In Love with Nature: Saying No Species to Extinction
Elizabeth Kolbert said: “In pushing other species to extinction, humanity is busy sawing off the limb on which it perches.” The above quote captures succinctly the scenario planet earth has found itself considering the fact that every single species in the ecosystem is very vital. For instance, the common ant and earthworm we take for granted play a significant role as they turn and aerate the soil, allow water and oxygen to reach plant roots, increase soil nutrients and aids in seeds dispersal and germination. The vultures clean up the remains of dead organisms to prevent diseases outbreak while the owls, bats and the snakes among others aid in pest control. In fact, every single species plays a significant role in the eco system either directly or indirectly for our survival and the sustainability of the environment.
However, our combined human activities ranging from habitat destruction, overhunting, over logging, increased fossil fuel combustion to increased environmental pollution have all negatively affected the ecosystem in a way that many species are extinct while many others are on the verge of extinction. Biodiversity scientists, estimate that millions of species that once lived on earth are deemed extinct. One of such that had suffered this terrible fate is the Caspian Tiger – Panthera tigris ssp. Virgate with a body size that is generally less massive than Siberian tigers. This species of tiger was once found in the sparse forest habitats and riverine corridors of some of the Asian countries. Their extinction were attributed to massive hunting including their prey, habitat loss and conversion, and increased vulnerability of small populations. The last Caspian Tiger was last seen in the early 1970s.
In view of the important nature of every single species in the ecosystem is for our survival and environmental sustainability, LUFASI Nature Park (LUFASI), an urban forest park located along the Lekki axis of Lagos state has contributed in no small measure to reverse some of the conditions – habitat destruction and lack of awareness creation that have led to species being endangered and extinct through the dedication of 20 hectares forest park which, houses some of the last populations of the threatened Ekki “Iron Wood” tree – Lophira alata and the internationally significant Hooded Vulture – Necrosyrtes monachus. On awareness creation, LUFASI has a vibrant education unit, which develops and uses home -grown innovative educational resources to teach on climate change, forest agriculture, conservation and sustainable development while using the forest reserve as a living laboratory for students and visitors to the park.
Protecting endangered species and preventing further species loss is everybody’s responsibility. We must stop and prevent wildlife habitat loss, harassment of wildlife, sales and purchase of products made from threatened or endangered species and the use of herbicides and pesticides that are hazardous to the environment and wildlife. In addition, we must plant native plant species that provide food and shelter to wildlife, recycle and buy sustainable products and support the creation and the running of nature parks such as LUFASI nature park.
Just like the Spider’s web, the earth consists of many links and strands and with one part destroyed, the whole web falls apart. For this reason, we as humans must do everything in harmony with nature.