Wildlife and Its Conservation

Ecological balance is maintained when the environmental factors remain in a state of balance. If one or more of these factors are disturbed to any extent, then they may be recovered soon. But gross natural calamities like flood, earthquake, volcanic eruption, etc. destroy the ecological balance considerably and environmental organisms are liable to destruction. The animals and birds are the ornaments of nature, the beauty of the jungle. With the advancement of civilization, industrialization moves in rapid space. This has resulted in the feeling of the large trees, cleaning the forests.

Wildlife

Wildlife means life in any form (plant or animal) existing in the natural surrounding which provides recreational and economic benefits to man. All undomesticated or untamed animals living in their own natural habitats or in any habitat where they have been adapted are known as wildlife animals.

Conservation

The proper utilization, preservation, and management of the natural resources of the earth are known as conservation. According to Eugene Pleasants Odum (1972), conservation can be defined as a process which is concerned with the use, preservation, and proper management of the natural resources of the earth and their protection from destructive influences, misuse, decay, fire or waste.

Aims of conservation

  • A continuous yield of useful plants, animals, and materials are to be ensured.
  • To preserve the economically important plants, animals, as a source of recreation, creation of aesthetic sense and to meet the various need of life.
  • To maintain the ecosystem balance.

Importance of conservation

  • To maintain the ecological balance
  • To add to the source or recreation of mankind
  • To meet the future demands
  • To create an aesthetic sense
  • To yield beneficial plants and animals
  • To maintain the economic condition of the country
  • To help in the benefit of mankind

Purpose of Wildlife Conservation

Plants and animals offer huge value to human being and it must be saved and protected for future generations to gather experience their presence and value. For the following purposes, we should conserve wild animals.

Medicinal purposes: Wild species (plants and animals) provides useful medications. Today, most of our life-threatening medicines are made from the natural compounds using diverse wild species. These wild species save our lives and contribute to a prospering medicine industry.

Ecological purposes: Foundation of a healthy ecosystem depends on biodiversity. Destruction of wild species makes the ecosystem imbalance. In this case, we should preserve the wildlife to make a balanced ecosystem.

Commercial purposes: Various wild species play a major role and contribute to national and international economics. Today, valuable these wild species are declined due to various human activities such as destruction of habitat, pollution, etc. This degradation of wildlife may impact on the economy; hence, our economy faces a critical problem. So, for the betterment of commercial importance; we should save wild animals and plants.

Aesthetic/recreational purposes: Wildlife species are an invaluable and irreplaceable resource and they provide spiritual, recreational, quality of life values. They also boost up the national economy and enhance the different country`s job-intensive tourism industry. To enhance our quality of life and future generations healthy, measures should be taken for the preservation of plants and animals.

Impact of Wildlife on Nature and Human Civilization

Impact of wildlife may be discussed on the following three headings:

Ecological: Every organism has got its own importance in nature, however harmful it might be. In maintaining the balance in the ecosystem occurs through the extinction of any such component, the balance in the ecosystem is disturbed. This imbalance threatens the life or livelihood of other organisms. Since through the break of food-chain on one level, the other levels grow by leaps and bounds and finally, they will be destined to attack human population directly or indirectly through the damage of his crops and organisms of interest. Through the biological control, the natural balance is maintained by prey and predator chain. Hence, ruthless annihilation of wildlife surely disturbs the balance and invites disaster to human life.

Aesthetics: Human life is full of bustle and hurry, but when we stand and leisurely look to the vast nature, we feel rejuvenated. The beauty and varied richness of the jungle inhabited by colorful and varied types of wild animals gives us pleasure and satisfaction. The multi-colored birds and their songs have always been a source of inspiration to the poets and the common people. The children particularly become joyous with the sight of the large animals (and wild) of the zoo-gardens and elsewhere. The children thus, become interested in and start loving the wild animals.

Economical:  Properly maintained wildlife is a source of the country`s income. We can have economically valued materials like meat, skin, feathers, horn, etc. from wild animals, there is a demand of such materials in foreign countries where we can export these materials and earn foreign exchange. In fact, we have been doing so.

Besides, the resorts of the wildlife, particularly where vanishing and rare animals are kept, are always attractive to both national and international tourists. It is an easy source of earning revenue. 

Causes of Wildlife Extinction

Habitat destruction

Recently, habitat destruction is the major cause of wildlife extinctions. This is done by several factors-

  • Over-exploitation of resources
  • Overgrazing
  • Expanding agriculture
  • Deforestation
  • Drainage
  • Urban and suburban development
  • Dam construction
  • Roads and Highway construction
Illegal trading

Lots of wild animal and plants are harvested from their natural habitat and sold for the purpose of food, pets, and medicine, skin and tourist curios every year.

Hunting

It also causes a reduction of wild animals. Besides, uncontrolled over=exploitation is also responsible for the depletion of varieties of animals.  If you hunt wildlife for the purpose of collecting food to a large extent, it leads to wildlife extinction.  Hunting of animals is done for fun, financial gain, skin, bones, horn, fur, and feathers, etc. Hunting is also done for sports purposes. 

Poaching

It also leads to declining in wildlife extinction on the planet.  It is done for various purposes such as elephants for ivory, rhinos for their horns and tigers for their skins and bones.

Pollution

It is now one of the primary cause of wildlife extinction. Many unnatural chemicals are introduced in the agricultural farm which contaminates air, soil, and seas. The residues interfere with the metabolism of animals and inhibit the growth and disrupt the whole food web and leading to the collapse of the whole of the ecosystem.

Foreign species

Introducing foreign or invasive species in a new place often leads to ecological imbalance.  They also carry pathogens causing diseases of native animals and disrupt food web. They also disrupt the habit and habitat of native species and change the environment of the old species and make adaptation challenge and species-species conflict and they lead to the extinction of native animals.

Climate Change

Climate change is a natural phenomenon which leads to emit greenhouse gas. Due to climate change, there are many species have gone to extinct. Generally, climate change interrupts breeding seasons and migration patterns of many animals leading to extinction.

Human overpopulation

Pressure of over human population causes crowding out of wild species and enhances wildlife extinction. 

Random utilization of natural resources will threaten our future civilization. To maintain the ecological balance we should take care to conserve the natural resources. With the advancement of civilization, more and more resources are being used which also causes depletion of wild fauna such as:

  • A large number of forests is being uprooted for the development of cities.
  • Forest plants are utilized as fuel as well as for making furniture.
  • Water reservoirs are pumped out for agricultural purposes.
  • Damps are being constructed for the generation of hydroelectricity.
  • Poisonous chemicals are used as pesticides; as a result, terrestrial and aquatic organisms are being affected.
  • Man kills the wild animals at random for flesh, skin, etc.
  • The rainfall is affected by the destruction of plants.
  • Soil erosion becomes rapid due to the destruction of coastal forests.
  • Man has created an imbalance in the biotic community

Conservation Measures of Wldlife

As indicated by a present report, about 58% worldwide population have been falling since 1970 and if the pattern proceeds with that decrease could achieve two-third among vertebrate animals by 2020. If not urgent steps are taken, we may lose most of our wildlife.  At present with the help of IUCN, different countries of the world have formulated the following ways and means for wildlife conservation.

  • Botanical garden, gene banks, captive breeding,  zoo, etc. should be created for ex situ conservation.
  • International collaboration among adjacent countries should be made to control illegal trading and poaching.
  • Empowering local communities should be involved to protect natural resources as well as wildlife.
  • Eco fencing and wildlife corridors should be made.
  • Establishment of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, protected areas, and forests.
  • Enactment of wildlife preservation.
  • To educate the people by rousing their feeling and consciousness for wildlife and to hold public propaganda to this effect.
  • To develop and establish new Zoo-gardens which can educate the commoners and the children while catering pleasure and enjoyment.
  • To develop real forest area through a planned plantation of trees, so that the area may really turn to a natural abode of wild animals.
    Through the exchange of rare and attractive animals with foreign countries or even selling them outright when possible, the government can enrich our zoo-garden in one hand and can earn foreign exchanges on the other.
  • Restriction of killing wild animals, keeping the habitat intact, renovation of destructed habitats, etc.
  • For the preservation of wildlife, several forests have been declared as reserve forests, sanctuaries, protected areas, and national parks.
  • Entrance to the reserve forests is prohibited without permission. A forest may be announced as reserve forest for a particular period.
  • Fishing, Killing of animals and cutting of trees are totally prohibited in the sanctuaries.

Final Words

Conservation of nature is the prime necessity for maintaining the ecological balance of the organic components. Hence, conservation of wildlife forms is a part of it. Protection, careful exploitation and management of wildlife will save these natural resources from misuse, decay, and destructive influences.

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