Hunting, poaching, industrialization and other eco-threatening human activities are proceeding at a pace that nature can’t sustain. According to conservationists, many animal species are unable to adapt fast enough to survive the dramatic changes of their habitat and climate that result from human activity. Consider the sloths of Central and South America, which move on average only 40 yards per day and sleep for 15 to 20 hours per day. Such ingrained biological habits leave them with virtually no chance of adapting to the rapid pace of industrial deforestation. Cox & Kings created this extraordinary infographic that identifies the most popular endangered species in Latin America in hopes to bring more awareness to the dangers they face.
Hunting, pollution, global warming, urbanization, and agriculture are among the many man-made factors responsible for the large-scale destruction of natural animal habitats. According to the World Wildlife Fund, habitat loss is the greatest threat to biodiversity on this planet today. The impact of habitat destruction can trigger a wave of destructive forces.
For example, the howler monkey—found in the tropical regions of Central and South America—is threatened by its inability to find food as a result of deforestation. When its food supply is threatened, the howler monkey is less likely to reproduce, thus compounding the threat to the health of its population. Deforestation, in particular, is a devastating driver of habitat loss. Half of the world’s original forests are already gone, and they continue to be removed at a rate 10x faster than they can be regrown.
The impacts of human behavior are not felt only by the creatures of the land. There are currently only 8,000 nesting Hawksbill sea turtles left in the wilderness, many of whom inhabit the waters surrounding Costa Rica and other Latin American territories. The hawksbill and other sea turtles are facing extinction due to man-made climate change and human interference with its nesting sites and food sources.
In addition to contributing to and volunteering for the many worthy conservationist organizations, you can also do your part by learning more about the animals that are currently threatened, where and how they live, and how they contribute to their respective ecosystems.