The animals of the Amazon are going extinct!
By Maria Angella Fortich Fraija
It is no secret to anyone that excessive deforestation and lack of discipline on the part of the Government in applying environmental laws have done great damage to the world's green lung.
The Amazon has the largest part of tropical forest on the planet and it is all thanks to its river ; This has its source in the Arequipa region , crosses Colombia ending in Brazil, and is the largest and longest in the world with 7,062 km in length. This surface area alone is home to about a fifth of the fresh water on planet Earth and an endless number of species.
The causes of this crisis
The causes of the loss of different species are thanks to the carelessness of man and his greed. Brazil is one of the countries with the largest territory of the Amazon rainforest and thanks to its economic measures it promotes deforestation and forest degradation in this area.
With each passing year you can see how part of the forest that took years to grow is being lost and in this you can see the large amounts of greenhouse gases that are generated by carrying out these economic activities. Some studies have shown that in 1970 the territory that has been lost in this area of the world has been larger than the size of the country of France .
The industrial logging that takes place in the Amazon is illegal in most cases, this activity is done mainly to expand the agricultural frontier for soybean cultivation and the creation of land for pastures for livestock and other things for the agricultural sector. All of the above opens the way to subsequent destruction with the use of fire, which becomes even more dangerous because it cannot be controlled. That is when the direct threat to the animals and species that live in this habitat arises.
The Brazilian biologist, Juliana Diana , recently pointed out in one of her studies that threatened species face an environmental imbalance, hunting and predatory fishing, soil, air and water pollution; climatic alterations, animal trafficking and the loss or fragmentation of their habitats.
Photo taken from nationalgeographic.es
Endangered Animals in the Amazon
The fauna of the Amazon is one of the most biodiverse in the world, we can find approximately 643 species, 326 in birds, 185 in fish, 67 in mammals, 37 are amphibians and 28 in reptiles . However, for all the problems mentioned above, these are some of the species that are in danger of extinction in this area.
The pink dolphin : it is the largest river dolphin found so far. Its diet is based on fish and it is not a dolphin that swims deep. This species of dolphin is hunted a lot and the damage to its habitat is very high, which makes it increasingly difficult for it to migrate to a better home.
The giant otter : it is a carnivorous mammal that feeds on fish and its habits are more terrestrial than amphibious. The biggest threat to this species is poaching and its trade on the black market.
The Caribbean manatee : it is a herbivorous being, it feeds mainly on marine plants. The reproduction rate of this animal is very low, which complicates the issue of reproduction of its species, especially when they are one of the main baits of the hunt.
The wonderful hummingbird : it is one of the bird species that stands out in its beauty. It is seriously endangered due to its small population, restricted geographic range , and loss of habitat. The forests in which it lives are constantly deforested, which limits its area to two km².
The red huapo : it is in danger of extinction due to poaching, it is used as food or bait and the timber industry is destroying its home.
Titicaca frog : it is an aquatic frog; Its coloration is olive green with a peach and black belly. Lately, it is rare to see it due to the drought in certain areas of the river.
photo taken from Pinterest
Bears are one of the most precious animals on planet earth, but they are also a highly endangered species because of their fur and some of their limbs. That is why February 21 was established as the international day for the protection of the world's bears and is celebrated with the hashtag #PutTheSunglassesForLife . Some of the most endangered bear species are…
The polar bear: it is vulnerable to extinction. Factors that contribute to their vulnerability are climate change, pollution, poaching , and disturbances in their habitat.
The Tibetan bear – inhabits forests in Asia, from Iran to China. The causes that endanger it are run overs on routes and roads, agriculture and aquaculture. In some parts of the world it is already considered extinct due to the fact that some Chinese medicinal practices demand limbs from its body.
The Iberian brown bear: the main threats to which it is exposed are deforestation, changes in land use and diseases transmitted by the livestock industry.
The lipped bear – is a bear found in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. A few years ago it was also found in Bangladesh, but in this one it is already extinct. It is exploited in human and veterinary medicine, and many housing estates have been built in its habitat, which is why it is vulnerable to extinction.
The spectacled bear : this is the only bear species in South America. The number of bears of this species is in decline in the wild . Its greatest threat is climate change, road accidents and deforestation.
photo taken from https://www.ecologiaverde.com
Animals you didn't know exist only in the Amazon
- The sloth bear : it is an endemic species of the Amazon and rarely descends the branches of the trees in which it likes to rest.
- The golden lion tamarin or better known as the lion tamarin monkey : this monkey feeds on fruits, insects and small reptiles. Its appearance is striking and it can reach about 40 cm high and weigh up to 700 grams.
- The Spider Monkey – This monkey has a unique appearance and feeds similar to the marmoset. This can become much larger since it can reach two meters in length without counting its tail.
- The Electric Eel – It may be called an eel in its name, but in real life it is a fish endemic to the Amazon River. This species can emit electrical discharges of up to 600 volts thanks to its specialized cells.
- The bullet ant : it is said that this arachnid has one of the most painful bites in the world, for this reason you should not underestimate its size of only 25 millimeters because it does justice to its name since the pain of its bite is compare to the pain of receiving a bullet.
- Poison dart frog : the color of this species is beautiful, but do not confuse it with how dangerous it can be. Its venom can take someone's life in a couple of seconds. Its name comes from the natives because they used its poison as a weapon, they spread it on darts and shot.
- The green anaconda : it is the second longest of its species and the heaviest.
- The black caiman: this predator is the largest in the waters of the Amazon River, it can feed on piranhas even on humans.
- The glass frog : it is a frog with a unique and very curious skin, it has almost all of its skin translucent.
- Jesus Christ Lizard : It is one of the fastest animals on planet Earth, it runs so fast that it can run on water.
photo taken from univision.com
How to help animals in danger of extinction and/or in areas with an environmental crisis
The measures that are being promoted at this time to help animals and stop the problem to promote the defense of the environment. The zero deforestation law helps to improve the legislation on imports of wood, livestock and illegal agriculture.
You can help from each individual by analyzing the consumption of each one; such as avoiding products that need this type of natural resources and/or organizations that promote this type of behavior. On the other hand, all NGOs dedicated to the protection of these animals and areas should be sought out and supported. Also, as a tourist you can opt for a more sustainable tourism and activities that do not affect the environment.
To improve this situation, all human beings must become selective consumers asking us what material our furniture is made of, if it comes from the Amazon, if its production was sustainable, etc. Many of these threatened species live in the green lungs of the world and the prosperity of wildlife must be increased. One of these initiatives would be verifying that the products that are consumed have the FSC® label .
One of the latest initiatives is the reduction of the use of fossil fuels and the impact they have on planet Earth; the less consumption of these fossils decreases, the less will be the climate impact on the Amazon. You should start using more renewable energy and try to disconnect electrical appliances when they are not being used.
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