Effects of Destroying Wildlife

Bulldozers and heavy equipment can destroy a large amount of wildlife and environment quickly.
Bulldozers and heavy equipment can destroy a large amount of wildlife and environment quickly. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Wildlife in environments functions as a component of its surroundings, not separate from them. As a result, destroying wildlife not only kills off the animals themselves, it has repercussions for the environment and has ripple effects as well. Unfortunately, this interaction tends not to be understood until it is too late and the effects have occurred. If people and communities are lucky, some damages can be reversed. However, in other cases the destruction is permanent.

Extinction and Breeding Problems

The most direct and obvious effect of destroying wildlife is the extinction of a species. Many types of animals are down to their last remnants of population. When its habitat is dramatically changed, the species can die off completely. Acid rain in Scandinavia and Canada has destroyed whole populations of fish, depleting lakes completely of fish stock. Another type of destruction can occur through genetics. When wildlife are exposed slowly to chemicals that poison them, their offspring can be damaged as well, resulting in horrible mutations. One example of this sort of aftereffect in reproduction occurred with DDT pesticide before it was banned in the United States.

Food Chain Imbalance

Destroying one type of wildlife frequently affects the rest of a food chain. With a link removed in the chain, lower food species can grow uncontrolled while higher animal species can begin to starve if a once-reliable food source is no longer available. As a result, wiping out one kind of wildlife can inadvertently wipe out other connected species. Sometimes, destroying one or two types of large creatures can have significant effects as well. Although the population loss may seem minimal, it can result in huge booms in lower levels that were once consumed by a few larger animals.

Disruption of Dependent Systems

Food systems for human beings depend on certain wildlife for continued production. One such wildlife species is honey bees. Though other inspects also provide pollinating benefits, honey bees are the most productive and widespread that perform this needed function. Without pollination plant food doesn’t germinate and produce. In some estimates, according to Southeast Farm Press, if honey bees were completely wiped out the human race would follow within less than five years because of a loss of food sources from vegetation.


A common occurrence in communities that wipe out wildlife during development tends to be an explosion of pests that were once naturally controlled. Birds are frequently eliminated as their habitat gets destroyed by tract homes. With no birds, bugs and small rodents breed exponentially. New homeowners then find themselves with not only a new house but plenty of critter problems to clean up as well.

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