December 16, 2005 @ 4:53 pm by sean
I’ve to keep learning if this place is going to stay bearable.
In the September 2005 Smithsonian magazine they featured 10 endangered species that are making strong progress off the list.
Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle: became endangered because of use their skin for handbags, and to eat as a delicacy.
Bald Eagle: Endangered from hunting, land clearings, and accidental poisonings of ranchers setting out poisonous meat for wolves and other predators. DDT use beginning in 1945 almost caused extinction.
Palila (Hawaiian bird): as with other animals on Hawaii, population threatened by forests cleared for agriculture, invasive species such as rats and misquitos that came along with Polynesians and Europeans respectively. Europeans introduced sheep, pigs, cats, and cattle that compacted soils, at the Palila’s main food source, the mamane trees, and ranchers cleared forests for pastures. Mongooses were introduced to kill rats, but since rats come out at night, the mongooses killed birds instead.
Southern Sea Otter: Almost wiped out from fur trade, oil spills, being killed deliberately by commercial fisherman because the otters competed for the same fish, and from commercial gill net fishing where a net is dropped and anything in its wake is caught.
Whooping Crane: Devestated by hunters, wetlands loss, and fashion (their plumes were put on ladies hats) left only 21 birds total in 1941.
Red-cockaded Woodpecker: “After it was listed as endangered in 1970, some private landowners from the Carolinas to Mississippi deliberately cut longleaf pine trees (where the bird matures) to prevent the bird from squatting on their land.” Property owners oppposed species conservation because of concerns that they’ll have to restrist commercial activity to save an endangered species.
California Winter Run Chinook Salmon: Dam after dam after dam prevented them from spawning.
Karner Blue Butterfly: Agriculture and development destroyed its prime habitats, its numbers declined across is range from 12 Eastern and Midwestern states, and Ontario, by 99% or more.
Chiricahua Leapard Frog: Invasive species have altered the desert habitat, fungal disease, and rancghing and the Sun Belt population boom have diverted water, desrupted river and stream habits, and destroyed seasonal watering holes.
Grizzly Bear: Hunting and development brought population down to 150 bears in the lower 48 states in 1970’s.
It seems quite obvious that the main cause of the endangering (endangerment?) of all these species was a result of people, and most often capitalistic guided people. Ironically, many businesses and the government have paid millions and millions of dollars, sometimes just on one species, to undo the damage they caused trying to make money.
This is why science gives me so much hope for the world. Most of the stories of the restoration of these animals was on the side of science, with the occasional help of the government, and even rarer, the help of businesses. There is more hope to be found in one Smithsonian, or Discover, or Scientific American, or Popular Science for making honest, real, benificial changes to the world than in any one sermon, product, Christianity Today, law, government mandate, or christian self-help book.