Animals are killed for lots of reasons. Birds are killed for their colourful feathers. Elephants are hunted for their ivory. Tigers are killed for their skins. It’s against the law, but it still goes on.
Every year around 100 million animals and plants are taken without permission from the wild. It is because of this that they are endangered.
What about plants ?
Like animals, plants can die out too. More than 30,000 different kinds of plants are in danger all over the world, Collectors take the wild, or pay local people to do it for them.
Is it true?
Sea turtles are hunted for their shells.
Yes. Even though it’s illegal, sea turde shell, called tortoiseshell, is still used to make spectacle frames and souvenirs for tourists.
What can I do to help ?
Don’t buy goods made from ivory, fur, coral or tortoiseshell. Don’t pick or dig up wild plants. If you eat tuna fish, make sure it’s dolphin friendly. Dolphins die in some fishing nets.
Why are forests good for the Earth?
Forests are the ‘lungs’ of the planet. Their trees make much of the oxygen we breathe. Forests provide us with food and timber. Some medicines are made from plants found only in forests.
Are forests in danger?
Forests are in danger in many parts of the world. In some countries trees are killed by acid rain. Elsewhere, whole forests are cut down for their timber, or to make way for farm land.
What is being done to save forests?
Some governments have stopped cutting down the forests on their land. Many forests that are left are protected by law. Also, new forests are being planted, to grow timber like any other crop. It is grown to be cut down.
Since 1980, an area of tropical forest six times the size of France has been turned into farm land, or plantations of oil palm, rubber and other crops.
Is it true?
Soil erosion can be seen from space.
YES. Trees keep soil in place. Where forests are cleared the soil wears away, or erodes, until only rock is left.
Soil erosion on Madagascar, seen from space