Endangered species representation

Endangered species can be defined as a type of organism considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild. They may be at risk due to factors such as habitat loss, poaching and invasive species. However, these species mainly become extinct due to the action of humans.

According to GreenTumble, the main cause of species endangerment are related to overhunting and overhasting, which has been the fate of most large animals, slow animals and tasty animals when humans have migrated to a previously uninhabited area. For example, in the Amazon rain forest of Brazil, farmers have cleared hundreds of thousands of acres mainly for cattle ranches, logging, and urban use. As pointed out by The Guardian, in this year Brazil’s Amazon rainforest suffers worst fires in a decade.

There are also many species endangerment due to trophy hunting, where people pay huge sums of money to kill wild animals for in-home display. This is the case of the black Rhino, where people kill the animal only to get his horn.

These actions are very prejudicial for the biodiversity of the world. Besides, it is so depressed to think that one specie of animal will never exist anymore in the world due to human actions. To give a better understading of how bad extinction is for some species of animals, this article will show some pictures in a different representation, as illustrated in Figure 1. Take some time to analyze it.

Figure 1: Examples of species under endangerment.

The upper images of Figure 1 are kinda blurry, aren’t them? They are the same picture of the respective lower image, but with one difference: each pixel corresponds to the amount of animals estimated to be alive of the specie. Some images are so blurry that we can’t even recognize anything! It shows how bad things are for this animal.

In the most left image, we have the world’s rarest marine mammal called Vaquita, which is on the edge of extinction with only 30 species alive. In the center left image, the Amur Leopard is shown. The estimated population for this animal is around 84 species. In the center right image, we have the Golden Lion Tamarin, a tiny specie of monkey found in Brazil. It is estimated a population of 2500 species. Finally, in the most right image, the Black Rhino is shown, with around 5600 species in the world. Populations of black rhino declined dramatically due to the hands of European hunters and settlers.

Method

This article is inspired by the idea developed by JJSmooth44, which posted similar images in Imgur. To create these photos, it was initially performed an extense research about databases related to Endangered species. However, no database with information about the population of species endangerment over the years was found. If you find some database similar, please, share in the comments below!

Therefore, we looked for websites specialized in this type of data, such as WorldWildlife.org and AnimalPlanet.com, to gather information about the populations of endangered species.

To produce the images, we used Python and OpenCV. The code to generate the figures can be found in my Github. Feel free to reproduce the same result that I did in this article and test new examples. The only input data necessary to run the code is an image of the animal and the number of species alive.

The idea of the algorithm is pretty simple: First, we find the amount of pixels in the x and y direction of the image based on the number of species alive. Then, we compute the pixel width and height, and iterate over the image to set the value of the new big pixel using the average value of all pixels that lie into the new pixel area. For you who know how to code, these steps will be better visualized in the code provided.

Conclusion

In this article, we presented a different representation related to endangered species of animals. The main goal was to give a visual understanding of how bad extinction currently is for some species. Besides, we also provided you the code to recreate the same images or even build your own.

Hopefully, in this article, we gave you a notion that we must give our best to protect the environment and the ecosystem of our beloved world. The consequences of life extinction can be disastrous for the ecosystem, impacting the food chain, impacting other species, and even the ecosystem itself. Besides, we, humans, rational beings, cannot let the biodiversity of animals to extinguish.

Contribute in any way you can, but let’s not give up of saving any type of lives.

References

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