by Trent Miles

If we do not act now to protect biodiversity, the results could be dire—here’s why and here’s how you can help.

What does “endangered” mean? Species are usually considered jeopardized if there is any danger of eradication, which can be caused by numerous variables including climatic changes and adverse human impact. Therefore, with a specific end goal to illuminate whether certain species are at risk or not, there is a need to watch the patterns of the development and decay of these species and the reasons why they are in danger of extinction.

With respect to the arguments for animal security, biodiversity is one of the main points of conflict. “Biodiversity” means the variety of organic species, whether that is generally in the world or within a specific ecosystem. High biodiversity means a thriving ecosystem where plants and animals cohabitate in a systematic balance. Biodiversity is threatened nearly everywhere on the planet—from the Amazon to the new subdivision in your town. It is imperative that we take steps to protect these plants and animals. Many animals that have been wiped out are viewed as a sort of cultural awareness symbol. For example, we commonly associate elephants with the devastating effects ivory poaching has had on the species. Similarly, tiger pelts have become synonymous with the plight of endangered species, becoming an important image all over the world.

A point of contention among activists and regulatory agencies is the estimation of risk a species faces. Various plants considered at risk are profitable to humans. In particular, natural bug sprays, within the discipline of horticulture, come at a cost to many species. What do we stand to lose if we collectively continue to wipe out plants we have yet to research? It will have various negative impacts for humankind. In particular, tumors are of incredible significance, in light of the fact that the remedy for this ailment has not yet been found, and perhaps a portion of the types of plants being nearly annihilated would be important for taking care of the regularly expanding issue of disease.

Efforts coordinated towards the preservation of plant and animal life regularly upset the nearby enterprises, including cultivating and mining. These industries in turn assert that the pulverization of their endeavors hurts nature. They consort with specialists of homesteads and different enterprises that shift their stance to utilize unlawful methods for acquiring cash, and halting preservation.

Endangered species are no longer an advertised idea, or an image of an elephant you can’t do anything about. We need to share these stories. We need to reach out via social media and spread the word. We should also call and write legislators. With this information, let us save the animals, their homes, and the plants that could one day save us. Let’s act before it is too late.

About Trent Miles

Trent Miles is a senior at Richwoods High School and has been working for Big Picture Initiative since May 2020. He is academically competitive and a well-rounded student. Trent is the founder of his school’s Climate Action Club, Vice President of the Minority Academic Advancement Project, and a contributing Op-Ed writer for The Shield (school newspaper). Outside of school, he is heavily involved in Jack and Jill of America, where he currently serves as the Chapter Legislative Chair. Trent is also a writing intern for the New York-based platform LORYN, where he manages the featured artist page, interviews artists, finds talent, and more. He has earned several writing and Presidential Community Service awards. Trent contributed more than 1,000 hours of community service through various service projects, including a winter wear drive, collecting toiletries, and helping at the Neighborhood House in Peoria, Illinois.

Art by Aryanne Westfall

Aryanne “Ary” Westfall is a sophomore at Bradley University majoring in Animation and minoring in Theatre Arts. She is pursuing a career as a storyboard artist and enjoys creating graphic novels in her free time. As a member of the Digital Art Team, Westfall spends her time connecting with other artists and creating as much as she can.

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