This Peregrine Falcon came into the wildlife rehab center a few weeks ago. When I first saw him, I didn’t know what species of bird it was but when I was told the story behind these guys I felt motivated to let everyone know. Now bare with me if you already know the story but for those of you who do not, it is a great example of conservation. Peregrine Falcons and Pelicans are just a few examples of birds that were affected with the chemical “DDT” which was found in pesticides in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. DDT is an organochlorine pesticide. These types of pesticides would build up in the birds’ fat tissues, reducing the amount of calcium in their eggshells. With thinner shells, fewer egg embryos would not survive to hatch.
Rachel Carson wrote a book in the 70’s called “Silent Spring” that sparked the environmental movement. She used DDT as an example of the harmful effects that certain chemicals cause wildlife, and the environment in general. These birds were on the endangered list because of DDT and thanks to research, education, and government pressure, these species bounced back and were eventually removed from the endangered species list. Meeting an animal for the first time is a treat, but meeting an animal that was once on the brink of extinction just gets my heart going. Why am I so enthused to share this story with you all? because these examples gives biologists, naturalists, and conservationists hope for a better future. Sure we have a shit load of problems with endangered animals, destroyed habitats and climate change. But when we find a direct human-related problem endangering wildlife, we have the knowledge and will power to do our best to stop it. With all the environmental problems going on in today’s society, we all have to remember that it’s not time to lose hope and learn to “live with it”. We have to remember that there have been so many species that were on the brink of extinction and we were able to save them!
I love that we have all this research going on, we have wildlife rehab centers, and we have breeding programs in zoos and other places that try their best to save a species. That’s one of the perks I find working in these places. You get to meet all these different species you have never met before and you get to hear their amazing stories. I am going to write a quote here that gives me inspiration everyday when I get out of bed and I hope it will give you inspiration to make this world a better place, no matter what field you get into.
“The people that are trying to make this world worse never take a day off, why should I? Light up the darkness”