When we start only looking at the whole of nature or ecosystems, many of us do not fully understand how much we rely on some particular species of insects and animals. But, on Earth, every single thing is connected, regardless of what we think of them. Our survival is not dependent on only us. Rather, our species have stayed alive and survived for so long because of many other forms of life.
But currently, you probably have heard how certain species of insects and animals are facing extinction, or how their numbers are dwindling. However, we usually focus on the endangered animals which are larger, such as rhinos, gorillas, tigers, and leopards. Many smaller species do not get the attention that they need and deserve.
However, the declining population of some smaller insects and animals will have just as much, if not a bigger impact, on the ecosystem. Even today, certain species of insects and animals make our survival much easier. So, let us look at the following insects and animal species without whom we probably would not be here, right now.
The 4 B’s Behind Our Survival
Bees are, by far, among the most important insects for the ecosystem. They do a lot of other things apart from helping flowers grow and making delicious honey. For example, in the United States, over 33% of the crop produced needs the pollination done by bees to grow. Without them, a lot of our tasty favorite drinks and foods would be missing. The list includes almonds, peaches, coffee, watermelon, raspberries, carrots, apples, and many more.
Bees are the reason why harvest yields can be as large as possible. If these tiny insects no longer exist, or their numbers keep falling, then we would not have much choice for our diet. Moreover, agriculture would be extremely unsustainable and eventually collapse completely. Experts have studied the effect of bees. They concluded that if bees ever went extinct, humans would go extinct as well. We would only survive a maximum of four years without them.
So don’t be annoyed by the buzz, and try to give some space to them. Using as little pesticide as possible, and creating an environment that will welcome pollinators may be a tiny step. But it will help a lot in protecting the population of bees.
The feathered flyers are crucial to several ecological processes. For example, they help in decomposition, with seed distribution and plant pollination, and controlling insects and pests. Their numbers also give a good idea about how well an ecosystem’s health is. If their numbers are declining, then scientists can try to see if pesticides and chemicals are having any negative consequences in that area.
Moreover, they may be good risk predictors before the outbreak of a disease. The corpses of birds are usually tested in labs for any disease. Birds can also be considered biodiversity indicators. Every one of the factors is significant in determining an ecosystem’s overall health. There are numerous species of birds, and every one of them helps the ecosystem in some way. Some are known to better the health of the soil as they use their talons to dig up soil.
Birds have a special benefit for the ecosystem as they are recyclers of important nutrients in the environment. Sadly, our littering and pollution are causing many of them to become sick or injured. Some of them presently facing extinction are vultures, Atlantic Puffin, Snowy Owl, Grey Parrot, and many more.
So be careful before you throw that piece of chewing gum on the road, and think about how these animals are affected.
Now, first things first, these animals are nothing like their reputation in literature. Moreover, they help out the ecosystem immensely. There are more than 1,200 types of bats. All of them play very significant roles.
Their first benefit is that they are Nature’s most effective pesticide. They eat millions of insects which are pests annually. This helps out farmers, especially. They can even use less pesticide as a result. The droppings of bats are very potent fertilizers as well.
Bats travel a lot, and so they help in seed dispersion, helping several plants thrive and grow across several locations. There are some which pollinate plants directly.
So, even if they look sort of scary, our ecosystem would be nowhere without them. Bats deserve a bit of respect as well.
There is more to Butterflies than just their beauty. Did you know these insects are very good predictors of climate change? Studies and research have already proven how climate change repeatedly correlated with changes in butterfly populations. Scientists can predict vital climate trends by studying butterfly population changes. The huge impact of rising temperatures affects several factors, biodiversity being one of them.
By being able to predict climate change trends, and values, scientists can then work on preparing to fight the imminent climate change. Of course, that is not all. They are also among the greatest pollinators among insects and animals. Their wings are especially potent instruments of pollination.
These are only four of several million types of insects and animals that maintain our ecosystem daily. Yes, it is important to look at the bigger picture. But we can do our little part by helping all these particular insects and animals whenever we get a chance to. Often it might not be possible to take part in big changes, but we can look after these small creatures at least.