In the modern world, many environmental problems exist. Some plants and animals are threatened with extinction. For instance, such situations concern the chimps and the trees. This paper explains why chimps and trees are ecologically and socially valuable, why they are disappearing, and what will happen if they go extinct. It aims to decide on which of them humans should spend money to prevent disappearance.
Chimpanzee is a genus from the hominid family of the order of primates. It includes two species: the common chimpanzee and the dwarf chimpanzee, also known as bonobos. Both species are threatened with extinction (Nishida, 2018). Chimpanzees are distributed in western and central Africa. They usually live in groups. Growing chimpanzees leave the pack to form a new group. At night, monkeys hide high on trees, arranging their bed of twigs and leaves. Adult chimpanzees usually grow to 3-5.5 feet and weigh around 70-130 pounds (Nishida, 2018).
Extinction of Chimpanzees
The chimpanzee is the closest relative of a man and a brother in mind among primates. However, in the near future, the world can remain without them. The fact is that poaching, ongoing deforestation, mining operations, as well as intraspecific diseases, systematically reduce the population of this species of primates. Recently, the organisation for the protection of animals PASA published data according to which, for one living child chimpanzee there are ten dead ones (Stoddard, 2004). At this rate, by the year the 2050s, the wild chimpanzee population will go extinct.
According to the zoologist Jane Goodall, only in the last 50 years, the number of chimpanzees has decreased from two million to 300 thousand (AFP, 2014). Moreover, the United Nations provides statistics that by 2030, 90 per cent of the areas inhabited by great apes in Africa and 99 per cent of the regions of Asia will be affected by the activities of human civilisation (AFP, 2014). Infrastructure development, deforestation, mining of minerals, oil and gas – all these factors result in the extermination of the monkeys. This will lead to irreparable consequences.
Consequences of Chimpanzees Extinction
Firstly, the disappearance of chimpanzees will strike the ecosystem. The idea that monkeys can have great significance for ecology appeared relatively recently as one of the manifestations of the now fashionable sycophancy, which in every possible way emphasises our closest relationship to the anthropoid apes. To some extent, the modern romanticised attitude towards anthropoid apes is associated with specific philosophical schools or solely with the commercial aspect of ecotourism.
Furthermore, chimpanzees are socially vital since they considered to be the closest relatives of a person. Based on the data available for 2018, their genome differs from the human by 6.4% (Demuth et al., 2006), that is, the coincidence of the human genome and the chimpanzee genome is 93.6%. This advocates that the evolutionary paths of humans and chimpanzees disseminated just six million years ago. Thus, humanity will lose the animal closest to itself in nature.
The tree is a perennial plant with a solid trunk and branches that form a crown from it. The total number of trees on planet Earth in 2015 was estimated at 3 trillion (Amos, 2015). Trees provide us with oxygen, purify the air, fight the greenhouse effect, and cool streets and cities.
Deforestation is the process of transforming land occupied by forest into a land without a tree cover, such as fields and pastures, cities, wastelands, and others. The leading cause of deforestation is the transfer of areas occupied by forests for other purposes, in particular, deforestation and burning out of forests for farmland (Pimm, 2018). Besides, forests can be destroyed due to natural causes such as hurricanes, forest diseases, climate change, but the primary reason of deforestation is the anthropogenic factor, including, in addition to cutting and burning, for example, acid rains. Each year, the number of trees on the planet is reduced by about 15 billion, due to both deforestation and climate change (Amos, 2015).
A 2004 UN study stated that less than 10 per cent of the forest home of Africa’s great apes would be left relatively undisturbed by 2030 if road building, construction of mining camps and other infrastructure developments continued at the same levels (Stoddard, 2004).
Consequences of Deforestation
The process of forest destruction leads to both local and global and climatic changes. Firstly, deforestation contributes to global warming and is often called one of the main reasons for the increase in the greenhouse effect. In the atmosphere of the Earth in the form of carbon dioxide contains about 800 g of carbon; in terrestrial plants, most of which are forests, about 550 g of carbon are held (Riebeek, 2011). Destruction of tropical forests is responsible for about 20% of greenhouse gases.
Secondly, wet tropical forests are the most precious ecosystems on the planet, since up to 80% of known species live in them, so the main effect of deforestation is to reduce biodiversity. This is especially notable since this means that deforestation leads to the extinction of chimpanzees. Goodall claims that the world loses monkeys only because the tropical forests disappear (AFP, 2014).
The paper has discussed ecological issues concerning trees and chimps, both of which are endangered. In particular, it has been described why these animals and plants are vital for the ecology and society, why they are dying, and what can occur if they vanish. Summarizing, it can be concluded that trees are more important since their cutting is one of the leading causes of extinction of chimpanzees. Therefore, foremost humans should use the money to save them.
- Agence France Presse. (2014). Jane Goodall: Man’s closest animal relatives face extinction. Business Insider. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/jane-goodall-mans-closest-animal-relatives-face-extinction-2014-7.
- Amos, J. (2015). “Earth’s trees number three trillion.” BBC. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-34134366.
- Demuth, J. P., De Bie, T., Stajich, J. E., Cristianini, N., & Hahn, M. W. (2006). The evolution of mammalian gene families. PloS one, 1(1), e85.
- Nishida, T. (2018). “Chimpanzee.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/animal/chimpanzee.
- Pimm, S. L. (2018). “Deforestation.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/science/deforestation.