Save the Species, Save the World

Elizabeth Hennessey

The world is dying. Many animals are placed and removed from the endangered species list that people don’t know about; animals including: sea turtles, great white sharks, monarch butterflies, elephants, sloths, seals, polar bears, and many more. This year, in October, seven different species of bees were placed on the United States endangered species list for the first time in American History. The number of bee colonies in the U.S. has been slowly declining over the past year, according to National Geography. When the Zika virus outbreak came into full effect last year the population of bees took a turn for the worse. As government officials desperately tried to prevent the spread of this disease they implemented plans to spray pesticide to kill the disease farin mosquitoes. However, what they failed to realize or chose to ignore was the fact that this pesticide that they were spraying was going to kill more than just mosquitoes. This pesticide intending to stop the spread of the Zika virus ultimately lead to the death of millions of honeybees.

If the bees continue to die off and go extinct the world will be negatively impacted on a large scale. Bees play a huge role in our environment that many people fail to realize. Bees are the number one pollinator and are critical to the crops we as humans consume. If the bees were to go extinct more than half the crops that feed 90 percent of the world would die off likely leaving the world in famine, according to BBC.

The bees aren’t the only species making headlines; as of 2016 the Great Barrier Reef is 22 percent dead, according to the Washington Post. The world’s largest coral structure which is 25 million years old is slowly dying; and we’re to blame. According to ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies coral bleaching is one main reason this massive coral reef is slowly dying. Other areas that contributed to the destruction of one of the seven natural wonders include: fishing, mining, the burning of fossil fuels, and global warming all together.

There is some good news for the earth. The bees aren’t extinct and the Great Barrier Reef isn’t completing dead, this means there is still hope. One of the most iconic endangered animals is actually no longer endangered. As of 2016 the panda bear is no longer considered endangered. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature the panda is now classified as “vulnerable” and lost the title of endangered. All of the plans and conservation policies put into place to save the pandas are working, proving that it’s not too late for the bees or the Great Barrier Reef and that it’s definitely not too late to save our earth.