This week, a report was issued concerning the state of wildlife in America. This report was commissioned by wildlife conservation groups that included the National Wildlife Federation, the Wildlife Society and the American Fisheries Society. The report painted a bleak picture for the state of wildlife within the United States.
According to the report, there are currently 1,270 species that are included under the Endangered Species Act. Of these species, 150 are believed to already be extinct, and another 500 species have an unknown status in the wild as there has been no reliable record of them being spotted in the wild for at least the last ten years. Species that are listed as endangered include animals and birds such as the grizzly bear and the California condor.
What was really alarming in the report, is the finding that as many as one-third of all animal species in the United States are vulnerable to extinction if major action is not taken to aid their recovery in the wild. Many animal groups are seeing steep declines in their overall numbers. For instance, 40 percent of the freshwater fish populations in the United States are either endangered or highly vulnerable. Amphibians are declining at a fast rate. The bat populations in some parts of the United States have seen a 33 percent reduction in numbers.
There were several reasons listed as to why this rapid reduction in wildlife numbers is occurring. One reason mentioned in the report is habitat loss. Large areas of wildlife habitat have been lost to agriculture and the spreading out and sprawl from urban areas.
A cause listed for the decrease in some species is the massive use of pesticides. This is causing a severe reduction in the bee population in the nation.
Increased transportation is also seen as a cause. Animals are transported from one part of the country to another. This allows diseases that were at one point limited to one region to spread throughout the nation as a whole. This has been a particular problem in the area of fungal infections in amphibians.
In order to combat this massive animal reduction problem, the groups who commissioned the study believe that more money needs to be spent on conservation programs. They believe that intensive efforts, such as what occurred to bolster trout species, need to be implemented to help the recovery of other vulnerable animal