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Hunted, Endangered and Extinct!
This story appears in the October 2018 issue of School LIVE.
We were all created to cohabit this planet, together. As much as this planet belongs to us, it belongs to them. But sadly, because of the greed of one species, many others face extreme consequences. We take a look at some of the animals who can no longer call this planet their home.

We all are familiar with the food cycle. Nature requires all the species to stay connected by a food web, and if even a single link from the chain goes missing, it will effect and influence many other species down the line. In recent times, due to the reckless and ignorant behavior of mankind, there has been a rise in the number of extinct species. We take a look at some of the marvels of nature that will no longer spotted on our planet.


WITHERED WILD CATS: All those who have seen "The Jungle Book" will clearly remember Sher Khan and Bagheera. Panthers, Lions, Leopards, Tigers and Cheetahs are all animals that belong to the cat family. These fast animals, however, weren't able to escape the atrocity of the humans.

One cat species to bite the dust was the Indian Cheetah, also known as the Asiatic Cheetah. Excessive deforestation and hunting of these creatures, lead to their extinction in the mid 20th century.

Another species of the cat family which is now extinct is the Bali Tiger. Found in the native island of Bali, these magnificent creatures were last sighted in 1937. For many years they co-existed with the humans, however, the European traders hunted them down for sports, and were responsible to a large extent for their extinction.


WINGED AND EXTINCT:  Birds of a feather flock together. Sadly ironic for these flocked birds with wings, to have flown into extinction.

The most recent bird to have gone extinct was the Spix's Macaw. The friendly bird Rio from the movie “Rio” is now a species that ceases to exist in the wild. Spix's Macaw was one of the 9 critically endangered, and now extinct species of island birds. The reason for their extinction -- massive deforestation and the illegal capturing and breeding of the birds.

The Carolina Parakeet, a native to America, were hunted for their beauty. These birds were hunted not for food, but for their colorful feathers which were used as accessories for women's hats. Eventually, these birds went extinct in the year 1939.

The bird that gave rise to the famous Woody WoodPecker cartoon series is another bird that we lost to extinction. The Ivory Billed Woodpecker lost to fast urbanization speed and habitat loss. The last bird of the species to be sighted was in 2004.


THE BEASTS OF THE PAST: The sequel of Harry Potter was "Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them". Little did we know that soon this question will be applicable for a lot of the wild animals, as well.

The Sumatran Rhinoceros is one such species of the wild that has gone extinct. These rhinos, smallest in size, were once found in India, Bhutan, Laos and China. In the year 2015, this species was declared extinct in the wild. The main reason for their extinction was excessive poaching.

Similarly in the year 2011, another type of the rhino was lost. The West African Black Rhino who once roamed the savannas of Africa, eventually went extinct. Their hunting was considered a sport, and eventually the increase in land accumulation lead to their territories being taken over by mankind.


SWIMMERS WHO SURRENDERED: They already are difficult to spot since they live in the deep waters. This doesn't change the fact that they were found only to go extinct.


One such animal to vanish from the ocean world was the Baiji Dolphins. Native to China, these animals who were once found in thousands, grew extinct with the blink of an eye. It was the first species from the dolphin family to go extinct in the year 2006. The major reason why this animal saw its end was the fast rate of  industrialization and habitat degradation.

With a thousand worries and concerns piling each day, why should a number of extinct or endangered species worry us? Many million years ago the dinosaurs went into the extinction, whose presence would have posed a threat to us. So, if extinction is a natural way of going about the food cycle, why is it necessary to try and protect the endangered species?

To put it simply, compared to the rate of extinction through the natural process of elimination, the rate of extinction caused by external factors is way faster. And surprise surprise! We humans are to be blamed for it. So imagine a world that is without the giant Mountain Gorillas or the famous Tusked Elephants! If we ignore the plight of these dying creatures, soon there will be no need to travel for the so called jungle safaris, to watch the nature at its marvellous best.  

There is a very thin line between those animals who are extinct, and those who are on the way to extinction.  Before we actually come to a time when every animal species joins this list, let us try and sustain an environment which is safe for all.


Besides these animals who are already lost to us, there are a bunch of other species who have been marked as critically endangered or nearing extinction by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and these animals may soon vanish as well.

·Cross River Gorilla     - critically endangered

·Hawksbill Turtle  - critically endangered

·Orangutan           - critically endangered

·Galapagos Penguin    - critically endangered

·Red Pandas               - critically endangered


When adolescents start caring, things move in the right direction.



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