Recently spotted in Indonesia, the Javan rhino is perhaps the most endangered mammal on Earth. The Javan rhino is much rarer than the closely-related Indian rhinoceros, with only 40 known that are alive. Many endangered species are threatened by poaching, illness, and disastrous weather – our actions are speeding up the rate at which species become extinct to a point beyond our planet’s ability to recover.
At a certain point, a species’ fate is permanent, even if human aid is given. When the animals are too far away from one another or are too genetically weakened, even the tiniest weather problems can cause extinction: an unanticipated blizzard, a fleeting thunderstorm, or a heat spell.
During the 1900s, climate change, habitat degradation, the introduction of invasive species, and excessive exploitation all grew exponentially, and the rate of extinction grew too. Today, this rate is enormous – and the International Union for Conservation of Nature believes it to be “1000 to 100000 higher than it would naturally be.” At the rate the Earth is going at now, half of all species of both animals and plants could be extinct by the 22nd century.
However, the growing rate of extinction will come to affect us humans too. Animals and plants are an important part of life and we owe everything to them: fresh air, food, our clothes, homes, books, laptops, and medicines. Our future depends on these species. The end of HIV/AIDS. Perpetual life. Death.
To promote the recovery of endangered species you can support trustworthy organizations like the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They assist the reproduction of endangered species, promote the banning of poaching, and artificially pollinate plants. They try to make up for the faults that the human race has made, but they cannot do this alone. Awareness about endangered species must spread. Humans must realize that what they do – even in everyday life – can affect animals and plants globally, and that, should this problem continue, it will ultimately lead back to us.
These recent videos of Javan rhinoceros parents and calves provide some hope for the species’ future:
Just remember: you can make a difference too.