More Species Becoming Endangered

Threatened Swallow Tailed Kite, photo from

Jessica Townsend, Editor

On a recent trip to Bulls Island, about five swallow-tailed kites flew above my tour group. The guide eagerly pointed out these fascinating birds, and told us that that was more of their kind than he used to see in a whole year. Swallows used to span across twenty-one states in the U.S., but due to habitat loss from “agriculture, urban development, logging, and other landscape-altering factors,” they became endangered. Thankfully, their risk has been lowered to “threatened” (allaboutbirds).

These special birds are just one of 41,405 species threatened in 2019. A whopping 16,306 of these are on the brink of extinction. Species at risk include “one in four mammals, one in eight birds, one-third of all amphibians and 70% of the world’s assessed plants” (endangeredearth). In the past 500 years alone, humans have caused 800 species to go extinct.

Scientists claim we are going through “the worst spate of species die-offs since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.” When left to nature’s course, about one to five species die out each year; today, organisms are dying at 1,000-10,000 times this rate (biologicaldiversity). Habitat loss and global warming are the leading causes of their extinction. In the food cycle, if one plant or animal dies out, it causes a snowball effect of new creatures struggling to survive.

So how can we stop this? There are simple ways to help the environment, such as saving water, recycling, and avoiding plastic products. We can also use alternatives to harmful pesticides that kill amphibians and the predators that eat them. Growing plants native to your area can save local species, too. Most importantly, we can spread the word. Demanding our state/country’s leaders to put more time and money into conservation efforts could drastically affect the survival rate of these plants and animals.

Endangered Species Day is May 17. Events are organized all over the country to help conservation efforts in America. This organization accepts donations, assistance in campaigns, and offers education programs (endangered). Honor your Earth and help us protect her.