With climate change becoming more and more prevalent in our everyday life, it’s easy to get frustrated, or even anxious about the future. The truth is, climate change is a big problem we can’t ignore as a community, or as individuals, but the good news is that there is a lot that you and I can do to make things better!
How can we do our best to make sure our descendants can enjoy our world?
One core crucial part of what must be done is wildlife conservation.
Even if we make one electric vehicle for every person on earth, and are able to fully transition to wind, solar, and nuclear energy, sinking biodiversity will continue to threaten the intricate food systems that both humans and animals rely upon.
This is one reason why wildlife is so important. It helps maintain the ecological balance and indirectly contributes to human quality of life. Conservation also ensures the coming generations of humans and wildlife will be surrounded by nature.
When these ecosystems and their wildlife become threatened and endangered, it erodes the strength of all the food chains that feed us.
We need to protect the earth by reducing the amount of harm human activities have on the environment.
If you’re trying to figure out how you yourself can actually make an impact on reversing climate change, wildlife conservation is the answer.
Top 7 Ways Conservation Helps Everyone:
1. Preventing And Sequestering Carbon Emissions
The most natural way our planet keeps greenhouse gasses in balance is through the lungs of the Earth - old growth forests, full of ancient tall trees. Thriving food chains and healthy animal populations help forests grow old, as well as more resilient. Old, tall trees are more effective in trapping carbon. Regular maintenance and conservation programs aid both animal species and these old trees, reinforcing the strength of the other.
Uncontrolled human activity has led to the destruction of many habitats through land development and logging practices. Forests are one of the greatest ways to sequester carbon, but they have one weakness: if they’re burned, or harvested and used as fuel, all the carbon they take out of the environment seeps back into the air.
By increasing conservation programs, as well as protecting more land in national parks and conservatories, we can both keep wildlife happy, and carbon in the ground.
2. Securing Future Food Supplies
Everything in nature is connected to a cycle of ‘give-and-take’. Various modern farming practices are designed to take much more than they give, usually for maximizing short term output.
However, many conservation initiatives and newer farming practices encourage giving back to the land. Practices like permaculture and composting are great for fostering long-term, healthy food sources that add value to an ecosystem, instead of sucking its resources dry.
By enacting these healthier practices, we allow for the land to not only make more food for humans, but also reduce the amount of land taken away from natural habitats, encouraging long-term resiliency in both human and wildlife food cycles.
3. Promoting Soil Health and Fertility
Soil is enriched with minerals from the pee and poop of wild animals. It promotes pollination and continuity of native plant species. In lieu of this small animals, particularly bees, insects, butterflies, and birds play an important role in food production. Conservation of these animals, therefore, aid in pollination. More specifically, it helps to support the cultivation process.
4. Furthering Medical Research
Aside from herbal medicines that are derived from plants, researchers and medical practitioners rely on animals and other species for modern medicine. The more wildlife options they have to study, the better.
Although plants are the major sources of medications, some animals are also vital in the production of medications. For example, cobra venom is an important ingredient in making leprosy medications, whereas lobster can be used as an anti-fungal.
Without taking care to preserve these many species’ habitats, it reduces our ability to ethically further our research in science and medicine.
5. Preserving Heritage and Traditional Culture
Many religions venerate specific plants and animals. Herbs like sage are used for religious ceremonies. Animals such as elephants and cows are sacred symbols for followers of Hinduism. People gather together with common beliefs because of the preserved tradition, when the environment, land and native heritage are preserved.
By protecting the wildlife, we also maintain the spiritual health of communities across the world.
6. Educational Benefits
There’s something magical that happens when children interact with wildlife, especially for the first time. Zoos, museums, animal shelters, and parks provide a real source of educational wealth for children across the world. The moments kids share with animals can spark their imagination and creativity in formative ways that nothing else can duplicate.
Conserving wildlife means that all people, including kids, can continue enjoying nature at its best, and continue to learn about the wonderful universe all around us!
One of the largest driving factors for tourism is experiencing the beauty of nature. There’s nothing more relaxing than resting near a clear lagoon with flowing water, and seeing exotic animals up close are some of the most cherished memories tourists can have!
As it turns out, some of the hottest tourist locations are also these same exotic habitats that are among the most vulnerable to climate change. By actively preserving their wildlife and environment, we can both help small countries’ economies grow, as well as continue to educate people about the necessity of wildlife.
“Wow, wildlife conservation really is crucial, but it seems like such a big issue. What can I do personally to help?”
- Reduce Your Waste
Perhaps the easiest way to lower your carbon emissions is by not littering, and instead start recycling and composting! You can also search sites like meetup.com and find a trash pick up day in your local community.
The next easiest way to help fight climate change is by giving some of your time! There are many conservation groups that are always looking for helping hands. By engaging with wildlife conservation yourself, you’re directly helping reverse human climate change. Go you!
- Check Your Medicine Cabinet and Cruelty-Free Products
More than 25% of all medicine prescribed contains animal products; try to find an alternative that does not. Cruelty-free is a great alternative; you’ll see a descriptive label for products that do not harm or kill animals.
- Get Educated and Stay Informed
Research and learn more about conservation and climate change by reading articles just like this one!
- Join Support Groups
Beyond volunteering your time, you can help save endangered animals in the air, land, and oceans by donating or supporting a non-profit organization.
For example, at 4WildLife we have a directed donation program where YOU get to help choose which non-profit can best help the specific animals you support with your purchase.
Animal life and human life are both extremely special, and are also extremely interconnected. In this time of climate crisis, nature and wildlife lovers can really show the world how people can (and must) protect natural diversity through every-day conservation efforts.
As Rachel Carson says,
"The real wealth of the Nation lies in the resources of the earth - soil, water, forests, minerals, and wildlife."
Let’s spread the wealth together, and keep our big planetary home happy and healthy.