Unis Middle School
The United States is home to the largest number of endangered species of any country in the world: 1,115, according to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service. That’s 448 species of animals and 667 species of plants that are in danger of never to being seen again. These are animals whose deaths affect you in ways you didn’t even know. So will you step it up or what?
Endangered species are living organisms that are in grave danger and have a great chance of going extinct. Humans are the main reason this is happening. Think about the things you do on a daily basis. Things you didn’t think could harm other living things, like wasting paper and spraying weedkiller. The paper that is being wasted is made from trees, and cutting down trees can lead to deforestation, causing animals to lose their homes. Using weedkiller can affect other plants and animals nearby.
Also something people don’t realize is that when we are endangering other species we are endangering our future as well. All species have different uses. Many endangered species may have medical uses. If they go extinct, you’ll never know what cure they can give. Annette Frank, an art teacher who is a strong supporter of preserving the environment, said, “I think it’s a huge problem because I’m old enough to remember a time when certain animals weren’t extinct that are now.” The animals that have gone extinct in her lifetime include some tigers. David Bates, a science teacher, said, “I think that it is very important that we recognize how every living thing has a role.”
Every living thing does have a role. Each organism contributes to the life cycle. If one living thing stops doing its job, the whole cycle is affected. “I think we should help the endangered species by preventing hunting and ending deforestation”, says Unis Middle School student Kaylee Mullen. Both problems are major causes that have harmed endangered species.
Do you know any endangered species in our county, Wayne County? Three Unis students said they didn’t know of any. There are less than six different endangered species in Wayne County. These species include Rayed Bean, Northern Riffelshell, Eastern prairie fringed orchid, Indiana bat, and lastly the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake.
No matter how big or small the species on the endangered list may be, they are at a high risk of becoming extinct. These species can help us in ways you have never have considered. “Endangered species are indicators of the health of our environment,” says Georgia Parham, from the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service.
The United States was one of the first countries to recognize and protect endangered species, so the list of U.S. species appears to be long. You can also look at it this way: the United States is very active and engaged in identifying species at risk, implementing actions to prevent extinction, and then moving those species toward recovery. It takes years and years for a species to become in danger of extinction; it also takes a long time to recover them. There are many things people can do to help endangered species.
One of the endangered species in our county is the Indiana Bat. You might think: “Who cares?!”or “Bats can be dangerous.” But actually the only person who is in danger is you. See those mosquitoes that suck up your blood in the summer? Those mosquitoes can spread diseases everywhere, carrying blood from one human being to the next. Fortunately, mosquitoes are prey for bats. So bats are helping you while causing no harm.
But that’s only one endangered species making a difference. Think of the rest that can do much more. So next time you decide to waste a resource, think about the affect it has not only on the environment but on the future of us humans as well.