Humans are the most destructive animals on the planet. We pollute the world heavily, overharvest nature and break up habitats. Human manipulation of the environment has had some kind of impact on Earth’s geography and every kind of organism. These impacts are sometimes so significant they have wiped out entire species. The Tasmanian tiger is an example of this; it was overpowered by introduced dogs on the Australian mainland and was forced out of the mainland to Tasmania, where it eventually died out. Such extinctions are usually caused by inappropriate human interference or harvesting of the environment.
The most lethal human activity to the environment is the destruction of habitats. This is mainly because of the human housing and development needs. Residential areas, towns and cities have taken up the space of millions of square kilometres of grasslands and forests around the world. These areas were all potential habitats for countless species of animals, and the clearing of these areas to make way for human civilisation have resulted in many mass extinctions.
Humans, however, have also affected the habitats that remain relatively untouched, such as Australia. In these cases entire continents have been thrown into chaos. Humans unwittingly introducing alien species into habitats cause this kind of devastation. The damage caused by this is extremely severe and can take centuries to right itself. Alien species, without their natural enemies, can consume all the food available in their introduced habitats, leaving none for the native fauna. Otherwise, if a predator is introduced, the native animals will not recognise it as a predator. Therefore the introduced predators can and will hunt the natives without resistance to extinction.
GEOGRAPHY NOTES. Since European settlement between 78 & 100 plant species have become are extinct. 150-200 under threat... GENETIC DIVERSITY - safeguard species diversity. Large range of genetic forms within each species. Genetic variations... Extinct- disappearance of species after thorough searching (some extinction is natural). At risk- in danger of becoming extinct. Endangered- close to ...
Humans also overharvest the Earth, sometimes without good reason. An example of this is the chopping down of trees, resulting in devastating landslides and floods. This kind of harvesting, in both animals and plants, has resulted in the extinction or near – extinction of many species
The major man – made problem of the environment is pollution. Toxic waste from numerous sources has been dumped in rivers and oceans, killing marine life. Chlorofluorocarbons and halons that leak into the atmosphere have created an ozone depletion zone above Antarctica, and carbon dioxide production by factories and cars have resulted in a dangerous Greenhouse Effect that has raised the Earth’s surface temperature by 3C. If uncontrolled, these problems can cause global disorder.
These problems are all man–made, and it is not yet in our power to control some of them. If these problems are not controlled as soon as possible, the damage will remain permanent and will vitally affect our way of life, making if turn for the worst.