Extinction is the total disappearance of a species from the earth’s surface. It leads to a lack of surviving members of some species to reproduce in order create a new generation of the extinct species. Different plants and animals due to various reasons, which are either natural or man-made. These reasons are habitat degradation, over exploitation of available resources, agricultural monocultures, poaching and commercial hunting, human-wildlife or human-induced climate change and destruction of land to build factories and residential areas. Protecting a rare species of animals or plants is therefore a responsibility of all human beings to ensure the betterment of our planet (Cunningham, & Saigo, 2005).
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Animal or plant species’ protection from extinction is beneficial because all species are important for balance in the nature world. Moreover, some animals and plants are key in the field of medicine since they provide raw materials used to produce different drugs. These species may include the African clawed frog that secretes antibiotics, the dogfish shark which has cancer fighting molecules. In addition, chemicals found in certain plants assist in treatment of Hodgkin’s disease and other types of cancers. Also, some extracts from specific and rare marine animals has a unique ability to act as anti-cancer agents. (Cunningham, & Saigo, 2005).
Extinction of some species has varied effects because the balance of nature will be broken. For example, a breach in a food chain may cause a drastical increase of some species in over a short period since there will be no consumers in the ecosystem. This growth leads to increased competition for food and space causing starvation ad leading to a disbalance. The predators will also experience lack of feood, and as a result, they will starve to death, which may cause the possibility of their extinction.
The elimination of one organism from an ecosystem, therefore, serves as a domino effect causing the disappearance of other numerous organisms. The introduction of new cloning technology will further accelerate the process of extinction since the easier it is to clone an organism, the lesser efforts are directed towards the protection of the whole species (Ehrlich, 1983).
Extinction is irreversible as a species that becomes extinct is lost forever, and thus, the expensive efforts required to protect animals facing extinction are justified. Protection of different rare and endangered species is achievable. As a solution to this global issue, an investment of 0.1% of global GDP in environment protection will ensure the pay off a large chunk of the ecological debt (Ehrlich, 1983).
Biodiversity refers to genes, species and ecosystems. The toughness of an area’s immune system is dependent on the area’s riches in terms of biodiversity. Hence, biodiversity is vital in preserving food security and allows ecosystems to adapt to different natural disturbances like earthquakes, fires and floods. Thus, a loss of biodiversity will also have a tremendous impact on medicine and healthcare, among all the rest spheres of life (Miller, 2013).
Extinction of certain species will also hinder scientific research, which aims at finding new way of treating different diseases and production of new drugs and vaccines. Such medicines are usually hard to develop as they cannot (or are hard to) be produced artificially, thus their manufacture is expensive in nature as their source is not easy to get. Genetic diversity helps in the prevention of diseases and enables adaptation of different species to changes in their environment.
Apart from medicine, the some plants and animals are able to provide raw materials for the manufacture of clothing, cosmetics, and household goods. Hence, it is important to protect the rare species from extinction due to various reasons mentioned above.
Cunningham, M. A., & Saigo, B. W. (2005). Environmental Science: A global concern. Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Ehrlich, A. H. (1983). Extinction: The causes and consequences of the Disappearance Of species. New York: Ballantine Books.
Miller, D., A. (2013). Biodiversity. Detroit: Green haven Press.