When I search for information to include in my posts about birds and wildlife I often see this phrase “species in decline due to habitat destruction or fragmentation” or something similar and the frequency of seeing that phrase is most likely to become higher. Seeing the words “species in decline” causes me great concern. But we don’t have just “declining species” to be concerned about we also have climate change, excess use of chemicals in our environment being used to control pests and government agencies that should be looking out for wildlife that aren’t.
I haven’t yet read “Song of the Dodo” by David Quammen but I have read the first paragraph of the first chapter and I wanted to share a brief excerpt that connects to the quote in my Burrowing Owl image.
“Let’s start indoors. Let’s start by imagining a fine Persian carpet and a hunting knife. The carpet is twelve by eighteen, say. That gives us 216 square feet of continuous woven material.
Is the knife razor-sharp? If not, we hone it. We set about cutting the carpet into thirty-six equal pieces, each one a rectangle, two feet by three. Never mind the hardwood floor.
The severing fibers release small squeaky noises, like the muted yelps of outraged Persian weavers. Never mind the weavers.
When we’re finished cutting, we measure the individual pieces, total them up—and find that, lo, there’s still nearly 216 square feet of recognizable carpet-like stuff. But what does it amount to? Have we got thirty-six nice Persian throw rugs? No. All we’re left with is three dozen ragged fragments, each one worthless and commencing to come apart…”
I winced when I read those words because I could visualize the habitats that birds and wildlife need to exist unraveling. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I read about it on an almost daily basis.
I recently also read the final 2014 State of the Birds Report and it dawned on me that many of the 230 species on the State of the Birds Watch List of birds that are presently endangered or at risk of becoming endangered list have habitat destruction or fragmentation in common.
The same could be said of other animal species whose habitat has been chopped up leaving them with only fragments of their historical ranges to exist in. We have put them at risk.
It is not all doom and gloom though because many organizations are taking up the conservation cause and making progress with some species by bringing attention to them, educating the general public and taking action. I’ll list a few that are species specific:
There are many more organizations that are working hard to prevent the extinction of birds and animals. They are often met with resistance but their determination propels them forward.
We can all make a difference. We can work on the tapestry of ecology. We can speak for those who can not speak. We can educate. We can take action. One day, one step at a time.
More to come on this topic soon.