Hearts & MindsSM - Information for ChangeSM
What it is, how it happens and its effects
Species loss - extinction - happens when animals and plants
cannot survive changes in their habitat. This can be caused by natural or
human factors. Extinction is a natural process.
It typically takes a species about 10 million years to
become extinct. Some species survive
for hundreds of millions of years; others vanish quickly. However, due to human
interference, species now face
extinction at an alarming rate.
Chemicals make a lot of
pollution for our globe
Several factors lead to extinction:
Habitats have always changed. Species often adapt if the changes happen
naturally. Damage to our environment brings changes that are too fast and
harmful for species to survive.
Due to trade of animal parts and use of exotic woods, many species continue to suffer from
exploitation. For example, demands for rhino horns and tiger bones in
several parts of Asia have nearly wiped out rhino and tiger populations.
Introduction of Exotic Species
When non-native species are introduced, the delicate
ecosystem is thrown off. Competition for resources may lead to the
extinction of certain species.
If a species does not have natural genetic protection, an introduced
disease can destroy its population.
This is one of the surest ways to damage a habitat. It leads to extinction of many animal
and plant species.
A diversity of plants and animals are needed to maintain a healthy
planet. When species are in danger, it shows that the
health of vital ecosystems is in danger. We depend on nature for clean air, water, food, and medicines.
We must realize that by saving species from extinction, we are saving our environment
More on the Environment and What You Can Do
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- online October 7, 2005, latest changes March 30, 2006