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Many years ago there was a bird the passenger pigeon that was very plentiful When the flocks would fly they covered the sky and nearly blocked out the sun People killed them not for food but for fun They thought the bird would be here forever The last passenger pigeon died in a zoo in 1914 Black bears were abundant in New Jersey In the mid 1970s they were nearly driven to extinction Laws were passed and the bear have made a comeback When humans have taken actions that harm the planet and the creatures living within it the government must take action That is the case with the extinction of plants and animals Why should they go extinct Over 34000 plant species and 5200 animal species around the globe are threatened with extinction and many thousands more become extinct each year before biologists can identify them The primary causes of species extinction or endangerment are habitat destruction commercial exploitation damage caused by nonnative plants and animals introduced into an area and pollution Of these causes direct habitat destruction threatens the most species As species evolve most adapt to a specific habitat or environment that best meets their survival needs Habitat disintegration has caused plant and animal species in the remaining islands of habitat to lose contact with other populations of their own kind This reduces their genetic diversity and makes them less adaptable to environmental or climatic change These small populations are highly vulnerable to extinction Since the 1600s worldwide commercial exploitation of animals for food and other products has caused many species to become extinct or endangered Wildlife trade involves the capture of animals for pets zoo specimens and research subjects The capture of wild animals for commercial use has endangered many species Other animals have been killed in such large numbers for their fur hides tusks or horns that they are nearly extinct People
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