The Importance of Learning about Endangered Species

Large gorilla sitting with back to a rock wall, image used for Christian Tedrow blog on why it's important to learn about endangered animals

There are tens of thousands of animals that are considered seriously endangered, many of which are creatures that people have never heard of before. In addition to these animals, there are many more plants that are labeled as endangered. While plenty people and groups work hard to raise awareness of the flight of these animals and plants, it can be difficult to feel like anything you’re doing is making a difference. Some people wonder why we should even care if all of these organisms disappear, especially because they often seem insignificant or are native to a very specific area. However, there are lots of reasons why it’s important for us to learn about and work to protect endangered species. I’d like to share just a few of those reasons and hopefully convince you of the importance of protecting endangered species.

Controls other populations

One of the main benefits of a variety of organisms is that they help control the populations of other organisms that could detrimentally impact the environment if not regulated. There might be an endangered species that seems like it has minimal impact on an ecosystem, but it could be keeping the population of another plant or animal down. A well-known example of this issue is when otters were wiped out by hunters in areas of the Pacific Ocean, sea urchin populations swelled and destroyed several ecosystems. No one anticipated this issue, which is true for many endangered species.

Provides valuable medicines

Some of our most successful medicines have come from certain types of plants and animals. While I support this practice, I want to first highlight that it’s important these resources are gathered in a humane and responsible way that doesn’t further harm the species. There are lots of types of medicines that come from specific plants, such as penicillin, which is a fungus. Without these plants, we would be unable to produce life-saving medicines and homeopathic treatments. There are also plenty of plants we have yet to learn more about and the possible medical benefits they could have. It’s vital we make sure these plants stick around for as long as possible.

Keeps stable environments

Related to the fact that strong populations of various species help control the populations of other animals in the ecosystem, lack of endangered species also leads to the sustenance of stable environments. Many plants and animals provide the resources needed for a certain ecosystem to survive, such as clean air, fertilization, and control of negative substances. Biodiversity is vitally important to keeping balanced environments, which are often quite fragile.

Makes the world beautiful

A final reason it’s important to learn about endangered species is that they simply make the world a more beautiful place. Animals such as lions are incredible to see in the wild and are beautiful, majestic creatures. Even animals that aren’t so aesthetically pleasing are great in their own way and often make it possible for the world to look as beautiful as it does. Do your part and raise awareness of endangered species and learn what you can do to help break the cycle!