In the 30 years I’ve been on this planet 21 different species have died out. That’s depressing enough as it is, but infinitely worse when you realise many are due to mankind’s impact.
Destruction of habitat, hunting and climate change have all lead to us losing many species, and many more teeter on the brink. In 2011, the Western black rhino was declared extinct and four years later it’s cousin the Northern white rhino is down to four, after Nabire, who lived in a Czech zoo died.
Imagine being one of the last four humans. Going years without seeing another of your species and being kept in captivity.
The situation has become so dire that a term has been invented for the last of their species. Endlings.
We’ve had to invent a word for it, which is rather depressing when you think about it. Species getting down to the last beast standing is so common/accepted that we’ve had to make a word for it.
The term was applied to Lonesome George, who was the last Pinta Island tortoise before his death in 2012.
While many species’ numbers were greatly reduced due to excessive hunting back in the day, and it would be nice to put this down to the ignorance of the past, a lack of understanding of nature (as witnessed in H. Rider Haggard’s writing, making uncomfortable reading for modern audiences) but as recent events show, we still have moronic hunters and callous poachers galore.
As a species mankind’s legacy on our world is hugely negative- greed, cruelty and selfishness have led us to ruin habitats, slaughter animals and alter ecosystems wherever we go. While we have accomplished great things, our impact on nature is a black mark on our record.
Which is part of the reason we need to work extra hard to save the species that are endangered and seek to fix the messes we’ve made.
It’s a tough, uphill fight but by supporting organisations like The WWF we can at least try.
We need to educate people about nature, to stop them growing up as the kind of cruel scumbag who hunts a living creature for no reason other than sport.
Our technological advances can help. Surely we can Jurassic Park some of the critters we’ve forced into oblivion? It’s been almost 20 years since Dolly the sheep, surely we can make some clones of some of them. And we can set aside land for them to live on, teach future generations to love nature and appreciate the creatures we share this planet with.
More importantly we can make sure they keep that love, appreciation and respect for nature as they become adults, and work to save them. For some it may already be too late, but for some we can still keep them with us.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.