Extinct, Endangered, or Back from the Brink
Zanzibar Leopard aka Panthera Pardus Adersi (Extinct)
Tanzanian locals believed the Zanzibar Leopards were kept by witches and aggressively hunted them. Even the government thought they should be exterminated until the mid-90's. The behaviors and biology of the leopard are almost completely unknown, researchers are really only partly sure that the leopard is a subspecies of the African Leopard. When the leopard died out it didn't cause too much of an effect on the ecosystem since they were only inhabiting one island, but livestock wasn't hunted as much and locals weren't afraid of them anymore.
Mountain Gorilla aka Gorilla Beringei Beringei (Critically Endangered)
The largest threat to Mountain Gorilla's is the commercial trade in bush meat. Other threats include hunting, poaching, habitat loss, commercial trade and the spread of infectious diseases. The gorilla's low reproductive rate means even small amounts of harm can cause years of population damage. They play a large role in the dispersion of seeds throughout the rain forest and this is vital to sustaining the regrowth that keeps the rain forests alive. If Mountain Gorilla's were to go extinct the biodiversity of the rain forests would decrease, and growth of the vegetation they eat wouldn't be spread throughout their habitat.
Steller Sea Lion aka Eumetopias Jubatus (Back from the Brink)
Steller Sea Lions were the victims of man-made hazards like illegal hunting, offshore drilling, oil exploration, entanglement in fishing nets and boating strikes. They're main predators are the killer whale and sharks, so if they would've gone extinct both of those predators would've had to find a new major source of nutrition. The federal government put up protection measures for areas that the Steller Sea Lions were inhabiting and actually enforced them to bring the populations back up.
The Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef contains 7 small coastal ecosystems.
- coral reef
- lagoon floor
- open water
The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system, it's located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Australia. It contains the highest number of individual corals. The reef has many natural threats especially because coral is so fragile. Severe weather, tidal immersions, any fluctuation of temperature or salinity in the water and natural predators are all threats to the fragile ecosystem. Humans also threaten the Great Barrier Reef with things like climate change, pollution, industrialization, and naive fishing practices.
"Mountain Gorilla." WorldWildlife.org. World Wildlife Fund, n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
Neher, Zach. "The Natural World: The Zanzibar Leopard: A Lesson in Island Dwarfism....and Extinction." The Natural World: The Zanzibar Leopard: A Lesson in Island Dwarfism....and Extinction. The Natural World, 19 June 2013. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
"Steller Sea Lion." The Marine Mammal Center :. Marine Mammal Center, n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
"Working Together Today for a Healthier Reef Tomorrow..." Facts about the Great Barrier Reef. Australian Government, n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.