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Competition for the scarce resources among humans, animals and plants has escalated to conflict. We have had several occurrences of conflict between animals and humans on utilisation of natural resources such as land and wet lands. Human beings require land for food production, building, grazing and other activities (Schug, 1997). On other hand animals use land as their habitat.
Passenger pigeon is one of the many animal species that have become extinct. It was a magnificent bird whose beauty and migratory patterns were sang by many writers in the 19th century. The extinction of the bird was as a result of human encroachment of their natural habitat. The few birds that were rescued and put into conservation could not breed because they required large numbers for optimum breeding conditions. Other animals endangered as a result of human activities like logging, agriculture and poaching are Golden Lion Tamarin and Thamin.
Human beings have a duty to protect other species and ensure their survival. By being mindful of our activities as human beings that can destroy animal and plant habitats such as logging, draining of swamps and pollution, then no animal or plant species would ever become extinct.
Animals and plants are of many benefits to humans. For example, wild animals are a tourist attraction which earns a country foreign exchange hence boosting the economy. Plants provide food and helps in clearing carbon dioxide from the environment. Therefore when animals and plants become extinct, human beings are affected directly and indirectly. Economic gain generated by tourism declines consequently affecting the economy of a country. Extinction of plants and animals that provide food to humans results in food shortage. The current global warming is exacerbated by sharp decline in forest cover.
Protecting animals visa a viz giving up human gains has been a hot debate. In my opinion animals should be protected and at the same time human gains should be given a careful consideration. For example, the US congress passed an endangered species act in 1973 which requires a person to give up his land whenever an endangered animal is found living in his land. However the person is not to be compensated for the land. This act falls short of human gain in the protection of endangered animals.
Human beings have ethical responsibilities to other creatures such as not involving themselves in activities that would endanger the creatures or their habitats. They include poaching, and logging. Although logging has economic gain, measures like reforestation should be taken to protect the animal habitat.
Despite the ethical responsibility of human beings towards protection of animals, the decision on recovery and preservation of creatures is very complicated. This is because such decisions should protect both human being and animals which is not easy to achieve. The interests of human being are more likely to supersede protection of animals.
If I were a president, my official policy on endangered species would be to ban trading in endangered animal products and poaching (Park, 2001). Also, private land that is occupied by endangered species would be taken by the government for conservancy of the animal. However compensation would be given to anybody whose land has been taken by the government.
In summary, concerted efforts should be made to ensure protection of endangered animals and their habitats. However human beings interests should be well represented in the equation in order to encourage people to protect the animals. The governments should be at the fore front in preservation of animals and plants as they have immense benefits to humans.