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Dodo, passenger pigeon, and steller’s sea cow became extinct in the last 500 years due to-
(a) Habitat destruction
(b) Overexploitation
(c) Bird flu virus infection
(d) pollution

Last updated date: 14th Jun 2024
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Hint: It is also called over-harvesting, which refers to the harvesting of renewable resources to the point of reducing returns. Continued over-harvesting can lead to the destruction of the resource. The word refers to natural resources such as wild medicinal plants, pastures, game animals, fish stocks, forests, and water aquifers.

Complete step by step answer:
Overexploitation can lead to the destruction of resources, including extinctions. In ecology, overexploitation is one of the five major practices that endanger global biodiversity. Ecologists use the word to describe species that are harvested at a pace that is unsustainable, considering their natural mortality rates and reproductive ability. This can lead to population-level extinction and even to the extinction of whole species.
So, the correct answer is ‘over-exploitation’.

Additional information:
Habitat destruction: Habitat degradation (also referred to as habitat loss and habitat reduction) is the mechanism by which a natural habitat becomes incapable of sustaining its native species. The animals that historically occupied the site are displaced or dying, reducing biodiversity and species abundance.
Bird-flu virus infection: Avian influenza refers to a disease caused by avian (bird) influenza (flu) type A virus infection. These viruses occur naturally among wild aquatic birds all over the world and can infect domestic poultry and other bird and animal species. Avian influenza viruses do not usually affect humans.
Pollution: Pollution is the introduction of chemicals into the natural environment that cause adverse reactions. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light. Pollutants, the components of pollutants, can be foreign substances/energy or naturally occurring contaminants.

Note: Over-exploitation does not inherently contribute to the loss of the resource, nor is it inherently unsustainable. However, the depletion of the number or amount of the resource can change its quality. The footstool palm, for example, is a wild palm tree found in Southeast Asia. The leaves are used for thatching and food wrapping, and overharvesting has resulted in smaller leaf size.