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Back From The Brink

by Megan McCullough |

Human beings have been a constant threat to the other species that we share this planet with. Hunting certain animals to extinction, deforestation, offshore drilling, and about a million other things have caused animals to be completely wiped off the face of this earth. It is estimated that it would take anywhere from 2-4 million years for the planet to completely heal itself again. Fortunately, some species have been making a huge comeback thanks to the continuous efforts of conservationists. Here are some of the species that are making strides and getting further away from the extinction list.

Bald Eagle

The bald eagle population declined from 300,000-500,000 to only 412 nesting pairs in the lower 48 states in the 1950's due to the eggshell-thinning effect of DDT. The national bird was helped by the 1940 Bald Eagle Protection Act which banned trapping and killing them and then by the eventual banning of all DDT. The bald eagle was removed from the "threatened" list in 2007.

Florida Panther

By the 1970's the panther population was reduced to an estimated 20 remaining in the wild. Conservation efforts have boosted the population to 160 in 2013 but, this species still faces a fight for survival. Each breeding unit (1 male with anywhere from 2-5 females) needs about 200 square miles to establish their territory. For 160 panthers, they would need 32,000 square miles and humans have made an estimated 3,800 square miles available for them. Conservationists have recommended started a Florida Panther Protection Program to protect them due to the ever-expanding south Florida real estate market.

Giant Panda

Pandas were just announced to be off of the endangered species list and labeled as "vulnerable". In the last decade, the panda population has grown by 17% which shows that the conservation efforts are working. In 2014 alone, it was estimated that there were only 1,864 pandas in the wild. As promising as those numbers are, the future of this incredible creature is still uncertain.

Humans are the only ones that can put an end to the horrific things we do to this plant and the animals we share it with. If there is any hope for future generations to be able to enjoy what we enjoy now, we need to stop invading their habitats and coexist the way the universe intended.