Advocacy at Home – Specie Ecology

There was a post earlier in the series that addressed global ecology. The post focused on one’s philosophy about living things and the ecological needs these many things may have that we ignore. We focus on only our human need without regard for other forms of life. We spill oil, spread disease, destroy millions of acres of habitat to make homes and highways.

There are very few positive examples of note, perhaps the Glenwood Canyon Project on I-70 west of Denver, Colorado. Citizens pressured the Department of Transportation into saving the beauty of the canyon and the Colorado River, to respect the need of wildlife to move back and forth across the canyon, and to make I-70 almost disappear into the canyon walls. The project was a true integration of human need, wildlife need and respect for the sanctity of nature.

Now, we deal with the darker side of the human relationship with wildlife and species of every kind. Humans, with violence, psychopathic vengeance, and intense selfishness, deliberately attack nature’s creatures. Below is a table and pictorial display that may not be pleasant but will show that this form of human behavior is not just self centered but demonstrates a malfunction in Homo sapiens that endangers the planet itself.


Endangered Species List

Common name Scientific name Conservation status ↓
Amur Leopard Panthera pardus orientalis Critically Endangered
Black Rhino Diceros bicornis Critically Endangered
Cross River Gorilla Gorilla gorilla diehli Critically Endangered
Hawksbill Turtle Eretmochelys imbricata Critically Endangered
Javan Rhino Rhinoceros sondaicus Critically Endangered
Leatherback Turtle Dermochelys coriacea Critically Endangered
Mountain Gorilla Gorilla beringei beringei Critically Endangered
Pangolin Critically Endangered
Saola Pseudoryx nghetinhensis Critically Endangered
South China Tiger Panthera tigris amoyensis Critically Endangered
Sumatran Elephant Elephas maximus sumatranus Critically Endangered
Sumatran Orangutan Pongo abelii Critically Endangered
Sumatran Rhino Dicerorhinus sumatrensis Critically Endangered
Sumatran Tiger Panthera tigris sumatrae Critically Endangered
Vaquita Phocoena sinus Critically Endangered
Western Lowland Gorilla Gorilla gorilla gorilla Critically Endangered
Yangtze Finless Porpoise Neophocaena asiaeorientalis ssp. asiaeorientalis Critically Endangered
African Wild Dog Lycaon pictus Endangered
Amur Tiger Panthera tigris altaica Endangered
Asian Elephant Elephas maximus indicus Endangered
Bengal Tiger Panthera tigris tigris Endangered
Black Spider Monkey Ateles paniscus Endangered
Black-footed Ferret Mustela nigripes Endangered
Blue Whale Balaenoptera musculus Endangered
Bluefin Tuna Thunnus spp Endangered
Bonobo Pan paniscus Endangered
Bornean Orangutan Pongo pygmaeus Endangered
Borneo Pygmy Elephant Elephas maximus borneensis Endangered
Chimpanzee Pan troglodytes Endangered
Eastern Lowland Gorilla Gorilla beringei graueri Endangered
Fin Whale Balaenoptera physalus Endangered
Galápagos Penguin Spheniscus mendiculus Endangered
Ganges River Dolphin Platanista gangetica gangetica Endangered
Giant Panda Ailuropoda melanoleuca Endangered
Green Turtle Chelonia mydas Endangered
Hector’s Dolphin Cephalorhynchus hectori Endangered
Humphead Wrasse Cheilinus undulatus Endangered
Indian Elephant Elephas maximus indicus Endangered
Indochinese Tiger Panthera tigris corbetti Endangered
Indus River Dolphin Platanista minor Endangered
Loggerhead Turtle Caretta caretta Endangered
Malayan Tiger Panthera tigris jacksoni Endangered
North Atlantic Right Whale Eubalaena glacialis Endangered
Orangutan Pongo abelii, Pongo pygmaeus Endangered
Sea Lions Zalophus wollebaeki Endangered
Sei Whale Balaenoptera borealis Endangered
Snow Leopard Panthera uncia Endangered
Sri Lankan Elephant Elephas maximus maximus Endangered
Tiger Endangered
Whale Balaenoptera, Balaena, Eschrichtius, and Eubalaen Endangered
Common name Scientific name Conservation status ↓
African Elephant Loxodonta africana Vulnerable
Bigeye Tuna Thunnus obesus Vulnerable
Dugong Dugong dugon Vulnerable
Forest Elephant Vulnerable
Giant Tortoise Vulnerable
Great White Shark Carcharodon carcharias Vulnerable
Greater One-Horned Rhino Rhinoceros unicornis Vulnerable
Irrawaddy Dolphin Orcaella brevirostris Vulnerable
Marine Iguana Amblyrhynchus cristatus Vulnerable
Olive Ridley Turtle Lepidochelys olivacea Vulnerable
Polar Bear Ursus maritimus Vulnerable
Red Panda Ailurus fulgens Vulnerable
Savanna Elephant Loxodonta africana africana Vulnerable
Southern rockhopper penguin Eudyptes chrysocome Vulnerable
Whale Shark Rhincodon typus Vulnerable
Albacore Tuna Thunnus alalunga Near Threatened
Beluga Delphinapterus leucas Near Threatened
Greater Sage-Grouse Centrocercus urophasianus Near Threatened
Jaguar Panthera onca Near Threatened
Monarch Butterfly Danaus plexippus Near Threatened
Mountain Plover Charadrius montanus Near Threatened
Narwhal Monodon monoceros Near Threatened
Plains Bison Bison bison bison Near Threatened
White Rhino Ceratotherium simum Near Threatened
Yellowfin Tuna Thunnus albacares Near Threatened
Arctic Fox Vulpes lagopus Least Concern
Arctic Wolf Canis lupus arctos Least Concern
Bowhead Whale Balaena mysticetus Least Concern
Brown Bear Ursus arctos Least Concern
Common Bottlenose Dolphin Least Concern
Gray Whale Eschrichtius robustus Least Concern
Macaw Ara ararauna Least Concern
Pronghorn Antilocarpa americana Least Concern
Skipjack Tuna Katsuwonus pelamis Least Concern
Swift Fox Vulpes velox Least Concern
Amazon River Dolphin Scientific Name Inia geoffrensis Noted stress
Dolphins and Porpoises Noted stress
Elephant Noted stress
Gorilla Gorilla gorilla and Gorilla beringei Noted stress
Pacific Salmon Noted stress
Penguin Spheniscidae Noted stress
Poison Dart Frog Dendrobates species Noted stress
Rhino Noted stress
Sea Turtle Cheloniidae and Dermochelyidae families Noted stress
Seals Noted stress
Shark Noted stress
Sloth Noted stress
Tree Kangaroo Dendrolagus sp. Noted stress
Tuna Thunnus and Katsuwonus species Noted stress

 starving doghippomonkey



beaten cow






dead fish





owlThere are many more brutal and upsetting photographs and stories – too terrible to use. The point is made that humans allow their planet’s ecology to be destroyed through favorable laws for factory farmers, unenforced standards for treatment of pets, livestock and experimentation, poaching for a single part of an animal, deliberate brutality, uncontrolled and indifferent destruction of whole ecological environments – wiping out thousands of plants, insects, animals, fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds – all in one purposeful effort without regard for the fact that we are destroying our own ecology. The short gain of profit and self gratification is metaphorical to the short existence of Homo sapiens in Earth’s history.

Those who study anthropology and population predict that human population will double by the year 2100. Science and technology will scramble to keep up with growth but the planet is no larger, perhaps less cooperative, and humans may have shattered the very ecology that keeps them alive.

Without doubt, human misbehavior toward its own environs, which includes the species above and their habitats, is too destructive to lay blame on any one ecology or on population explosion. To be clear, these animals are part of our habitat. We are destroying ourselves. Elizabeth Kolbert is right. WE will bring about our own extinction.

Of all the global threats in this series, including war, corporatism, dysfunctional government, cultural decay, organized greed – ecology is the most pressing crisis. There is a famous Cree proverb that goes,

“Only when the last tree has died, the last river been poisoned, and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.”

The mariner spoke of the good fortune of having his town remove three of his six large Ash trees two weeks ago. As fortune would have it, two days ago the last three were victims of a horrendous thunderstorm. His yard stands bare, now – the remaining logs and debris lying about. The trees gave the property character and timeless sustainability. Now, it is naked. The squirrels scramble about the debris confused and homeless; the grackles and robins no longer sit in branches noisily complaining; the doves sit on the rooftop of the house; where to go? He felt a bit of melancholy for the animals. The mariner’s trees were the victim of nature’s way. How terrible it would have been to watch humans deliberately destroy this tiny eco-culture with bulldozers and burning piles of trees still alive – for the useless reason of man’s unfeeling will.

Advocacy at home in behalf of species and their habitats is the hardest advocacy of all. The reader is a policeman, a saint, a restorer of good. Not tomorrow. Now. With the spirit of a Knight Templar, the intensity of Thor, and the unyielding will of God Almighty, the reader must pursue action:

  • Belong to an organization that defends our many habitats and creatures. There are many. Choose one and contribute what you can. The mariner suggests World Wildlife Fund or others very similar in commitment and format. Pick one the reader can believe in and trust. Your two hands and Knight Templar spirit are not enough; you must join the activists.
  • Never waiver from your disciplined manner. A tightly chained dog? Report it to a humane society – today. Obviously abused or under fed animals? Report it. Not tomorrow. Today!
  • Absorb news and information with a highly sensitive awareness of the impact on the world’s many ecologies. The gibbon will disappear within a decade because of bulldozers and housing. The reader must act sooner and with greater force (we are dealing with Congressmen, you know) to prevent destruction of land and water habitats. Three cheers for Greenpeace; they are our navy seals. Three cheers for those who lay their body on the line in front of bulldozers and backhoes; they are our ground troops.
  • Adopt an endangered creature. The reader must become a genuine guardian. Learn everything the reader can about the creature, its necessary ecosystem and be acutely aware of human imposition.
  • The next vacation the reader takes, use it to travel to the land of the reader’s creature; do what one can with hands on the situation.
  • Be an advocate. Solicit legislation; go to where the action is and make something happen.

Does the mariner sound melodramatic? Perhaps. But it must be clear that not only is the reader saving specie ecologies, the reader is saving the human race. Time is much, much shorter than one may think.

Ancient Mariner

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