Animals and the Environment: How Humans Are Messing It Up

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Animals and the Environment: How Humans Are Messing It Up

By Garland Eger

Basic environmental science shows us that for any ecosystem to be healthy, certain animal and other living organism populations must be at certain levels. Animals fill certain “niches” which keep the ecosystem going. Some perfect examples are bees carrying the pollen of plants and squirrels burying the nuts of certain trees. When these processes are negatively affected by human expansion and industrialization, the entire ecosystem feels the impact. Also, certain animals survive excessively well in other environments, which causes overpopulation, thus throwing the ecosystem out of whack. Such examples include grey squirrels in north America, rabbits in Australia, and Japanese bamboo in north America.

These unconscious and ignorant blunders by mankind can certainly have some scary impact on the future. Let's look at the honeybee for example. Honeybees pollinate plants and create honey, which is also a food source for other animals such as bears. Honeybee populations are decreasing at an alarming rate, due to the introduction of the red mite, a parasite which can wipe out an entire honeybee hive in several weeks. If honeybees are absent from our future, the pollination of plants will certainly be less, which will lead to enormous food shortages. These types of calamities have already happened in history and caused mass havoc. One example of such phenomenon is the black death. The black death also known as bubonic plague was responsible for the deaths of more than one third of Europe. Bubonic plague was caused by a bacteria in the belly of the rat flea and began somewhere in the Gobi desert. Because people had rats on ships and sailed from one continent to another the plague spread as well.

The conclusion to this article is that people must be careful about what they do to animals and plants as well as where they bring them due to the nature of the effects. People must also work to restore environments and ecosystem to their original states to prevent mass calamity.  However, we do not have to kill any animals in the process.

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