How Does Pollution Affect Animals?

Pollution affects animals by destroying their habitats, poisoning them, forcing them to migrate and causing disease or vulnerability. Pollution can be in the air, water or on land.

Pollution can affect animals in a number of ways including the ones detailed below.

  • Destroying habitats – most animals thrive in areas that have good plant growth. However, when pollution takes place, plants may start dying off. If, for example, an industry poorly disposes of toxic chemicals, the vegetation cover in the region may be affected. Once vegetation reduces, animals will have nothing to eat and may begin starving
  • Poisoning – when pollution takes place in areas such as oceans or lakes, marine life may start dying off. Toxic chemicals mixing with the water cause poisoning to these animals which have nowhere else to go. This predicament can cause mass deaths in marine life
  • Migration – when an area is polluted and the food in the region is no longer viable, animals may opt to migrate. However, they may migrate to areas that are not conducive to their lifestyles. This will mean that a number will die during migration and reproduction may be affected causing the animals to greatly reduce in numbers
  • Vulnerability – destruction of the ozone layer, water pollution, air toxicity and land pollution can all contribute to making animals vulnerable to diseases and other forms of attacks