Besides animals getting the coronavirus, this disease has actually been great for animals and ecosystems. From illegal wildlife trade to much less pollution, find out all of the benefits of this pandemic.
China and the United States combined use over fifteen gigatonnes of carbon dioxide, and India uses nearly three. Thanks to the pandemic, these countries were on lockdown, thus not driving to work each day or working at factories. Approximately one-and-a-half-billion fewer tonnes of CO₂ were used, which is around 8.8% less.
The more pollution equals the more plants dying and less clean water. All of these are bad for animals, the environment, the ecosystem, and even humans. Even worse, all the carbon dioxide causes global warming, causing the ice to melt in the arctic and many wildfires in Australia, meaning more animals lose their natural habitat. With the dip in the CO₂ levels, air quality improved, benefiting all life.
One great thing for animals is that less is getting run over by cars. Before this pandemic, this was a problem. Tons of animals died yearly, most of them being squirrels, cats, and rats. Now that there are fewer cars on the highway, about half a billion less wild animals are becoming roadkill.
As more people have to stay in lockdown and quarantine, they discover new interests and hobbies. Some of these include learning about animals and nature, and some people also choose to blog about it. More awareness is raised about endangered animals and people begin to care more. This is great, because it may encourage people to think twice before sipping from a plastic straw or driving their cars.
Pangolins, commonly used for medicine in China, may be related with COVID-19, but it’s not scientifically proven. Before, they were used in illegal wildlife trade. Now, they are given much higher protection, and they are no longer allowed to be used for trade and medicine, as well as scale collecting. While this only affects pangolins, it’s still a good thing happening.
These are just a few reasons why the pandemic has been helpful towards animals. Unfortunately, pollution levels in China are already beginning to rise. After a vaccine for COVID-19 has been found and everything goes back to normal, will we stop caring for wildlife again?
Thank you for reading this article.
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- Pollution |Threats on WWF – https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/pollution
- 2020, Biggest carbon dioxide drop: Real-time data show COVID-19’s massive impact on global emissions on Science Daily – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201014082806.htm
- Fobar R. and Maron D., 2020, 10 good-news stories for wildlife in 2020 on National Geographic – https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2020/12/wildlife-wins-good-news-stories-2020/
- Roadkill on Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roadkill
- Maron D, 2020, Pangolins receive surprising lifeline with new protections in China on National Geographic – https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2020/06/pangolins-receive-new-protections-traditional-medicine-in-china/
- Quere C., Jackson R., Jones W., 2020, Temporary reduction in daily global CO2 emissions during the COVID-19 forced confinement on Nature.com – https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-020-0797-x#citeas