Friendship knows no boundaries


Each creation is part of the ecosystem.  No matter what species you belong, you have an important purpose of being on this planet we call Earth.  It is worthwhile, then, to respect each species despite our differences.

See how domestic animals interrelate with wildlife!  Let us then be conscious and respect the rights of others – be they animals or plants – by creating a conducive place for each one of us to live.  Let us preserve wildlife!

If animals can come into a mutual relationship with different species, why can’t we humans do?  We are supposed to be endowed with intellect, reason, and a unique heart that is capable of loving, but we seemed to be acting like wild beasts when it comes to relating with Nature’s creation.

Wildlife: why should we care about it?


Save Wildlife
 
They are fierce!
They hurt people!
So why should we care to save the beasts that will only harm us?

Yes, it’s true, wild animals can hurt us.  But, ironically though, our very lives are interrelated to their existence.  Everything and everyone depends on wild species, either directly or indirectly. All animals – including us, humans – and all green plants depend on micro-organisms cycling the chemical components necessary for life, even as several plants bank on insects and other animals for fertilization and dispersal.  

Besides, the crops from which we get our food, and the domestic animals we raise for pets and/or for consumption descend from wildlife.  To sum it all up, all organisms are like parts of a human body with each part dependent upon others, and losing even one part would significantly create an imbalance.  

Wildlife is part of God’s Creation, they have the right to live just as humans do.

Animals are silent witnesses to global warming


Scientists warned that mass extinction of wild animals is likely to happen in the near future due to global warming. In fact, it has already started creating significant changes in climatic conditions that threaten species in different parts of the world.

Polar Bears

Polar bears depend on sea ice because they use it as a platform for resting, and to catch their prey – the seals. Sadly, some studies have revealed that the Arctic sea ice melt at an alarming rate of nine percent each decade, threatening the animals’ habitat and their existence. The increasing temperatures considerably cause the floating platforms to move farther apart and transform the once frozen areas of the ocean to become open water. These conditions make it difficult and dangerous for polar bears to swim long distances between stable ice. 

Unless we, humans, do something to make the pace of global warming slower, polar bears could just disappear in the wild.

 

Sea Turtles

Rising temperatures and the noticeably increasing sea levels pose threats on the lives of the world’s sea turtles.  In fact, six of its kinds are already listed among the Endangered Species, namely: the green turtles, hawksbills, loggerheads, Kemp’s ridleys, Olive ridleys, and the leather backs.

sea turtlesFemale turtles come ashore to lay their eggs at nesting beaches, make their nests under the sand, lay their eggs there, and then return to the ocean.  They have the unique ability to return to the same nesting beaches over and over for years because their memories seem to have been “stamped” with a magnetic map of the place where they hatch.

But with the melting of the polar ice caps and the rising sea levels, those beaches where they used to visit for their nesting ritual are beginning to disappear under water.

Likewise, the rising temperature consequently increases the thermal reading of the sand, which plays a significant role in determining the sex of the turtles’ eggs.  Hotter sand alters the natural sex ratios of hatchlings.  The upper limit for egg incubation is at 34ºC. But when the sand temperature becomes hotter, it results to more female hatchlings.

Moreover, extreme weather conditions associated with climate change lead to continual and severe storms, causing beach erosion, alteration on turtles’ nesting areas, and inundation of their nests.

right whaleNorth Atlantic Right Whales

Characterized as having a massive body and mostly black skin with pale patches on its head and belly, the North Atlantic Right Whale has been recorded as one of the rarest marine mammal species with an estimated population of way less than 500 individuals.

Its name was taken from the clue that it was the “good or right” whale to hunt for its slow movement, its inclination to come close to land, tendency to float after death, and for its abundant source of oil and baleen.

Historically, right whales have lived through both cooling and warming periods but the present global warming befalls at a much faster rate, exposing the cetacean to a high risk of heat stress.  Besides, climate change causes indirect impact on these whales by altering their prey resource, upsetting their calving intervals and the number of calves born each year.

Pollution is another factor that has significantly distressed the reproductive performance of the right whales and other cetaceans.

giant panda

Giant Pandas

Although, they possess the same digestive system of a carnivore, just like the other members of the bear family do, giant pandas rather live on a vegetarian diet, relying on bamboo for their main source of food. Its daily menu is ninety nine percent composed of leaves, shoots, and stems of the twenty different bamboo species. But sometimes, too, they do hunt for pikas, small rodents, and other plants.

Since bamboo has very minimal nutritional value, pandas have to eat around 12 to 38 kilograms of this staple food every day just to meet their energy requirements. This means they spend 14 hours a day eating.

Sadly though, scientists warned that some of the more than 100 varieties of bamboo are under threat of extinction due to the increasing global temperature; thus, indirectly affecting the giant pandas’ survival and existence, since these animals do not feed on all bamboo varieties.

orangutanOrangutans

Man of the Forest – that is what orangutan means!

The orangutans, Asia’s only ape, are at risk of extinction due to the effects of climate change. In fact, their number in the wild has remarkably dropped by fifty percent in the past decade. Their remaining habitats in the rain forests of Indonesia continually suffer from frequent and long droughts, and bush fires. Therefore, trees and plants no longer bear sufficient fruits, on which the orangutans feed on.

Besides, logging and mining industries are clearing the lowland rain forests, taking away their areas to find food and reducing their ability to freely move about in large radius.  Because of this, orangutans are forced to stay in one area and tend to deplete all food sources there.

How you and I may help slow down the rate of global warming

These are but few of the many animals that are silently trying to cope with the increasingly harsh environment.  But you and I can do something to reduce the rate of global warming. Here’s how:

  1. Let us actively practice the reduce, reuse, and recycle habit.
  2. Minimize the use of our heater and air-conditioning systems.
  3. Replace our regular light bulbs with compact flourescent light (CFL) bulbs to save on energy.
  4. Drive less, walk more.
  5. Advocate energy-efficient products.
  6. Consume less hot water.
  7. Switch off light when not in use.
  8. Plant a tree whenever and wherever possible.
  9. Encourage family members, friends, associates, and neighbors to conserve.

Clean water is not everywhere


Water may be a renewable resource as it replenishes itself through rain. But we should bear in mind that only 3 percent of it is fresh, and only a third of this amount is potable. The rest of the Earth’s water is part of the ice caps and glaciers.  Over 700 million people in the world, especially those in populous states, don’t have access to improve water source.  Thus, it is imperative for all of us citizens in the world to be frugal in our use of water.

water 3
Water, sanitation, and hygiene-related diseases claim more than 3 million lives each year, 99% of whom are from the developing countries.

You don’t want to wake up one morning with this kind of water to wash your face with, let alone drink, do you?  

I’m not being grim here, but this can happen to us. Reality is that, at present, 780 million people in the world are already suffering from lack of access to potable water, which translates to a ratio of one in seven persons is deprived of it.

It is true that water is a renewable resource; but we should also take note that this basic life support is finite! Of the earth’s water resource, only 3 percent of it is fresh, the rest is salt water found in the ocean and seas, locked up in glaciers and constant snow cover. . Of this 3 percent fresh water, only a third is fit for drinking.  Research findings also show that water scarcity even occurs in areas that receive plenty of rainfall or freshwater. 

Here are more horrible facts related to world’s water condition:

  • Almost 4 million people die each year due to water-related water ailments, unsanitary conditions, and hygiene-related diseases. Ninety-nine percent of these deaths happen in developing countries.
  • In Africa alone, diarrhea kills five to ten times more people than war.
women carry water
Women and children in developing countries spend around 200 million hours a day fetching water from distant sources.Diarrhea is more widespread in developing countries because of their inadequate supply of clean drinking water and sanitation, aside from lack of access to life-saving treatment, hygiene, and nutritional condition.
  • Diarrhea claims a child’s life every 21 seconds.  Studies show that the disease is the second leading cause of death among children five years old and below. Because of inadequate access to fresh water source and sanitation, children’s death rate is equivalent to that of a jet airliner crashing every four hours.
  • Around 2.5 billion people do not have access to improved sanitation facilities or toilets, and around 1.2 billion of whom still resort to open defecation.
  • Contaminated drinking water, and poor sanitation and hygiene attribute to 88 percent of global cases of diarrhea.
  • An average toilet uses 8 liters of clean water in just one flush.
  • Studies made in 45 developing countries reveal that women and children bear the burden of collecting water for drinking, washing, cooking, cleaning, and other uses in the household.  Most often, they have to travel an average of 3.7 miles (around 5.96 kilometers)  and spend untold hours daily waiting for their turn to collect water, often from polluted sources, and return home with around 40-pound jerry cans on their backs. Because of this responsibility, millions of them have to forego school or education, locking them in a cycle of poverty and unemployment. When the women get old, the girls have to carry on this task to provide such basic necessity for their respective families.
  • Around half of the world’s schools do not have clean water supply.
  • A simple washing of hands can significantly reduce the chance of diarrhea by around 35 percent.

Given these facts, what then should we do to solve and/or avoid potable water crisis?

As much as it is the duty of the local government to provide the community with water system and safeguard its quality, local residents must also cooperate in such an effort.

Protect the water supply.  Reduce or keep bacteria and other disease-causing organisms, nitrates, or synthetic organic chemicals from coming into your water sources by protecting your well or watershed.  In constructing your local well,  make sure that the ground around it slopes away so that rain and runoff water will not get into it.  Never allow surface water to flow down into the well.

Avoid and/or remove sources of contamination. Do not use pipes, fitting, and other fixtures that contain lead and other hazardous chemical compounds.  Keep your water sources away from possible sources of contamination, like industrial facilities, livestock holding areas, septic systems and sewage force mains, and underground storage tanks.

Apply water treatment.  To maintain a safe drinking water supply, you must treat your water regularly to eliminate bacteria and remove hard water and other mineral deposits. There is no single water treatment system, though, that can totally eliminate bacteria, but you can choose one that provides the advantages you want.

Develop new water supply.  Should you discover that your existing water supply is already contaminated by nitrate, fuel, pesticide, salt, or other organic chemicals, it is best recommended that you start developing a new source, or purchase from an existing water system.  Such move, though, requires assessment by geologists, engineers, and other professionals in the field to ensure that your new supply is safe and protected.

But above all these measures, we should do our personal share of water conservation at home.

water

 

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