As well as contributing
to the extinction of plants and animals indirectly, by means of
land, water and air
we humans have caused the endagering and extinction of many species
directly. By comercial overfishing, the world’s seas have become
deficient in large fish. With every passing year, average fish size
becomes smaller, that is because we have depleted the species of big
fish, and now are fishing lower in the foodchain. If this trend continues,
fish popullations worldwide, will become to low to sustain in the future.
Other unhealthy fishing practices include shark fishing which uses
only the fins for soups, and throws back to sea the rest of the shark.
Apart from comercial fishing, illegal fishing accounts for a great loss
of biodiversity in the seas. Fish, used for food or as pets, are fished
illegally, and with inefficient methods. For example, aquarium fish are
caught with paralyzing venoms which kill most surrounding fish and many
of the ones intended for selling. The same scenario of the sea occurs
in land with overhunting, and illegal poaching of endangered and exotic
Another way by which species become endangered, is the transport and
introduction of foreign animal or plant species into incompatible ecosystems.
This has occurred since the colonization of the new world, and probably
before that. This “artificial migration” created by humans
is bad, because it brings new species into an ecosystem, in which this
species may have an advantage, and become a virtual plague. One such
example is the introduction to Puerto Rico of the common iguana as a
pet. When these pets got to big for the owners to maintain, they where
released in the wild. After many years of breeding in the wild, these
animals have populated the whole island and decreased the populations
of many smaller animals because the iguana population has grown out of
proportion, thanks in part to the absence of a natural predator. The
same case has happened with a Puerto Rican specie, the “coqui”.
This animal was carried to Hawai by immigrant workers in the early to
mid twentieth century. Nowadays, populations have almost reached plague
proportions because of the lack of a natural predator.
To conclude, we humans have a responsability to make a balance between
our progress and the state and health of the planet and it’s species,
because as an old proverb says “We do not inherit the earth from
our ancestors, but borrow it from our grandchildren”, we must make
sure we leave the earth in the best conditions posible, so that future
generations can enjoy and use our earth and to ensure the extension of
the human species, and all our animal and plant friends.
The articles presented below represent
the impact of construction of buildings
Specially mega resorts on places that might ruin the development or habitats
New Mega Resorts Threaten Sea Turtles and Manatees in Puerto Rico
Throughout the Caribbean, mega resorts and hotels are proliferating,
spoiling miles of pristine coastline and beaches. Now,
major international hotel chains
are threatening to develop some of Puerto Rico's last stretches of tropical
coastline, publicly owned land known as the Northeastern Ecological Corridor
(NEC). Although the NEC is home to sea turtles, manatees and rare tropical
birds, it is not a nature reserve protected by Puerto Rico's government.
[This article was retrieved from Environmental Defense
What's At Stake!
Protect Puerto Rico's Northeastern Ecological Corridor
One of Puerto Rico's last remaining wild areas, known as the
Northeastern Ecological Corridor (NEC), is 3,200 acres of
coastal fringe located between
of Luquillo and Fajardo. It is home to over 40 endangered, threatened,
and endemic species, and remains one of Puerto Rico's last
Although Commonwealth authorities proposed to make the NEC a nature
reserve in 1992,
the region was rezoned for tourist-residential development in 1996.
The NEC contains an extraordinary array of tropical wildlife, a rarity
on this overdeveloped Caribbean island, including critical marine mammals,
sea turtles and plant species. Puerto Rico's only remaining coastal
wetlands and mangroves are found in this region. The NEC is also an
recreational resource for Puerto Ricans, as La Selva is a world class
Presently, the NEC is threatened by the development of two massive
resorts that would create more than 3,000 tourist-residential units
golf courses. The construction of the San Miguel-Four Seasons Resort
Dos Mares-J.W. Marriott Resort would destroy wetlands, important watersheds,
and the natural integrity of the NEC.
To view maps photos of the Northeast Ecological Corridor, please
Environmental Defense Action Network