In the world today, seven percent of all species are in danger of going extinct ("Life at the edge," n.d.). This is a problem, because every animal that dies reduces biodiversity, without which the whole food chain might collapse and everything could die ("Biodiversity," n.d.). One of the most endangered animals is the narwhal, which is a kind of whale that lives near the North Pole and Canada. This essay first describes the narwhal in detail, then looks at some problems causing them to become endangered , and finally outlines three possible solutions to those problems.
This paragraph describes the narwhal in detail. There are two members of the Monodontidae family - beluga and narwhal - of which the narwhal is the most endangered and is the topic of this essay. They are "toothed" whales, best known for having a long horn on their heads which is actually made of material like elephant tusks ("Defining narwhals," n.d.). They are generally similar to a dolphin in terms of body shape and colour, but they are slightly longer, slightly fatter, and live in warmer waters ("Narwhal comparison and ice cream," n.d.). They were first named in 1555 by Olaus Magnus, and were hunted heavily during the 19th century ("Time order narwhal," n.d.). They were classified as "near threatened" and added to the IUCN Red List in 2008 as a result of lack of information previously ("Narwhal Time order two", n.d.) but it is predicted that they will be extinct by 2050 ("Narwhals threatened," 2013). In terms of diet, narwhals mainly eat little shrimp and squid, although when hungry they also eat students who copy from the example essay rather than reading the template and the website as they were asked to (Adetail, 2016). There are around fifty thousand narwhals, mostly living north of Canada and around Greenland ("Narwhal detail with number," n.d.), which is more than some endangered animals but still low enough to be of concern ("Another narwhal detail," n.d.). The next paragraph looks at three problems the narwhal is facing.
This paragraph looks at three ways in which narwhals are experiencing problems - hunting, illegal trade, and climate change. The first problem is hunting. This is done either in traditional or modern ways - for example in Greenland people use lances, while in North Canada they use fast boats and rifles ("History of the narwhal," n.d.). Although this is normally illegal, the hunters are Inuit, and because hunting narwhal is part of their culture, they are allowed to hunt by law ("History of the narwhal," n.d.). The second problem is illegal trade. The tusks are sold as unicorn horns in Chinese herbal medicine, which is illegal ("Narwhals: Photos show decline," 2004). However, the tusk value is more than $1.5 million, which means many people are willing to risk being caught ("International narwhal tusk smuggling," 2014). The third problem is climate change, which is the most difficult problem to fix. The North and South Pole ice caps have both been melting and this has raised the sea’s level and temperature ("Narwhals threatened," n.d.). As a result, the narwhal cannot adjust to the changes in sea temperature, and many of them have already died as a result ("History of the narwhal," n.d.). In summary, there are three main problems - hunting, illegal trading, and global warming - of which the most serious is global warming. However, the next paragraph examines some possible solutions to these issues.
There are three possible solutions to the issues outlined above - banning hunting, banning trade, and solving climate change. The first solution is banning hunting, which is being attempted by some organizations such as WWF and PETA ("International narwhal tusk smuggling ring busted," n.d.). For example, WWF is informing each government about the risk of collapse in sea animal diversity due to whaling ("WWF," n.d.). However, this has not worked - despite the laws passed, the population of narwhal has reduced from 15,000 to about 5000 in the past 20 years and are still reducing by 500 every year ("Narwhal," n.d. a). The second solution is banning hunting for the purpose of selling narwhal tusks, which shows gradual improvements. This solution is controlled by severe restrictions by the maritime and airport police. In fact, this has worked, since illegal trade has been decreasing every year ("Narwhal," n.d. b), though illegal trade is only one problem facing the narwhal. The last solution is stopping climate change, which is very difficult. It might seem impossible, but there are small things people can do such as being careful with energy, and stopping using plastic bags. This kind of movement is currently spreading around the world, however, it has not shown any improvements so far. In fact, sea level and temperature has become higher and higher every year ("Weather," n.d.). In summary, there are three main solutions - banning hunting, banning trade, and solving the problem of climate change - of which only banning hunting has been successful
In conclusion, this essay first described the narwhal, then examined three issues that it is facing, and suggested some possible answers. The narwhal has three problems – illegal hunting, illegal trade, and global warming - of which the most dangerous is global warming. However, there are three solutions - banning illegal hunting, banning hunting for tusks to trade, and stopping global warming - of which only banning hunting has been effective. As such, students who want to help should donate to WWF (http://wwf.org) so that they can make a stronger impact and spread the ban on hunting to other governments.
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