As we continue to take Earth for granted, humans are missing out on the things that are slowly disappearing from the face of the Earth. Everything from fireflies to giraffes is slowly making its way onto the endangered list, while humans continue to ignore all this and proceed to make the Earth unsafe to live in. Here are 10 things that are slowly dying off or disappearing.
The firefly population is rapidly declining due to water pollution and climate change. Commercial developments and too much light at night are causing the fireflies to lose their natural habitat.
The global decline of insect abundance is 10 to 20% every decade. Fireflies are threatened by habitat degradation, overcollection, pesticide, and climate change. Most of the larvae of fireflies require damp habitats like streams. Fireflies require an abundance of leaf litter, clean water, underground borrows, and dark nights.
There is a huge gap in the conservation strategy data about this species as the researches carried out is largely regional. Research in the U.S. and Canada concluded there is an extinction risk for around 11% of species.
More than half of the data collected is inefficient. Scientists and conservation biologists are working hard towards preventing the extinction of fireflies so that future generations do not miss out on this beautiful species. (1, 2)
2. Iodine in Salt
Iodine-free salt is in high demand as the surplus amount of sodium in the American diet has increased the risk of cardiovascular problems. Even though iodine in salt constitutes only a small fraction of the total bulk, the lack of it is leading to deficiency issues.
Iodized salt is needed for the human body to grow a thyroid hormone that helps with the brain and nervous system during infancy, fetal development, and childhood.
Most Americans take more sodium than they require because of prepared and processed food. Iodized salt is required to prevent goiter, a disease caused due to insufficient iodine.
It is important that you cut down on processed food that uses non-iodized salt so that your sodium intake is balanced. Include ocean-caught or ocean-farmed fish that are rich in iodine, or you could make sure you are using iodized salt of more than half a teaspoon a day. (1, 2)
With civil unrest, poaching, and loss of habitat, the number of giraffes plummeted by 40% and is facing a silent extinction. Trading in giraffe meat is closely controlled now to prevent extinction.
In the last 30 years, the overall population of giraffes has plummeted to just 68,000 left in the wild in 2019. The giraffe population faces immense threats from poaching. According to the International Union of Conservation of Nature, giraffes and their subspecies are at extremely high risk of extinction.
The primary contributor to extinction is habitat loss. Woodlands are turning into ranches, and the charcoal industry in Africa is harvesting trees for fuel. There is also robust international trade. Even the United States deals in giraffes for their parts, such as their hides.
4. Coral Reefs
About 75% of the global coral reefs are at risk due to a natural phenomenon, El Nino, and overfishing, pollution, and coastal development. By 2030, about 90% of the coral reefs will disappear if we do not take serious steps now.
Coral reefs are the rainforests of the sea and although they occupy only 1% of the ocean, they are home to a quarter of the marine species.
Careless tourism and coastal development are only a few of the reasons for their endangerment. Global change in climate and warm seas with increased CO2 levels in water are threatening the life of coral reefs.
Plastic pollution is killing the coral reefs, also. Other factors like coastal development lead to erosion and sediment which can block their growth along with hot water released from power plants, and trash and garbage from marine activities. Prolonged colds, hurricanes, or even prolonged rains can cause harm to them. (1, 2)
5. Physical Media
A 86% decline in physical media has occurred since 2011 as digital media and online streaming have started. A combination of the great recession and increased on-demand and digital copies have caused it.
Year-over-year physical media sales are plummeting as more and more streaming services are emerging. Physical media peaked during the mid-2000s, but they are now slowly dying off.
People purchasing physical media and media companies have been replaced by people buying their video counterparts. Gadget companies have stopped making physical media devices too.
When the Internet became a standard household utility, and the listening format changed from a physical product to a computer-file format, there occurred a staggering decline in the usage of physical media.
The advent of subscription-based streaming services has caused sales to drop 96% in 2020 from their peak during the early 2000s. The process of producing an album with cover art to bring the artist’s idea into vision is no more. (1, 2)