The enormous diversity of life on Earth—from the majestic tiger to the lowly worker bee—contributes to our lives and well-being in more ways than we would realize. We depend on wildlife for our survival, well-being, and success because it provides a plethora of natural remedies, protects us from climatic shocks, and enhances soil health.
However, a sharp drop in their population is being brought on by the way we live and work, from the food we eat to the way we construct our infrastructure. There has been an average drop of 60% in species populations during the previous 40 years. Please give some thought to the predicament of numerous threatened species worldwide on this approaching World Wildlife Day (Tuesday, March 3).
Importance of Wildlife Conservation
Here are some reasons why they should be a priority for all of us.
1. Protection from climate change
Forests, as we all know, are essential to combating climate change because they store carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. However, did you realize that the wild animals that inhabit these woodlands also play an important role?
By preserving animals, harmful forest wildfires may occur less frequently and with less severity. Wild animals that consume plants minimize the amount of grass that can start fires through grazing.
One of the biggest grazers in the world, the white rhinoceros, has been observed in South Africa’s Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park to help control the spread and intensity of the fire, particularly after heavy rains when grass grows more quickly.
Furthermore, unlike domestic animals, large natural grass-eaters like elephants, zebras, rhinos, and camels don’t emit as much methane, a potent greenhouse gas. This is due to the fact that they digest grass differently than livestock does, using a single, big stomach as opposed to regurgitating food.
2. A nourishing food source
For billions of people worldwide, wild animals are an essential source of protein and minerals. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 34 million people rely on fishing as a source of income, feeding more than 3 billion people with protein.
Over six million tons of medium- to large-sized mammals, birds, and reptiles are killed for their meat each year in tropical nations, where they are a rich source of essential minerals.
If access to meat from wildlife is lost, it is predicted that the percentage of children who suffer from anemia will rise by 29%, with lower-income households being substantially more affected.
Since game meat contains larger percentages of unsaturated fatty acids than other meats, wildlife ranching may also have significant benefits for human health. Consuming wild meat benefits both the environment and us by reducing food miles and the carbon footprint of food production.
3. Nature’s medicine cabinet
The use of natural chemicals by our early ancestors to better and enrich their own lives has been a feature of human civilization ever since. They still offer important information to researchers and medical professionals today that will have a significant impact on the medical sciences.
Amphibians are particularly significant to modern medicine since chemicals isolated from frogs alone are used to treat memory loss, depression, convulsions, and strokes.
We also depend on animals for a variety of novel substances, such as “frog glue,” a flexible adhesive made from the glands of Australian holy cross frog species that is used to treat knee injuries in people, lanolin and Vitamin D3 made from sheep’s wool, and Premarin, a menopausal symptom-treating drug made from mare’s urine.
4. Cultural relevance
While difficult to quantify and assess, non-material benefits—which can range from spiritual enrichment to leisure activities—are among the least acknowledged but most significant contributions of wildlife to human well-being.
Wildlife has many therapeutic advantages. Research has found that people are most drawn to settings that are serene, aesthetically pleasing, have historic relevance, and contain wildlife.
In addition to providing robust wildlife populations, natural habitats and landscapes are also important venues for human interactions with wildlife, such as wildlife photography and wildlife movies.
It is not unexpected that during the past 20 years, international travel to places with wildlife has increased, with protected area trips increasing in the majority of developing nations and bringing in an estimated 600 US billion annually.
5. Increasing soil fertility and health
By increasing the nutrients in the soil, wild animals play a significant part in boosting their health and fertility. By supplying the soil with nutrients, its excrement and pee aid in replenishing its nutrient content.
Wildlife can also transfer nutrients because of their large ranges; for instance, the hippo’s nighttime grazing on grasslands returns nutrients to the river through their excrement, enhancing fish productivity.
6. The Role of Wildlife in Natural Evolution
Animals and plants have been able to adapt to their environments for millions of years. They developed characteristics and habits that enable them to flourish in their environment, both physiologically and in terms of how they interact with it.
It is a vital process required for the variety of life and new survival techniques. An essential component of the origin of life and a cornerstone of evolution is genetic adaptability. Without sufficient diversity, life on our planet will soon become extinct.
7. Wildlife Supports Ecosystem Balance
Every living thing is interconnected with every other living thing. The entire ecosystem is affected when even one organism becomes endangered or goes extinct. It upsets the food supply chain and shocks the entire environment.
It’s also crucial to understand that dangers to species are not always unforeseeable occurrences. The same things that threaten honey bees also threaten other pollinators. For ecosystems to flourish, the natural world needs to be covered.
8. Pollination and the Survival of Native Plants
Small creatures like birds, insects, and bees make substantial contributions to food production. Thus, pollination is aided by the conservation of these animals.
Because they depend on nectar from flowers, they are crucial for crop production, intercropping, and guaranteeing the survival of native plant species. When bees move from one bloom to another in search of nectar, they bring pollen with them, which is very advantageous for crop growth.
9. The base of the food chain is wildlife.
The place where wildlife lives have great importance. Therefore, wildlife is essential to preserving the natural equilibrium in a particular location. Their abrupt absence significantly upsets the delicate food chain balance and does the ecology irreparable harm.
Wildlife is necessary for the survival of interrelated species since it is an integral component of the ecosystem. It implies that eradicating only one species might upend the entire food chain, leading to the widespread extinction of biodiversity.
10. For Farming and Agriculture
For food, humans rely primarily on agriculture, plants, and animals. Are you aware that the growth of these crops is significantly impacted by wildlife? If not, let’s review the idea.
As a result of the pollination process, which is a plant reproduction mechanism in which pollen grains from male flowers are transmitted to female flowers, seeds are produced, and plants are able to produce fruits and vegetables.
Pollination currently involves some of the tiniest animals in the world, including birds, bees, and insects. Insects and birds that move from one flower to another spread pollen between them.
11. For People’s Subsistence
In addition to them, a variety of other people gain from wildlife tourism, including those who sell fishing gear, porters, guides, drivers, binoculars for bird watching, mahouts, snorkeling equipment, scuba diving equipment, and many more.
There is a sizable global market for exotic animal products like belts, fur coats, leather bags, jewelry, and ivory crafts. The livelihood of those who work in these professions is also heavily reliant on wildlife. Although we shouldn’t murder animals to produce only the finest goods.
In other words, if the animals, birds, forests, oceans, and lakes vanish from our world, it would have a severe impact on all humans, not just those who depend heavily on the wildlife sector. Consider how we would fare without everything.
12. Protecting Endangered Species Is Essential to Our Long-Term Survival
Some claim that it is not worth it to spend the money necessary to try to save an endangered species. We just don’t know which species—or what species—will be most advantageous to our way of life.
If we play God with the existence of species, we are gambling with our own future. Trade-offs are not an option in a world where we have already lost over three-quarters of all wild creatures.
13. Pandemic prevention
If wildlife and their habitats are conserved, the spread of human diseases will decrease. Human health depends on the protection of wildlife and the ecosystems where they reside. Studies have shown that diversified, protected natural environments had lower rates of malaria and Lyme disease.
The source of 60% of infectious diseases in animals. The likelihood of illnesses mutating and “jumping” species is increased by the presence of animals. If environments are preserved, people and animals can cohabit together.
14. Learning and education
For kids, students, and academics of all ages, knowing about wildlife and its habitat is an essential experience. Animal watching aids with conceptualization and the evolution of children’s imagination, both of which are crucial for their development.
In reality, taking kids to zoos and game parks is a requirement of the educational system, therefore failing to maintain wildlife will deprive instructors of tools for teaching biology and science.
15. The financial advantages of tourism
Because of the wildlife conservation centers and the conserved natural habitats of the animals, tourism significantly contributes to the economic growth of nations (the GDP of the country). For instance, the economies of nations like Thailand, Costa Rica, Brazil, Australia, Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa significantly profit from the money generated by tourism.
10.4% of the global GDP is said to be accounted for by the tourist industry. This means that failing to conserve wild animals would have a significant negative economic impact on the tourism industry in addition to endangering the animals’ ability to survive.
16. It protects the environment for future generations.
Future generations won’t be able to view some of the wild animals that live today if conservation measures are not implemented.
Numerous wild creatures, including the Amur leopard, Cross River gorilla, Black and Javan rhinoceros, Hawksbill turtle, South China tiger, pangolin, and Sumatran elephant, are on the verge of going extinct as a result of human activity.
For instance, when the last remaining male white rhinoceros in Kenya passed away from old age a few years ago, scientists were left with a large amount of work to try to preserve the semen for use on the few remaining female rhinoceros in an effort to preserve the white rhinoceros for future generations.
Scientists have attempted to impregnate the female rhinoceros despite having cutting-edge technology, but they have been unsuccessful, which emphasizes the necessity to maintain wildlife because people will find it challenging to fill the natural role of wildlife.
17. Wildlife conservation results in more jobs being created
The protection of wildlife boosts the economy by adding more jobs. For instance, a significant conservation and sustainable management project in Honduras resulted in the creation of over 8,000 employment and a more than 300% rise in community income levels.
The development of parks and conservation projects generates significantly more jobs than the production of oil and gas, according to Heidi Peltier, a research professor and authority on employment in the US economy. The creation of green jobs results in a more productive and sustainable economy.
The ecosystems of the earth are balanced and stable because of the fauna that exists there. The purpose of wildlife conservation is to protect these species and to inform humans about how to coexist peacefully with other species.
- 15 Animals that Start with X – See Photos and Videos
- 10 Animal Testing Debate Questions and Possible Answers
- 10 Examples of Non-Renewable Resources
- 2 Types of Wildlife Conservation & How They Operate
- 10 Importance of Conservation of Natural Resources
A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo.
I strive to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.