The process of eating away the planet’s resources began many a decade ago and sadly, continues till date. Our planet comprises water bodies, forests – the flora and fauna present there, the atmosphere and humans. Each of these components needs to work in harmony with each other so as to ensure that the planet thrives instead of slowly wilting away, which is the case of today. Over-exploit or harm one resource, and the Domino effect will be felt to the lowest of levels. Earth’s resources stand highly depleted today as the percentage of resources used up daily is more than the planet can sustain. Hence, the mass extinction threat is one that we must heed now, for even now has become too late.
Directly or indirectly, our hands are coloured with the blood of many a wildlife species who have been lost due to the negligence and greed displayed by the human race. Why, the co-author of the study published in Science Advances says that “We’re essentially doing to the planet what the meteor did that took care of the dinosaurs.” Probably we aren’t too late, though. Let’s save our planet. Let’s save our species and do our bit towards conserving our home.There is a continuing threat to many wildlife creatures across the world and it is important to preserve them. But out of so many species that might get extinct, i choose the below 3 species of animals
Bengal TIGER – top carnivores in the ecosystem
Tiger is symbol of wilderness and well-being of the ecosystem. By conserving and saving tigers the entire wilderness ecosystem is conserved. In nature, barring human beings and their domesticates, rest of the ecosystem is wild. Hence conserving wilderness is important and crucial to maintain the life support system. So saving tiger amounts to saving the ecosystem which is crucial for man’s own survival.
Tigers play a pivotal role in the health of the ecosystem. Tigers constitute the top carnivores in the ecosystem and is at the apex of the food chain. The removal of a top carnivore from an ecosystem can have an impact on the relative abundance of herbivore species within a guild. Along with other major carnivores as leopard it acts as a control mechanism for herbivores or consumers.
The interdependency of living forms in a food chain is obvious as the wild tiger is dependant upon herbivores for its survival where he maintains there population which in turn prevents the grasslands from being overgrazed. The herbivores depend upon the producers as grasses, herbs, shrubs, algae, fungi and large trees for survival and they in turn maintian a balance in vegetation by controling the extent of vegetation or flora. Birds survive on herbs, shrubs and trees on fruits and nector and in turn act as seed dispersal agent for them to spread the population of the floral elements in an ecosystem. Thus all life forms including tiger are interlinked with each other in an ecosystem and their survival depends upon how intact the ecosystem is.
Top carnivores, tigers, have an important role to play in the structuring of communities and ultimately of ecosystems. Thus, the preservation of tigers becomes an important consideration.
Spectacled Cobra – bio-control agents for other venomous snakes
The fact of the matter is that all snakes, whether poisonous or nonpoisonous are paramount to the health of the ecosystem. To simplify this complex statement, snakes play different roles, both that of a predator or prey in balancing the dynamics of the habitat.
Like all snakes the King Cobra is an ectotherm and regulates its body temperature by basking in the sun. Like all other snakes, the King Cobra is associated with several beneficial aspects. The king not only eats other poisonous snakes but also effectively keeps the balance of nature in check. Venom is also used in the preparation of various therapeutic drugs.
The King Cobra is the only snake that can control the amount of venom it injects into its prey unlike other snakes.By eating other venomous snakes, the king cobras play an important role in the ecosystem, keeping the balance so that the numbers of other snakes are kept down. The king cobra is not an aggressive snake. They mostly enter the human settlements while chasing their prey. They act as bio-control agents for other venomous snakes which cause thousands of fatalities every year.
Indian Bullfrog – Maintain the ecological balance in its ecosystem, urban, rural or wild
Frogs play a central role in many ecosystems. They control the insect population, and they’re a food source for many larger animals. To keep things in balance, frogs use lots of survival tools. Some run away, play dead or swell up when threatened.
The Indian Bull Frog (Hoplobatrachus tigerinus) is the largest of the frogs found in India. It is found all over the Indian subcontinent and is an integral part of the ecosystem of any pond, well or field. We usually tend to miss seeing them as they blend so well with their habitat.
The Indian Bull Frog, though vocal during the rains, which happens to be their breeding season, is silent during the rest of the year. During the dry season, when there is no permanent water, they estivate which is similar to hibernation but occurs during the summer. In places where the soil is sandy they follow the water table as it recedes sometimes, burrowing up to a depth of eight meters.
The Indian Bull Frogs feed on anything that moves and can be swallowed. They even use their hands to shove in parts of their prey. Apart from their normal diet of insects, they are reported to take mice, shrews, small birds, small snakes, toads and other frogs. From its diet one can gauge the role it plays in maintaining the ecological balance in its ecosystem, urban, rural or wild.
From a human and urban perspective the most important fact is that the tadpoles of the Indian Bull Frog feed on mosquito larvae, thus controlling their numbers and thereby preventing diseases and helping to save human lives. A drastic drop in their population can cause untold misery for us. Don’t be surprised if during the middle of a chorus, one rainy night, you hear a human scream. For that is the call a Bullfrog makes when it is caught by a predator. The main predator in its case being man.
I am participating in the Save the Species contest for the book “Capturing Wildlife Moments in India” in association with Saevus Wildlife India, read the reviews for the book ‘Capturing Wildlife Moments in India’ here