Planet Earth is a giant, delicate Eco-system. It’s a lot easier than you would think to throw it off balance. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what humans have been doing for the last several hundred years.
While those same years have seen a huge leap in human achievement, there has also been a corresponding decline in nature. Now, species that are vital to human survival are at risk of collapse, and that is not good. Here are six of the most vital species that are under threat.
Honeybees are probably the most threatened species on this list. They play a huge role in our modern food production system by pollinating crops. Without that pollination, food production would drop precipitously.
Sadly, the last few decades have seen honeybee populations crater by up to 80 percent in some areas of the world. That’s a chilling fact brought on by wide spread bee disease and climate change. If a way to rebound the honeybee population is not found, the planet could face mass starvation.
Contrary to popular believe plankton is not a single species, but rather a large group of different animals. Plankton is roughly defined as any species that is too small to resist the current and swim on its own.
Plankton produce 50 percent of the world’s oxygen, but are under threat from pollution that is making the ocean more toxic. Just think of the consequences if suddenly oxygen production on Earth was reduced by half.
Butterflies help with pollination in much the same way that honeybees do. They are also very helpful to scientists conducting research on climate change. The species reacts faster to smaller changes in temperature and climate, which can provide invaluable data in close to real time.
Bats eat lots and lots of bugs. In fact they eat more insects than almost any animal on Earth. This is a fantastic public service as it means you have to worry less about spiders and mosquitoes. They’re a vital part of Earth’s Eco-system.
Sadly one in five species of bat are currently being pushed towards extinction because habitat destruction.
Fish can be considered to be climate change warriors (in addition to being delicious). Aside from being a vital part of the ocean food chain, new research suggests that fish can actually help lower ocean acidity.
Well not the fish exactly, but their excrement. However over-fishing is playing an increasingly serious role in the reduction of the fish population worldwide.
Fungi are probably the least threatened species on this list. Regardless, they hold a special place in the natural order. They are nature’s recyclers, meaning that they feed on dead things and turn them into nutrients for the environment.
However certain species of fungi are facing the same threats of climate change and habitat destruction that most of the other animals on this list are.
(Via: The Dodo)
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