We live in an interconnected world. The earth, its many and diversified ecosystems, and the creatures that roam it are all deeply connected. Thus, all species rely on other species in some way in order to survive. And though humans are more advanced than any other species on earth, don’t think we are an exception.
Believe it or not, our species have survived so long on earth just because many animals performed their natural roles in the environment. We’ve been benefitting from their services for free and yet, we are also becoming their doom, which in fact will consequently result in our doom as well.
We hear of species that are undergoing extinction almost every day. But, our main focus is on the larger-in-size species such as rhinos, gorillas, tigers, and leopards. The declining population of smaller species with relatively more severe impacts on the ecosystem receives less attention or is ignored altogether.
So, let’s take a look at the four unique insects and animals whose existence is crucial for human survival.
Some might think of bees only as some tireless, annoying flying creatures but surprisingly, one-third of every plate of food is solely dependant on these tiny creatures.
They do far more than just help flowers grow or make deliciously golden honey. Without them, a lot of crops such as almonds, peaches, coffee, watermelon, raspberries, and many more would not even exist.
The buzz about bees is real! Their disappearance has heightened over the years thanks to detrimental pesticides and loss of habitats. According to experts, if the decline in the bee population continues, and they were to go completely extinct, humans would survive no longer than four years.
We can contribute to protecting bee populations simply by creating a pollinator-friendly environment for them. If we take the smaller steps now, humans, as a race, won’t have to regret much in the longer run.
The greatly varied group of feathered vertebrates have always played a crucial role in several ecological processes. Their contribution to decomposition, seed distribution, plant pollination, controlling various invasive insects and pests is priceless. Some even contribute to enhancing soil health by using talons to dig up soil.
Also, they are a much reliable risk predictor before the outbreak of a disease. In case of an unusual disease, bird corpses are tested in labs.
High bird populations and their biodiversity are usually a good attestation of the well-being of an ecosystem. Lower numbers indicate an unhealthy usage and succeeding consequences of pesticides and chemicals.
However, like in all cases, human activities are a threat to their well-being. Littering and pollution have caused a considerable amount of birds to get sick or injured. Among those currently facing extinction are vultures, Atlantic Puffin, Snowy Owl, Grey Parrot, and many more.
So, think twice before you throw out garbage indecently next time.
Though bats are often portrayed as creepy flying creatures in movies, they exceptionally help out the ecosystem. Among the 1,200 species of bats, none have lesser parts to play.
Their most significant service is eating millions of pests annually making it easier for farmers. They are, in a way, naturally occurring eco-friendly pesticides that provide their services at the dead of the night. Also, their guano or bat droppings are very potent fertilizers.
Their tireless long journeys at night help plants to grow and survive in a variety of locations. They are even known as “farmers of the tropics” because of their immense contribution to restoring forests.
Butterflies have long enchanted us with their good looks and their benefaction to nature is just as tremendous. Butterflies and plants co-evolved over time and depend on each other for survival. In exchange for food, shelter, and protection during the pupal stage, butterflies help flowering plants to reproduce through pollination. Although not as efficient as bees, butterflies can still be very effective pollinators.
Not only that, but they are also a very definitive indicator of climate change. Researchers have proven that butterfly populations are indeed correlated with climatic changes. Rising temperatures have perilous impacts on many aspects of their lives, biodiversity being one of them.
Almost all of these species of organisms are endangered due to parasitic threats, deforestation, habitat loss, and many other concerns. Being the most intelligent species on earth, it is our responsibility to help save them.