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Wildlife and Nature’s Fury

Updated: Jun 29

Wildlife and nature have always been intertwined. One cannot exist without the other. This glorious partnership, like all long-term relationships, has seen ups and downs since the formation of Earth. The first life, in the form of simple microbes, began stirring in the world’s oceans about 3.7 billion years ago. Over millions of years, as wildlife ecosystems blossomed, they faced various forms of nature’s fury. Oceanic tsunamis, earthquakes, and forest fires are just three common examples of nature's force acting adversely on wildlife. These calamities continue now and will persist into the future. They bring with them the destruction of lives and property, including wildlife in every ecosystem. Additionally, there are man-made reasons affecting wildlife. By learning about these factors, we can come up with plans to save our wildlife. Let us explore these forces in more detail.

Oceanic Tsunami


What is a tsunami? The word is Japanese. A tsunami is a series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water, generally in an ocean or a large lake. Tsunamis not only destroy human life and property but also have a devastating effect on insects, animals, plants, and natural resources. They change landscapes, destroy nesting sites of birds, and uproot trees, bushes, and plants. They drown animals and birds by the thousands, and marine life is destroyed. Harmful chemicals flowing from inland into the ocean will pollute and kill thousands of organisms.


Earthquake Fury


Simply put, an earthquake is the shaking of the earth. It happens when two blocks of the earth suddenly slip past one another. As with tsunamis, property and lives, including wildlife, are destroyed if they are in the path or close to the earthquake area.


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Volcano Devastation


A volcano is like a chimney that allows hot liquid rock, called magma, to flow from a layer within the earth and erupt onto the surface. The flowing molten lava and resulting toxic gases wreak havoc on the surrounding landscape.

Force of Thunder, Tornadoes, and Hurricanes


Thunder is created when lightning passes through the air. The temperature in the lightning channel may reach around 50,000ºF (27,760ºC), which is about five times higher than the surface temperature of the sun! Immediately after the flash of lightning, the surrounding air cools down and constricts. The rapid expansion and contraction of air create the sound we call thunder.

Tornadoes form over land, while hurricanes occur over bodies of water such as seas. A single tornado may have stronger, faster winds than a hurricane, but a hurricane's larger size and longer life give it the potential to be more disastrous. A hurricane is a low-pressure storm that forms over tropical bodies of water, while a tornado is a narrow, spinning column of air on the ground formed from thunderstorms.

Flood Might


Floods result from prolonged and widespread precipitation, sudden and localized heavy rainfall, or, in winter and spring, snowmelt. When rain hits the earth's surface, part of it seeps into the soil and recharges groundwater. Another part is temporarily stored in the soil or evaporates. The rest flows over the soil and empties into water bodies, like the ocean. The natural water cycle is intensified by global warming, leading to heavier floods that damage wildlife ecosystems.

Fire Harm


Nearly 85 percent of wildland fires in the United States are caused by humans. Human-caused fires result from campfires left unattended, burning debris, equipment uses and malfunctions, negligently discarded cigarettes, and intentional acts of arson.

Lightning, especially in dry weather, is another major cause of wildfires. In severe, prolonged dry weather, even tree branches rubbing together can create a small spark that spreads rapidly. Australia experienced more intense heatwaves and prolonged dry periods leading to the devastating wildfires in 2019-20. Record-breaking temperatures were recorded across the continent throughout this period. An estimated 1.5 billion wild animals were killed, and their homes were destroyed.

Man-made reasons for destruction of wildlife


Electrocution of birds and mammals by power lines in cities and wilderness areas is common throughout the world. Wildlife authorities employ various techniques to control these occurrences. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant is another tragic example of human impact on wildlife.

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