In nature, something is constantly changing, and these changes can be both minor and global. Unstable climate, epidemics, environmental pollution, deforestation - all this adversely affects the animal world. All forms of life on Earth are closely interrelated and the disappearance of a particular species affects other species of the ecosystem. The fact that there are rare and endangered animals on our planet is mostly human's fault.
The intensified hunt at the end of the ice age led to the disappearance of the mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, cave bear and large-horned deer.
Much harm to the animal world has brought the invention of fire by man. The fires destroyed huge forest areas.
The negative influence of man on the animal world intensified with the development of agriculture and cattle breeding. The result of this is simply the disappeared animals and birds that have lost their habitat, as the steppes and savannas replaced the dense forests.
Caring for animals and plants has long been the task of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Other organizations are working on this. Rare and endangered animals (like plants) are listed in the Red Book. The country in whose territory the endangered species live is responsible to all of humanity for their conservation. At present, in reserves and reserves, conditions are created for the conservation of rare animals, where they are cared for, fed, protected from diseases and predators.
The special pages of the Red Book have the ominous title Black Book. It records which animals have disappeared forever from the face of the earth, starting in 1600. The black book is a warning for people and a reminder of those representatives of our world who cannot be returned. The book of the disappeared animals is constantly updated. On its pages for several hundred species. And this is a very sad statistic.
This article describes some of the animals that disappeared through the fault of man.
Tasmanian, or marsupial wolf
Homeland of this animal is mainland Australia and the island of New Guinea. For the first time, a marsupial wolf had to change its habitat after people had transported dingo dogs to the island. The marsupial wolf that they had squeezed out was on the island of Tasmania, where local farmers began to mercilessly exterminate him, trying to protect the sheep.
The last representative of the species was killed in 1930. The date of its final disappearance is considered to be 1936, when the last Tasmanian wolf died of old age in an Australian zoo.
It is believed that Siberia is the birthplace of this animal, and later it spread throughout Europe and North America. Mammoth was not as huge as is commonly believed. In size it was a bit bigger than the modern elephant.
These animals, which disappeared through the fault of man (presumably), lived in groups. They moved from place to place in search of food, which required a considerable amount of them. The group of mammoths was headed by a female.
The complete disappearance of this type of animal occurred approximately ten thousand years ago. Modern researchers are inclined to believe that people were the main cause of the extinction of mammoths, although there are many other theories (climate change, epidemics, etc.).
Mauritius dodo (dodo)
This bird has long been considered mythical, not existing in nature.
And only after a specially organized expedition to Mauritius discovered the remains of a dodo, the existence of the species was officially recognized. In addition, it was proved that it was the people who destroyed these birds.
The Dutch sailors who discovered it in 1598 became a threat to the existence of the dodo bird. The Mauritius drone completely disappeared, presumably in 1681. Travelers contributed to this, as well as animals brought by colonists to Mauritius.
The expedition of Vitus Bering discovered this animal in 1741. Doctor Georg Steller is the author of the most detailed description of the sea (Steller's) cow. Actually, a new species was named after him.
The animal living on the coast of the Commander Islands, was of enormous size and was inactive. The lack of fear of people and tasty meat was the reason for its complete destruction only thirty years after the discovery.
Meat and fat were used for food, boats were made from hides. The process of catching and killing a sea cow was often very cruel: the animal was thrown with spears and allowed to swim in the hope that the body of the dead cow would carry it to the shore.
The species was completely exterminated in 1768.
By the beginning of the nineteenth century, these birds were the most common on Earth, but despite this, they could not survive.
The pigeons whose residence was the territory of the modern USA and Canada were actively hunted by colonists who had arrived in America.
The number of birds gradually decreased until about 1870, then there was a sharp decrease in their number. The last representative of the species was found in the wild in 1900.
The year when this species completely disappeared from the face of the earth is considered to be 1914, when the bird, named Martha, died in one of the zoos.
North African Cow Antelope
An animal from the subfamily of large antelope living in Africa disappeared from the map of the earth in the middle of the twentieth century.
Due to the fact that these animals were actively hunted, the last representatives of this species could be found only in places of the African continent that were very difficult to reach for humans. In 1954, the animals became extinct.
In the nineteenth century, this tiger could be found on the territory of the island of Java. The animal constantly annoyed the locals, which, perhaps, was the reason for the active hunting on it.
By 1950, about 25 tigers remained in Java, and half of them lived in a specially created reserve. Unfortunately, this did not help to save the population - in 1970 only seven tigers remained.
In the same year, the animal disappeared completely from the face of the earth. Although there are still occasional reports that the Javanese tiger was again found on the island. But there is no documentary evidence of these cases.
The story of the destruction of this animal is very unusual. Local residents exterminated the Zanzibar leopard purposefully, going on a hunt for the whole village. And not meat and animal skin attracted people. It was believed that this leopard is associated with witches who are engaged in breeding and training representatives of the species, and later use them as assistants in their dark deeds.
The extermination of leopards began in 1960. These animals disappeared completely thirty years later.
It is one of four species of Spanish wild goats. The animal did not survive to this day, and the death of the last representative was extremely ridiculous - a tree fell on the animal and crushed it.
2000 is considered the year of complete extinction. Scientists tried to clone the Iberian Capricorn, but the young could not be saved, as it had many birth defects.
Western black rhino
Just a few years ago, the animal was declared extinct. The reason for this was the regular hunting in its habitat, which is Cameroon. These animals, which disappeared through the fault of man, had very valuable horns that were used in many recipes of Chinese medicine.
The search for surviving rhinos began in 2006, but brought no results. Therefore, the view declared extinct. In addition, other rhinos are on the verge of extinction.
2011 is considered the year of complete extinction of the species.
This article presents only some of the animals that disappeared through the fault of man. Over the past five hundred years, more than 844 species have been exterminated.
Why do animals die?
The disappearance of old species and the emergence of new ones is a completely natural process on Earth. For hundreds of thousands of years, extinction has occurred for various reasons, and not so long ago people were added to these reasons. But first things first.
All previous periods of extinction were associated with climate change, the movement of tectonic plates, volcanic activity, collision with celestial bodies, etc. The current (rapidly growing) animal extinction began about 100,000 years ago. - just in the period of human settlement on Earth. Our distant ancestors unconsciously invaded ecosystems and destroyed ecological balance, hunting, destroying habitats and spreading diseases.
But further more, about 10,000 years ago we mastered agriculture and began to lead a sedentary lifestyle. By creating his settlements, a person changed the local ecosystem for himself, which in the whole of history no other species allowed himself. Because of this, some animals simply died, others moved to new territories and, again, supplanted the species there.
Be sure to check out dinosaur extinction versions
For our own needs, we had to deal with deforestation, plow the land, drain the swamps, create reservoirs - all this drastically changed the habitat habitual for living organisms. Animals lost their habitat, where they got food and multiplied.
Habitats habitat animals become unsuitable largely due to pollution of the natural environment. Pesticides, oil, phenols, metals, toxic and nuclear waste - all this contaminates the atmosphere, soil, oceans and, of course, has a negative impact on all the inhabitants of the Earth.
All living things are interrelated and the extinction of animals of one species often provokes other extinctions. This phenomenon is called "Cumulative effect".
Example. In Malaysia, they decided to radically eliminate malaria mosquitoes by resorting to the use of DDT pesticide. Mosquitoes are down - malaria is not scary! But there were also cockroaches that were not exposed to DDT. Cockroaches were eaten by lizards, which the pesticide weakened. So lizards became easy prey for cats, which became the cause of the death of the latter. As a result, in that region, the number of rats - carriers of diseases has sharply increased to match the level of malaria.
Today we use the animal world not only as a source of food, but also for the extraction of raw materials and many needs that are not vital.
For the production of medicines, perfumes, cosmetics and some industrial products you need raw materials, namely, animal raw materials. Officially, these needs do not go to endangered animals, but the law is not written to poachers.
Poaching and animal smuggling are incredibly developed in all countries and cause irreparable damage to nature. Here you knew that animal and plant smuggling can be compared with weapons and drugs smuggling? And, of course, we are not always talking about illegal trafficking of rare animals in a living form, and often about their valuable parts: bone, fur, etc.
A striking example of extinction due to excessive prey is the Dodo bird, which we will talk about later.
Influence of the universe of species
There is such a thing "introduction" - This is a deliberate and unintentional migration of various animal species by humans outside their habitat. In other words, because of man, new species began to appear where they were not there before and should not be. At the same time, introduced species, having no natural enemies in the new territory, begin to multiply and force out the local inhabitants.
A classic example is the introduction of rabbits to Australia. They brought them there from England for sport hunting. The local climate fell to the rabbits to their liking, and the local predators were not sufficiently agile to hunt them. Therefore, eared quickly multiplied and began to destroy the whole pasture. Foxes were brought to Australia for their extermination, but they began to hunt for local marsupials, which only aggravated the situation. With a grief in half with the help of a special virus from rabbits managed to get rid of.
These flightless birds lived on the Mascarene Islands and Mauritius. But the active colonization of these territories in the 17th century caused their imminent extinction. People are not only immensely hunted Dronts, but also brought some predators (rats, cats, dogs), which also contributed.
The name "Dodo" (from Portuguese - "stupid"), these birds received from sailors. The fact is that in their habitat they had no enemies and were gullible towards people. They didn’t need to hunt the Dronts - they just came up to them and beat them on the head with a stick. Yes and hiding from the danger of these birds was difficult, because they could neither fly, nor swim, nor run fast.
The coat of arms of Mauritius depicts the Dront
The largest representative of one of the subspecies of these birds reached 3.5 meters and weighed about 250 kg. They had no wings. Until the 16th century, they lived in New Zealand until they were completely exterminated by the natives.
This species was the only one of the parrots that lived in North America. But it turned out to be unimportant and Karolinsky parrot was exterminatedbecause harmed fields and fruit trees. Last seen in the 1920s.
Another example is when unable to hide creatures simply died from the human onslaught. They flew badly, and maybe they did not know how. therefore hunting they were not difficult. Over 100 years after detection, the species completely disappeared.
The last representative of this species died in 1936. It was the largest marsupial carnivore, living mainly on the island of Tasmania. Destroyed by man because damage to agriculture.
By the way, the Tasmanian tiger was attempted to be cloned using DNA of puppies of alcohol. But the project failed, because DNA failed to extract.
The only place where these tigers lived was the island of Bali. With the advent of firearms there, local cats began to have an interest in these cats. hunters, and for 25 years destroyed all kind.
Cameroon Black Rhino
At one time, representatives of this subspecies of rhino were distributed almost throughout Africa, but through the efforts of poachers by the early 2000s, only a few individuals remained. In 2011, the last representative of this species did not become.
By the way, a number of scientists claim that about half of the currently existing species will disappear in 100 years.
Abingdon ivory turtle
In 2012, Lone George died - the last representative of this species. These huge land turtles were inhabitants of the Galopogosky islands. Many of them lived to be 200 years old. Unfortunately, these turtles ruined the neighborhood with people. Delicious meat and chic shell - well, what a hunter will resist this? It would seem that the ban on hunting was introduced in a timely manner, but poachers do not care about laws ...
This unusual animal, resembling a hybrid of zebra and horse, was common in South Africa. They were gullible and friendly, so taming the quagga was easy. They were exterminated because of the delicious meat and valuable skins. The last representative of the species died in 1883.
Mexican Grizzly Bear
It was declared extinct in 1964. He lived in North America until it was completely exterminated by local farmersbecause attacked livestock.
Be sure to watch the video, which tells more about some of the extinct animals caused by our fault:
Animals threatened with extinction
Marsupial animals living in the eucalyptus forests of Australia. Actually on the crown of these koalas and spend most of their lives. In the 18-19 centuries they began to kill because of the valuable thick fur. Millions of skins were exported per year. Fortunately, the Australian government at the time stopped this madness, first limiting and then completely banning the koala hunt.
Today, the population of these "cubs" is gradually recovering, but the risk of extinction of the entire species is still there. The reason for this are forest fires, deforestation and disease.
Ivory is very much appreciated all over the world, and poachers, of course, know about it. They do their best, despite international prohibitions.
Annually the population of elephants is reduced by 30 thousand individuals. And for what? For the production of jewelry and other useless gizmos ?!
A few centuries ago, cheetahs were common in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Today it is a representative of purely African fauna. In this case, isolated individuals are found mainly in protected areas. Local farmers see in them only pests that prey on livestock. Yes and poachers interested in mining cheetah.
Today in the world there are no more than 12 thousand individuals, while 100 years ago there were about 100,000 (!).
This species of antelope, which is found on the grassy plains between Kenya and Somalia, suffers greatly from diseases, predators and, of course, man. Мы постепенно уничтожаем среду обитания этих животных, ведём на них охоту и лишаем их пищи, выпасая стада домашнего скота.
Today численность хирол не превышает 1000 особей. При этом они не содержатся в зоопарках и не помещаются в заповедники.
В природе эти обезьяны являются ближайшими родственниками человека. Но это не мешает нам вырубать леса, где они обитают, и keep a constant hunt for them.
Today, the orangutan range is limited to Borneo and Sumatra. Their total number is about 70 thousand, which is several times less than in the middle of the last century.
The orangutan is the smartest creature on earth after a human being, and in 10 years it can completely disappear if the extinction rate continues.
Outwardly, this animal resembles a big fluffy cat. True to his character, he is quite ferocious and it is very difficult to tame manul. On the verge of extinction, he is due to his valuable fur.
Komodsky monitor lizard
Today it is the largest lizard in the world. Some representatives of the species reach 2 meters in length.
Their disappearance is connected with tourism, the settlement of territories and the destruction of their usual food.
These marine animals are found near the northern shores of the Pacific Ocean. In the 18-19 centuries, ryan began to massively exterminated due to valuable fur. Fortunately, the chaos was stopped by international efforts, and hunting for them was almost universally prohibited.
Today, the population of sea otters is 88 thousand. However, its growth is not observed. The reason for this is a number of environmental problems associated with ocean pollution.
It is the largest land predator. In total, there are about 25 thousand of them on the planet. The last decades, despite the attacks of poachers, the polar bear population was relatively stable.
However, scientists are sounding the alarm, predicting the complete extinction of this species between 2050 and 2100 years. The reason is global warming, because of which the Arctic glaciers are gradually melting. And without them, polar bears cannot fully hunt.
By the way, the polar bear is the only predator that hunts down and preys on humans, like ordinary prey.
What is being done to protect animals from extinction
First of all, hunting for certain species is regulated by law, both at the international and at the state level. We act as such a document Federal Law "On Animal World".
To account for endangered animals, the Red Book is used. It is in every country and also has an international version.
It should be mentioned that, depending on the risk of extinction, one species or another may wear different security statusproposed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN):
- Extinct. These include completely extinct species (EX) and those that are no longer found in the wild - only in captivity (EW).
- Threatened with extinction. This category includes animals that after several generations can completely disappear from the wild (CR), endangered (EN) and vulnerable species (VU).
- Small risk. Such are the species dependent on conservation efforts (CD), close to the vulnerable position (NT) and those that are the least threatened (LC).
Animals with status "Disappeared in the Wild" (EW) are one example of a person trying to conserve endangered species. Such animals can be found only in an artificially created environment, which are various zoological institutions. Unfortunately, a cross has already been put up on several such species, since their representatives cannot give birth to offspring and simply live out their last days.
Nature reserves and reserves are one of the most effective ways to preserve endangered animals. In our country, there are about 150 reserves. Hunting, cutting down of trees, and sometimes human presence is prohibited in such areas.
In addition, there are such animals, the threat of extinction of which is simply not evaluated for one reason or another. All these criteria are applied in the IUCN Red List.
A species is officially considered extinct when its last representative dies out. There is a concept functional extinction - all remaining individuals can no longer reproduce, for example, due to age or state of health.
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It was once spread throughout North America, today it is the rarest species of birds. Their number does not exceed 150 individuals.
Condor was a prestigious booty for hunters. So much so that in 1987 there were only 27 representatives of this species. Fortunately, they managed to be placed in reserves, where they began to multiply rapidly.
The rarest species of wolves. They lived in the southeastern United States. They were exterminated mainly by farmersdissatisfied with the fact that the red wolves attacked livestock and birds.
At the time of 1967, 14 representatives of the species remained in the world. They were placed in bondage, and today the number of red wolves is 100 individuals.
Back in the 17th century, saigas were one of the most common species of Eurasia, but because of humans, their range narrowed down to relatively small steppe regions of the Southern Volga region, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Mongolia.
because of unsupervised hunting saigas almost extinct by the early 19th century. But thanks to the timely protective measures, the population was able to recover and the permit for their hunting reappeared. Their numbers again sharply reduced to a critical state.
Today in the world there are about 50 thousand saigas. The complex of measures to preserve the species includes the strict suppression of poaching and the preservation of the protected area.
The reason for the decline in the number of pandas was mainly the destruction of their habitat, when China's forests were cut down for human settlements and arable land.
Today, the areas inhabited by the panda, under strict control and are protected areas. Poaching is punishable by death. However, despite good habitat conditions, the panda population recovers slowly. Today there are about 500 individuals.
The reasons for its decline are poaching, destruction of natural habitats and undermining the food supply.
Today, about 550 Amur tigers live in the protected areas of the Khabarovsk and Primorye Territories. They are planned to be resettled in the places where they were exterminated - this will significantly increase the population.
These animals do not exceed the size of an ordinary cat. They were well spread on the islands near California, until in the early 90s all eagles were exterminated there. For foxes, these birds were not dangerous, and hunted only for fish. Place eagles soon took golden eagleswho were no longer shy about hunting foxes, and quickly destroyed almost the entire population.
The remaining foxes were raised in captivity until the problem with the golden eagles was resolved. Today the population is restored and is 3 thousand individuals.
This is the last representative of wild bulls in Europe. In the wild it hunters completely destroyed. Fortunately, these animals were still kept in many zoos.
Thanks to the efforts of scientists today, bison returned to the wild. Their total number is close to 4 thousand individuals.
Despite all the efforts of nature conservationists, almost a third of biological species are under threat of extinction. In many ways, this happened because we later realized it. Official bans today are ignored by poachers, who for the sake of profit without hesitation will kill the last elephant or tiger. A lot of the blame lies on the end consumers of the “goods” supplied by poachers who, to the point of madness, want to have the skulls of rare animals, wear fur coats of valuable fur, or rub their “healing” fats into their skin.