Monday, February 16, 2009

Saving a Species From Extinction – Lessons from the Condor

No matter how proud we are of all we have achieved and how far we have come from the time early man walked this earth, we must rue and regret the advances we have made in technology and life in general when we consider the fact that it is these very advances that have contributed to the extinction of various natural species. We have plundered and destroyed their natural habitats, hunted them down for their meat, skin, plumage and other body parts or just for fun, and we have killed them by polluting their environments.

California condor was on the brink of extinction in the 1980s

The case of the California condor is quite interesting. After becoming nearly extinct in the 1980s (the number of birds in the wild was just 22), a concerted effort was made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to save this magnificent bird from extinction. The reasons why the condor, the largest flying bird in North America, was almost wiped off the face of this earth are:

 They were hunted for their feathers.
 The birds, being scavengers, eat the flesh of dead animals. And when these animals have fallen to the lead bullets of man, the birds contract lead poisoning when they eat the carcasses of the hunted animals.
 Their natural habitats are large – the birds fly nearly 200 miles a day in search of carrion. Man has played a large role in polluting and destroying the environment of the condor by cutting down trees and constructing buildings in their place.
 They are slow to reproduce.

But the wildlife enthusiasts are determined that this bird will survive, come what may. And the heartwarming story of Topatopa, the condor who was rescued from the wild and taught to breed in captivity, only proves to show that where there’s a will, there’s a way. He has fathered 21 chicks since 1993, a remarkable record when you consider that there were only 22 condors recorded in the wild when Topa was found.

We can all do our part in preventing the extinction of not just the condor, but other endangered species as well by:

 Not polluting water sources in the wild
 Not cutting down trees and destroying forests.
 Not hunting down endangered and protected species
 Not using lead as ammunition when on a hunting trip
 Not polluting the earth with toxic substances

It’s important that we wake up to the havoc that we are wreaking on the earth and the riches that Mother Nature has bestowed on her. Otherwise, we will only be leaving a depleted planet for our children and the future generations to live in.

This post was contributed by Holly McCarthy, who writes on the subject of organic coupons. She invites your feedback at hollymccarthy12 at gmail dot com.

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