Save Our Sloths
By Millie, Lizzie and Loveday for BBC School Report
In recent years, according to NASA, deforestation is getting worse. Animals, Tribes and trees are being killed and are in critical danger of becoming extinct. In some natural ways and some human ways.
Animals can become endangered in many ways:
- Construction of homes/ roads
- Pollution/ water pollution
- Oil spills
- Acid rain
- People hunting for fur/ meat
- The animals kill one another
- Small animals like rodents spread diseases to other animals;
50% of the world’s animals are living in the rainforest and they are affected by the loss of trees as well. Approximately 2.4 acres of trees are brutally murdered a SECOND, and around 18 MILLION in a year! Half of the illegally cut down are used for fuel. A staggering 36 football fields worth of trees are estimated to be destroyed every minute! Since the last century, Indonesia has lost at least 15.79million hectares of forest. 90 percent of continental United States indigenous forest has been removed since 1600. Some other reasons for the loss of forest are:
- To make more land available for housing and urbanization.
- To harvest timber to create commercial items, such as paper, furniture and homes.
- To create room for cattle ranching.
- To help produce highly prized consumer items, such as oil from palm trees.
Common methods of deforestation are burning trees and clear cutting. Clear cutting means most or all of the trees in the area are cut down and removed. These tactics leave the land completely barren and are a conservationist’s nightmare. Overall about half of the world’s tropical forests have been cleared.
Save our animals!
Every day 150-200 species become extinct every 24hrs. About half of these are natural (volcanoes or floods) however the other half is due to humans. We hunt animals, sometimes for a good reason, mostly out of selfishness. Sharks have their fins chopped off to make shark fin soup (a Chinese delicacy) and thrown back in the sea to die. Elephants and Rhinos are shot and killed for ivory (worth £700-£3566) by 2020, there are predictions that there will only be one species left of Rhino. Every fifteen minutes an Elephant is killed worldwide! There is only 3200 tigers left in the wild, they are harvested for their bones and made into clothes. Other animals are hunted for furs, medical values and illegally sold on the black market as pets. If the human race continues to destroy animals and their homes, we will wipe out the fauna system.
When we burn down forests, we are destroying many endangered species in an instant. One of these species is the Sloth. The sloth is a slow animal, so slow in fact that moss grows on their fur. When the forest is set on fire the Sloth is left, slowly making his way out, not fast enough to escape the blitzing fire. The main reason that deforestation is affecting our species is because we are burning down their habitats and vital food sources.
Another reason the Sloth is endangered, is the Sloth has to go to the toilet once a week after a month of digesting its meal (pretty slow bowel system). To do so, he has to climb all the way to the forest floor. Predators wait for this time, lurking in the shrubs waiting to take the gentle sloth as its supper. If the sloth can get through the traumatizing ordeal of pooping: it will find the way up the tree much lighter because it will have lost a whole third of its weight in one huge push! Why they don’t just stay in their beloved tree: nobody knows…
Sloths aren’t the only animal near extinction- the Amur Leopard is said to have around only 40 left in Eastern Russia. There are several factors contributing to the endangerment of the world’s rarest cat: including habitat destruction, human conflict, poaching and the fact there is no genetic variation.
The cause of variation destruction is mainly forest fires, logging and the land being manually destroyed for agricultural uses. Throughout 1970 to 1983, 80% of habitats were wrecked.
You’ve probably come up with a solution: ‘Breed the leopards!’ which is reasonable, but the lack of genetic diversity means the cubs are more likely to have health problems.
How is deforestation affecting indigenous people?
Deforestation is affecting forest tribes in many ways. Some tribes build their homes in trees and as the trees are being cut down, it is getting rid of vital building space. Most tribes hunt animals for food, for example, monkeys. As these monkeys’ habitats decline, they start to disappear. This means that there are not enough monkeys left for the tribes to hunt for food. The same incident is happening with many other animals. When companies start to build houses in the forest and use the space for urbanization, they often do this on the tribes land, taking over their home. Also, these tribes are not used to the outside world and are not immune to some of the consequences. For example, if a person from the outside world spreads an illness to a tribesman, their body might not be immune to the illness and they will become extremely unwell with it. To make matters worse, they would have no medicines or treatment to cure it.
There are things you can do to help stop this from happening. There are many charities that help fight this, they are full of wonderful people helping the world become a better place, such as the ‘WWF’. They provide adoption packs and cuddly toys for the children. This makes a great birthday/Christmas present for an animal lover!
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