Love Not Loss Project
By Lauren Ussery, Laura Beaty, and Jane Kim
The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost. -Unknown
The Woylie is a marsupial that makes its home in Australia. It spends its days foraging for fungi; when digested by the Woylie, the fungi gets dispersed and the soil also gains valuable nutrients. This little animal used to be abundant and once inhabited more than 60% of the mainland but now lives on less than 1% of the land. Predation, habitatat destruction and competition with other herbivore species are threatening the species! It needs your help!
Improved by intervention
Gray Wolves have always had close ties with humans for many centuries, and we have gotten closer by means of domestication. This species is high up in the food chain and have little predators but they are indicator species, which mean that they are not as adaptable as some other predators like coyotes. The gray wolves' almost extinction caused a major imbalance in the ecosystem called the cascade effect which affected the lower levels of the food chain. The reason for their near extinction is human related, with the destruction of their habitat and the killing of these wolves because they would hunt domesticated animals. We should not think of these wolves as merciless beasts but as caretakers of the ecosystem because they hold a significant amount of power in the equilibrium of habitats.
The Laughing Owl was indigenous to New Zealand on both islands, they were known as Laughing Owls because when traveling, they would make a distinct call that has been described as a high-pitched chattering that sounds like maniacal laughing. They were ground feeders, which means they would chase their prey and they mostly ate beetles, lizards and mice. Foreign species introduced by migrating European settlers in the 1840's shook the delicate ecosystem and was the main cause of many extinctions of animals during this time. Although the Laughing Owls were able to easily adapt to changes in the environment, they unfortunately could not keep up with the imbalance of the ecosystem and they quickly became extinct by the 1880's.
How YOU can help!
The World Wildlife Fund is the leading non-profit organization for animal conservation. You have many choices if you would like to support this cause. You can make a monthly donation or you could even become a member of the WWF.