A species can be listed at the federal, international and state levels. These species are listed under the “Endangered Species Act.” Species are becoming endangered due to the human population, pollution, exotic species, hunting and fishing. Humans cut down trees, building roads and homes and acid rain causes the species to be endangered. Pollution like oil spills, throwing the trash to the ground and water pollution are giving rise to endangered species. Exotic species are another reason that makes the species endangered. Animals kill each other for their survival and spread diseases from one animal to another. Whatever the reasons are for these species to be endangered, now it is important to protect these species as one of the top-most priorities around the globe.
Endangered Species in Pakistan
Many plant and animal species are extinct and endangered every year. According to the IUCN Red List of Pakistan, the top endangered species are listed below.
- Markhor (Capra falconeri)
Markhor, the National animal of Pakistan is endangered according to the IUCN Red List. About 2500 species are left in Pakistan. The main reason for them to be endangered is illegal hunting. Their natural habitat is lost due to deforestation. Markhor is becoming endangered in Pakistan due to the attack by wild predators like wolves and snow leopards.
- Asian Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus)
CBaluchistan Black Bear lives in mountains and forest habitats in Baluchistan. The population of Black bears is reduced in Pakistan to 1000 species. Black bears are threatened due to habitat loss, deforestation, poaching and people hunt them for their derm.
- Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)
Green Turtles live on the beaches of Karachi or the coastal areas of Baluchistan. In Pakistan, almost 1000 species are left. The main threats to Green Turtles are illegal killing, water pollution, habitat destruction and these turtles are caught in the fishing nets. Due to these anthropogenic activities, their next generation is also endangered.
- Marco Polo Sheep (Ovis ammno polii)
Marco Polo Sheep is distributed in Hunza, Khunjerab, Hindukush and Karakoram mountains. The main threats to Marco Polo Sheep are illegal killing by the local people and hunting for their skin and meat. Conservation: In 1979, a project was established in Khunjerab National Park to protect them. The hunting and killing activities were banned.
- Long-billed Vulture (Gyps indicus)
|In Pakistan, this is classified as a critically endangered species. Almost 200-250 pairs are only left in Sindh. These terrestrial animals feed on dead animals. Their mortality rate is increased as they feed on dead animals, treated with an inflammatory drug “Diclofenac.” Results in the failure of their kidneys.|
- Snow Leopards (Panthera uncial)
IUCN Red List has declared Snow Leopard as endangered species. They are endangered due to habitat loss, illegal hunting and poaching. Snow leopards feed on goats and deer as their prey. When local people kill these animals, less prey is left behind for the snow leopards to feed on resulting in their death. About 200-240 species are left in Pakistan.
- Indus River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica)
Indus River Dolphin is present in the mainstream of the River Indus and tributaries of Chenab, Jhelum, Sutlej and Ravi. Over 1100 species of Indus River Dolphin are left in Pakistan. These species feed on catfish. The main threats to Indus Dolphin are stranding in the irrigation canals, water pollution and illegal fishing.
Why the Protection of Endangered Animals is Important?
It is important to maintain the biodiversity that protects the genetic reservoirs and makes crops better. Habitat destruction results in endangered species. So, the habitat of these species needs to be sustained. We need to protect their natural habitat to conserve the endangered species for the long run. We need to understand how animals communicate with the natural environment and why their conservation is important. Animals and plants maintain a healthy ecosystem. A balanced ecosystem is important so, if species become endangered, the ecosystem goes out of balance with nature. Conservation of endangered species helps to restore the natural ecosystem that is beneficial for human beings. Non-Profit organizations, local governments, local communities and international government together can contribute towards the conservation of endangered species. The “Endangered Species Act” was passed in 1973 to conserve endangered plant and animal species. Understanding how to protect the endangered species starts with recognizing the measures to be taken with a great impact on the natural environment.
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