Amphibians, including frogs, toads, salamanders, axolotls, and caecilians, were the first batch of terrestrial vertebrates, appearing on the earth 3.5 million years ago.
Amphibians play a crucial role in ecosystems and many food chains. They eat plants and tiny insects and are also preyed upon by many animals, significantly impacting the nutrient cycle. Adult amphibians are the superior biocides to pesticides that also do not harm humans or other animals. Due to their key role in the ecosystem, once the population is reduced or becomes extinct, other animals and plants around will be seriously affected.
Amphibians are very sensitive to their environments and are always the first species that rapidly falls into decline along with environment degradation, appraised as the canary in the coal mine.
Amphibians are endangered worldwide. In recent years, frogs, toad, and axolotl populations around the globe have been decreasing at an alarming rate, even becoming completely extinct in some areas. The once vivacious forests now remain silent, but their habitats seem to have not been destroyed. This may indicate that some unnoticed environmental issues have emerged. Although scientists are working on the reasons for the reduction, many species are disappearing much more quickly.
So far, several reasons for the decrease of amphibians and extinction of other species have been identified, including infectious diseases (chytrid, viruses, bacterial infections, and parasites), environmental toxins, hormone disturbances, excessive exposure to ultraviolet light, global climate change, and disruptions to other ecological conditions.
The gradual decrease of amphibians will seriously impact surrounding environments. For example, the number of reptiles and mammals and other animals that feed on amphibians will decline, and accordingly the microorganisms and insects the amphibians feed on will increase. In addition, a series of chain reactions will generate changes, including those in aquatic environments and declines in fish populations. The food chains that rely on amphibians will be broken one by one and impact the entire food chain, ultimately affecting humans.
What you can do:
• Mitigating global warming: Saving energy; taking public transportation; and planting trees;
•Reducing environmental pollution: Reducing chemical usage;
•No trading or purchasing frogs, toads, or salamanders as food and pets, or for medicine
(2) Asian Turtle Crisis
On the planet we live in, sea turtles and tortoises are among the most beloved and admired animals. The public knows much about their longevity, gentle nature, beautiful and protective outer shell, and kind appearance. But like many species in the world, turtles are becoming endangered and extinct at an alarming rate. This is especially alarming for Asian turtles. 75% of Asian terrapins have been placed in danger list, and more than half are included on the endangered list.
Habitat destruction is often the principal cause of species loss, but in the case of sea turtles and tortoises, human’s excessive consumption and pollution are chief criminals. In Asia, some people purchase turtles as food, for medicines, or as pets, and some others sell turtle shells as souvenirs.
Records in relation to quantity and weight of turtle transactions are incomplete so that people cannot acquire information on the development of the turtle trade in essence.
The abuse of animals during transportation and on the market is a major problem. Due to our cruel treatment of them during transportation, most animals, including turtles, may die or are seriously infected.
Generally, people have woefully uninformed on how to take care of turtles as pets, which may lead to death due to starvation or illness. Then, that ill-informed pet owner would then purchase a replacement on the market once again, causing one disaster after another to wild turtles, some of which are endangered. Turtles can survive for a long time. Once they’re released into the wild by people who become tired of them, some may die because they never experienced living in their new environment, while others such as the red-eared sliders which are sold on the market as pets or food, and enjoy a strong survival and reproductive instincts may lead to them usurping the habitats of local turtles.
It’s not that people who buy turtles or turtle products are bad, but most of them aren’t familiar with how severe the problems turtles in the wild and on the market face. We should work together to publicize these kinds of situations so that people can make informed decisions.
What you can do:
•No trading or purchasing turtles as pets
•No trading or purchasing turtles as foods or medicines
•Keep wild turtles in their native habitats
•Do not reintroduce pet turtles to the wild
•Stop littering, some of which may contain toxins; care for the turtles’ habitats
•Share the current situation turtles face with others and persuade them to reject supporting the turtle trade
Animals are very sensitive. They also feel pain, fear, loneliness, hunger, sadness, frustration, happiness, comfort, pleasure, and everything we can. They also need everything we do: healthy food, a comfortable home, friendship, love, and protection.
Before you even pick out your pet, you need to carefully consider the time needed to care for it, what it will cost, support your family members can provide, permission from the community you live in, and prepare to take care of your pet for their whole life. In addition, you need to know where to find more search information on taking care of your pet, prepare a suitable home and food for it, find a reliable veterinarian, and so much more.
Choose the right pet. Wild animals are not suitable pets, and many people don't know how to take care of them, leading to their premature deaths. At the same time, wild animals are subjected to very inhuman treatment when they are caught, transported, and sold. A large number of animals die before they reach consumers. It is best to choose animals that have been domesticated for a long time, such as cats, dogs, goldfish, captive-bred rodents, and birds. It is much better to adopt a lost or homeless pet than to buy one from a vendor. Please be sure to find a reputable pet store when buying pets.
Good food is very important for the growth of a pet. Please become familiar with your pet, choose the right food and feed it regularly to ensure its health.
Neuter your pet. Neutering can avoid the increase of stray cats and dogs. Animals that have been neutered will enjoy a longer life span and are healthier, reducing the risk of uterus, ovary, breast, prostate, or testicular cancer. Male animals that have been neutered have reduced the possibility of roaming, fighting, and being hit by cars. Similarly, cats that have been neutered pee less. Animals that are neutered are quieter, better trained, and more likely to become intimate companion animals.
Care for the mental health of your pets. Provide them with a comfortable living environment, and novelty items for them to explore and play, and give them as much companionship and care, positive encouragement, and training on olfactory, audition and foraging training as you can.
Never abandon your pets or release them back in the wild. If animals are released into the wild, they may suffer and die since they are unprepared for their new environment, or compete for resources with other local flora and fauna and become an invasive species in the new environment, threatening local flora and fauna or even decimating their populations.
Pets are our friends. They live with us and depend entirely upon us. They are our responsibility.
Suggestions to pet owners:
• Love your pets forever once you choose them.
• Know their habits, characteristics, and needs and respect them.
• Apply for an “ID Card” for your pet and take them for regular vaccinations.
• Neuter your pet if you love them.
• Always provide your pet with appropriate and adequate food.
• Always be ready to provide your pet with fresh drinking water and change the water each day.
• Arrange time for exercising each day (at least 15-20 minutes each day).
• Have your pet worn ID tags.
• Train and look after your pet. Hold their leash and pick up after them outside.
• Spend more time with your pet to familiarize them with people.