Tigers, polar bears, the leatherback turtle and the blue fin tuna as well as the graceful Monarch butterfly may only be seen in zoos, or much worse in museums, by future generations considering the rate at which many of the world’s wildlife habitats have been disappearing.
According to the Living Planet Report of 2014 by the World Wildlife Fund, as much as 52% of the populations of vertebrate species have steadily declined in the last four decades. This means that the populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish have done down by half in less than two human generations. The decline in both species population and diversity is a tell-tale sign that the habitat in which they thrive is also disappearing.
The biggest contributor to this biodiversity crisis is human impact. Human demand on natural resources has taken its toll. This demand is unsustainable and rapidly increasing. Trees are cut even before they can mature. Fish are caught even before they can reproduce. More carbon is released into the atmosphere than the forests and oceans can absorb. Climate change is upon us and we are seeing its devastating consequences.
Here are seven wild habitats that are quickly disappearing.
1. The forests of the Russian Far East
The forest of Russia’s Far East is home to the Siberian or Amur tiger, only one of the five remaining subspecies in the world today. Critically endangered and on the brink of extinction, the Siberian tiger is believed to number to about 350-400 adults found all throughout the Primosky Krai, in Khabarovski Krai and along the Russia-Northeast China border. Widespread illegal logging had the biggest impact on the fast decline of the Siberian tiger habitat. These trees provide food for tiger prey and with the trees cut down, there is less prey and less cover.