most famous rare animals is the panda. Twenty years ago it was nearly
extinct. Now, its numbers are growing again. It's even become a symbol for
wildlife conservation. But many other species have been less lucky than
the panda. Sonic are already extinct. Today, many more are in serious
danger. This is because man hunts them destroys and pollutes their
There is a serious
habitat problem because :
This is what's
happening in the rainforests of South America, Africa and Asia. These are
some of the world's oldest habitats. Or they were. Man is destroying an
area of rainforest as big as Switzerland every year.
pollution or destruction, habitats take many years (sometimes hundreds or
even thousands) to grow again.
- Pollution and destruction change the balance of nature. Each species
in a habitat (for example, wood, jungle, marsh or forest) needs and helps
the rest. If one animal, bird or insect disappears, all the others suffer,
But the problem
doesn't stop there. Habitats and animals are disappearing in Europe, too.
Since 1947 in Britain, for example...
oft he woods have disappeared.
- 50% of
the marshes have disappeared.
- 95% of
the meadows have disappeared.
And what has taken
the place of these green, natural places? Houses farms, cities, streets,
roads and factories. Because of this (and pollution, too) several British
species are dying. In fact scientists believe that 30 British animals,
fish and birds may become extinct by the year 2000.
The solution :
There is only one way to save wild animals and wild habitats-conservation.
If this doesn't
happen, many wild animals will soon have just one habitat, the zoo.
- protecting animals in danger by law
- opening more national parks
- building fewer new roads
- planting more new forests
- cutting pollution
Man has always
been a hunter. He still is. But many modern hunters don't just kill for
food - they kill for profit. That's why so many rare and protected animals
are still dying. Hunters like these are called poachers. In 1981 there
were 15,000 black rhinos in Africa. Today, because of illegal hunting,
that number is 4,500.
In the 1970s there
were 1.3 million African elephants. Today, because of poaching, there are
under 85,000.In the I940s, 90% of skins and furs came from wild animals.
Today that number is 15%. That's because most modern skins come from fur
Fur Farm Facts:
But what about the
other 15% of furs? Well -these still come from wild animals. Hunters catch
most oh them in traps. These are made of metal and are very sharp. Most
animals caught in traps die very slowly.
are more than 2,000 in Scandinavia and 340 in Russia.
don't keep rare or protected animals.
farmers kill and sell over 34 million mink every year.
- Animals in fur farms live in good conditions and die without pain (the
farmers give them an injection).
The USA traps over
20 million animals every year. The most popular furs are... mink, sable,
fox, squirrel and lynx. These rare animals are all in danger because
hunters kill them for their fur... snow leopard, jaguar, ocelot, indian
tiger cat, lynx.
The solution : The
fur trade argument.
the fur trade.
wrong to keep wild animals in cages.
wrong to kill animals for fashion and profit.
wrong to kill wild animals in traps.
wrong to sell the fur of rare, protected species.