Once upon a time animals and plants were not endangered…
In colonial times, there were so many trees, game and fish in the ocean and on the lands that their bounty seems endless. So much so that when the colonists and guides decided to move further inland from the coastal areas they did not worry about food. They cut down the forests without a thought, to build homes and forts and to supply the increasing lumber demands of England.
Destroying old growth forests
They did not reforest or know anything about the effects that clear cutting the land for farming would have on the future of life on earth. Life was good and bountiful.
From the diaries of travelers from the 1600s, they wrote of rivers were
Spawning Atlanticc salmon
“so full of fish that a spear thrown into the water only rarely missed one, salmon runs that spanned the whole width of a river, and fish so plentiful that they were used as pig feed. “
Then, within a few decades, they started constructing weirs (low flow dams) and mills (for grinding grain) that impeded the migration of fishes and put further pressure on stocks. Stocks of fish and shellfish rapidly declined.
White man did not know how to live in harmony with the land and ignored the dwindling supplies.
Now in the last centuries, we have accelerated the cycle of extreme reduction of fish, shellfish, other aquatic fauna and thousands of land animal and plants species. Historical records show that species in rivers and lakes worldwide are dwindling.
Mining: The strip mining and mountaintop removal mining has destroyed the mountain water sheds around the world and created ugly scars that will take centuries to heal. Once the land is torn apart all life suffers. None of the life that called the mountain home can live in harmony again. The waters get angry and tear down the mountain in torrent when it storms carrying with it all the junk and poisons the mines left behind. The people and the animals and plants, insects and even the air suffers for a long time.
Strip mining ruined this desert
Mountaintop Removal Mining
Plastics and throwaway containers have clogged our water systems and oceans around the world. The plastics degrade and dissolve in the water and those toxins are eaten by invertebrates and in turn the fish eat the small critters and the toxins end up in their body tissues to be eaten by us. Other plastics end up in the guts of larger animals and birds and this will kill them and or their offspring they feed it too. Do help clean up the junk everywhere you find it and dispose of it safely and recycle as much as possible. Buy things in biodegradable containers.
plastic killing fields
Corporate and personal level: People collectively have refused generally to live responsibly and sustainably. Turning off lights and replacing old bulbs energy efficient one and paper products with recycled goods and drive less or car pool and bike to work.
Restoring and respecting all life and living in harmony with it will remove man from the endangered species list.
The effects of this early loss of wildlife and the ongoing destruction of our ecosystems, endangered nature of our animal and plant populations around the river/waterways ecosystems has not been adequately considered. Top predators and keystone species recently extirpated from freshwaters must be reintroduced. The creation of freshwater protected redevelopment areas are needed.
Excerpts courtesy of terradaily.com/reports/Shifting_Baselines_Confound_River_Restoration_999.html
Excerpts courtesy of terradaily.com/Homes_Pollute_Our_Water_999.html
Image 1. stump http://www.cathedralgrove.eu/pictures/01-3-stump-1.jpg
Image 2. salmon spawning courtesy of photography.nationalgeographic.com/Photography/spawning-atlantic-salmon-738342-ga.jpg
Image 3. AZ. Strip mine in desert courtesy of http://www.carlmaples.com/Arz_Strip_Mine.jpg
Image 4. Mountaintop removal mining courtesy of http://media.tricities.com/tricities/gfx.php?max/NP-Strip_mining_StateLineRidge-080808.jpg
Image 5. Plastic pollution courtesy of http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_plasticocean3.jpg