Wildlife on the Brink

Jaina Brady, Contributor

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Humans have killed off many different animal species all over the world since we killed off the saber tooth tiger (about 12,000 years ago). We’ve done it for many reasons: poaching, hunted for fur, and hunted for food.
We are at fault for the extinction of many species. The most recent animal extinction was the Eastern Cougar. It’s population dropped because people were afraid of it, they didn’t want the cougars to kill off all of the game, and they didn’t want the cougars killing their livestock. It was officially named extinct on January 23 2018. This is just a subspecies of cougar, but it is still very important. Since there are no more cougars in the eastern United States the deer population will grow rapidly.
One of the most famous species that went extinct was the Passenger Pigeon. They were hunted by the Native Americans but when the Europeans arrived their numbers dropped rapidly. The last one, named Martha, died on September 1, 1914. Martha had been alive for 29 years which is very old for a pigeon. She lived in the Cincinnati Zoo for 17 years.
Another animal is the Thylacine, also known as the Tasmanian Tiger. They live in Tasmania, hence the name. They were wiped out because settlers in Australia and Tasmania thought that they would kill all of their livestock. They did but the settlers exaggerated the numbers. The settlers also brought dogs which might have helped with their population decline. The last Tasmanian Tiger, named Benjamin, died on September 7, 1936.
There are many different animals species that are extinct because of us, but if we do a better job of protecting endangered species, there is a chance we can save these animals from extinction.

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Wildlife on the Brink