Kenya is valued as a tourist country, especially for the wildlife it offers. It has a great climate and a large area to facilitate wildlife habitats. Although Kenya has a good ecological environment, wildlife depletion has increased dramatically over the last 50 years. Endangered species are constantly growing in number. Animals like the elephant, buffalo, and black rhinoceros are in great danger of becoming extinct.
The two main causes of extinction threats include loss of habitat and genetic variation. Loss of habitat is caused mainly by human activity, with deforestation being a major threat to depopulation. Deforestation reduces our biodiversity and encourages human encounters with the wild, making over-hunting and poaching possible. Genetic variation allows living organisms to adapt to changes in the environment. Loss of genetic variation results from inbreeding, where no new genetic information is introduced to the group. It also makes diseases more prominent and deadly in the animals.
Threats to endangered species can be controlled by the international community. Small things we do can make a big difference in our society. By planting trees, we preserve wildlife habitat; by discontinuing the use of pesticides and other chemicals, we protect our pollinators—insects and birds. By avoiding water pollution through water filtering, we protect our sea animals from diseases. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) initiates sustainable living to protect our biodiversity from depletion and raises awareness in various communities. Other organizations such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITE), an international agreement between governments ensuring that international trade of wild animals does not threaten their survival, also protect wild flora and fauna. The Rest List—a list of threatened species kept by the International Union for Conservation of Nature—groups the animals into seven levels of conservation. All of these organizations detect loss of our wildlife.
Sustainable living also influences the measure of animal depletion. If we live a lifestyle that will not lead to loss of our natural resources, animal depletion will reduce significantly. Through sustainable design and development, we will balance our natural resources—from the air we breathe, to our threatened species.