The Vanishing Tigers This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

- William Blake

Among the obvious consequences of deforestation is the loss of living space. Seventy percent of the earth’s land animals and plants reside in forests, and destroying them would make those creatures homeless. For centuries people have hunted animals for food and pleasure. The invention of the gun made it so easy for humans to hunt that some animals were killed by the thousands and even became extinct. This brings up some serious issues since breaks in the food chain upset the balance of nature.

In Australia in the 1950s, the rabbit population was so large that they ate the land bare and erosion set in, making the land infertile. The government attempted to reduce the rabbit population by introducing foxes, wire fences and poisons, but nothing worked. Finally, they intentionally infected rabbits in the most populated areas. The virus was transmitted from rabbit to rabbit by insects. Over the next three years rabbits died by the millions, agriculture rebounded and everybody was happy.

Then, unfortunately, there was a sudden upset in the balance of nature. The Explorit Science Center reports that the virus had been successfully introduced into European rabbits too and, “with a scarcity of rabbits, foxes began eating poultry, rats and mice. The resulting reduction in the numbers of mice caused a decline in the numbers of owls whose normal diet (mice) became less abundant” - and this disruption continued down the food chain (explorit.org).

There are many cases like this. If we continue to tinker with Mother Nature, we could be in serious trouble. Majestic animals like tigers are killed by the hundreds every year in India. The Royal Bengal tiger is the only type that exists in India and their number is dramatically reduced every year because of poaching. The current number is approximately 2,000, all of which live in tiger reserves. Two hundred years ago the population was 23,000 (or more).

During British rule of India, many of the so-called English gentlemen killed tigers by the thousands for pleasure and to demonstrate their bravery. This seems asinine because killing an innocent creature with a gun is not brave.

Today the tiger skin is very popular and sought after. Rich people and fashion designers have no idea what they are doing; competition between the rich to show off makes them blind to the serious consequences. People persuade villagers to kill tigers to get money, and they do it because they are poor and need to feed their families. They have little idea of the importance of the forest and animals. We must educate and create awareness, and the government should give them decent jobs to help solve this problem.

The people to blame and punish are those who buy animal products like ivory, skins, and tiger bones for medicine, leather bags and furs. They must be put behind bars to stop this kind of trade. As you can see, the elimination of one animal has a huge impact on the food chain, including humans. The earth is home for everyone on it. The trees, animals, birds, fish of all kinds belong here as much as we do. Only we have the power to change their fate.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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Cfycd said...
Nov. 12, 2016 at 1:37 pm
Boring thing
 
Cfycd said...
Nov. 12, 2016 at 1:37 pm
Boring thing
 
Cfycd said...
Nov. 12, 2016 at 1:37 pm
Boring thing
 
Cfycd said...
Nov. 12, 2016 at 1:37 pm
Boring thing
 
Cfycd said...
Nov. 12, 2016 at 1:37 pm
Boring thing
 
Cfycd said...
Nov. 12, 2016 at 1:37 pm
Boring thing
 
Cfycd said...
Nov. 12, 2016 at 1:37 pm
Boring thing
 
Adrija said...
May 1, 2013 at 8:06 am
awesome helped in my project  
 
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