Major Causes of Extinction

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Major Causes of Extinction

Hotspots are areas that have rich diversity of species, but many species have become critically endangered because of devastating human activities. The loss of biodiversity in many hotspots was mainly because of habitat loss and fragmentation which in turn have occurred due to pollution, overexploitation of resources, deforestation, increased human population, and introduction of exotic species (Background paper on Himalayan ecology, 2010). For Himalaya, deforestation is one of the main causes of extinction. People living in Himalaya convert the forest into an agricultural land and overuse the timber, fodder, and fuel wood (WWF, 2011a). Moreover, the production of charcoal and over-grazing is considered to be causes of extinction in Himalaya (WWF, 2011a).Many Himalayans depend on farm animals for their living but do not have enough food for them; as a result, large numbers of grazers are found in the forests destroying the future of the forest (WWF, 2011a). In addition, WWF (2011a) claimed that poaching and illegal trade in wildlife is one of the main causes of extinction to the endemic species in the region. Because of high commercial value, some critically endangered species such as tiger and rhino are poached. Other species like deer are poached for their meat (WWF, 2011a). Similarly, fish poaching is considered to be a threat on the biodiversity because the poachers contaminate the river when they use nets and poison to get the fish (WWF, 2011a). Generally, according to Background paper on Himalayan ecology (2010), “Habitat destruction and fragmentation has resulted in the vulnerability of species to inbreeding depression and high infant mortality.” Besides, the creation of some infrastructure, suc...

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... habitats; thus, these more efforts should be made to expand conservation areas in a way that helps to protect the biodiversity for a long time (Conservation International, 2007). In addition, many other projects implemented by the British Aid Agency aims to decrease poverty and increase awareness about natural resources and this will result in biodiversity conservation (Conservation International, 2007). Other projects aim to protect specific species, such as the horned rhinos in India. The Indian Rhino Vision 2020 helped in protecting the species that were on the brink of extinction in 1905 (WWF, 2011c). By protecting the rhinos, the number has increased to over 1,700 individuals today. However, the populations of rhinos live in just one national park, so it might get exposed to disease outbreaks and poaching that could destroy the whole population (WWF, 2011c).

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