The past few decades has seen a gradual decrease in the number and variety of animals found in Australia. This is mainly due to the changes in the climatic conditions and destruction of flora and the natural habitats where these species live. Sadly, many native species are facing extinction due to various human activities that destroy the lifestyle of these animals.
Some of the major activities include:
- Over grazing and agriculture
- Urbanization and
- Exotic species
The destruction of the forest due to various human activities and bushfires will reduce the natural habitat of the animals and destroy the breeding areas. Deforestation will also affect the quality of the water draining from the bushland areas, and as the earth heats, the already precious water commodity may become even scarcer.
Overgrazing and agriculture
The bio–diversity of Australia is also threatened by overgrazing and clearing of vegetation for agricultural purposes. The grass and bushlands of Australia have already been significantly reduced since European settlement. These areas used to provide the natural habitat for many native animals. The clearing of these woodlands has caused desertification and significant increase in topsoil runoff and also erosion. In some areas, cattle rearing has caused over grazing of the grasslands, which has resulted in the scarcity of food for the native animals.
In Australia and also worldwide, the land, water and air are being polluted by various human activities. Pollution caused by the various factories and their pollutants are affecting local fauna, decimating their resistance to various diseases and resulting in other significant ailments that can affect the lifecycle and the normal development of species.
The eco-system suffers as a result, since pollution continues to alter the local landscape, affecting everything from flora, fauna to foods processed locally. Food items sourced locally tend to carry pesticides [used by farmers], making these somewhat unsafe to consume.
Even flowers and seeds, tend to carry pesticides in one form or the other. In addition, the pesticides used in these agricultural lands often end up in rivers through run-off and these accumulated pesticides will cause biological magnification, resulting in the death of the animals and others.
The increase in human population causes need for more land space for construction of buildings. The coastal areas of Australia that are rich in bio- diversity are giving way for massive constructions. The agricultural lands are also converted to residential areas for the want of space. All these activities cause a reduction in the fauna of the area.
The introduction of exotic species is another major cause of concern for the extinction of native species. If the introduced species is a predator of the native species, it will cause the survival of the native species difficult. Sometimes, the native species will have to compete with the exotic species for food, shelter and mate and only the fittest one will survive. The feral cats, cane toads, rabbits, black striped mussels are examples of exotic species introduced to Australia that are wreaking havoc on our natural wildlife. In order to protect the native animals from extinction, controlling these factors is necessary.
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