Wildlife Conservation includes all human efforts to perserve wild animals from extinction. It involves the protection and wise management of wild species and their environment.
Some species have become extinct due to natural causes, but the greatest danger to wildlife results from human activities. Thus, we ourselves have created this need for wildlife conservation.
The progress of man throughout has been beneficial for the human race but it is the wildlife that has suffered through the years. Invention of sophisticated weapons, industrialization, urbanization, ever increasing human population have been some of the major causes for the dwindle of our once rich resource.
Hunting, clearing of forests, draining of swamps and damming of rivers for irrigation and industry this is what we appraise of man’s progress. These activities have vastly reduced the natural habitats of our wildlife and many species are endangered or nearly extinct.
Man’s indifference and ignorance has led him to believe that he is independent of natural laws and of natural environments and forgets that he himself is a biological being and is directly and/or indirectly dependent on the natural resources available to him.
He exploits, destroys and reduces the renewable natural resources, eradicates wildlife and leads his own race to levels leading to catastrophe. All this can be put to an end by careful long-range ecological planning.
Along with the topic of conservation arises a question-Why should be care about disappearing animals? The answer to such a question can be attributed to many reasons. Some of them are as follows:
Every species plays an important role in maintaining an ecological balance among the living systems of the earth. These systems must continue to function if life is to survive. Loss of any species threatenes the survival of several species inclusive of man. Man’s own survival depends on his willingness and ability to co-operate with the living environment. Human beings turn to nature and wildlife for spiritual, psychological, physical and cultural benefits.
The study of wildlife provides valuable knowledge about life processes which has helped scientists understand the functioning and behaviour of the human body. Scientists have also gained medical knowledge and discovered important medical products by studying wildlife. By studying the effects of environmental pollution on wildlife it is possible to learn how pollution affects human life.
Wild species of animal provide meat for food and skin for fur. The financial value of wild species is of major importance in the economics of many nations.
Wildlife includes a diversity of species that contributes in a special way to the beauty of nature. Such beauty enriches life and increase the enjoyment of camping and outdoor recreation.
On all continents wildlife is becoming an increasingly important recreational asset and tourist attraction. They maintain the health of the living landscape and productivity of the ecosystem.
Wildlife represents the result of many years of evolution and constitute and environmental heritage to the past, a world which once surrounded our ancestors. Moreover, why should man deny that animals as species have the right to live and coexist with ourselves? We are responsible to the coming generation to leave as an inheritance an upspoiled world with intact living beauty and richness.
Apart from the aesthetical ethical reasons, there are also educational arguments to preserve wildlife.
Reasons for Dwindle
Man in his zeal for progress fails to realize that his own existence is being jeopardised. “Progress”, as he terms it, has made him contaminate air; pollute streams, lakes and oceans, drain swamps and wetlands, lowering the water table; rape prairies and forests; spray pesticides over water and land; kill animals excessively for immediate profit, or on false assumptions that they are noxious or for fashionable “sport”. Man alone, though often in combination with his livestock is destroying the natural environment.
“Civilization”, as we apply the term, is not just cities industrial developments, miles of highways, enormous airfields, and numerous other technological conveniences. By destroying wildlife for civilization and culture, we are only negating the meaning of the words.
If he does have to change habits, then he must be able to manage them properly in order to maintain a rich and varied wildlife. Man has to think of the dangerous trop he is setting up for himself human over population.
It is man’s ability to think that formulated the idea of conservation is applied ecology and may also be regarded as bio-economy. In other words, conservation is defined as sound preservation, management and sensible use of the available renewave natural resources.
This decision of conservation is in our hands and man seems to be going in the right direction regarding this decision that holds the key to the future of our most valuable natural resource.
Governments of several nations have passed laws and set aside national parks, sanctuaries and other wildlife reserves in an effort to save the dwindling wildlife. Such efforts have saved several species from becoming extinct. However, these efforts hae to increase several fold, if not for a complete recovery, at least about 3/4 of the species threatened with extinction can be redeemed.