Wildlife Conservation Is EVERYBODY'S Concern - 50% Of All Species Could Be Endangered By Mid Century

Wildlife Conservation Is EVERYBODY'S Concern - 50% Of All Species Could Be Endangered By Mid Century

Posted by Ellie Hutchin on Apr 21, 2017

When you think of wildlife conservation, what do you envision? Personally, before I knew all the facts and figures regarding saving the world’s wildlife, my knowledge of conservation was naïve.

I would imagine happy volunteers playing with the animals, breeding them in captivity protected from poachers, allowing the species to thrive for generations in this way. As my knowledge broadened, and I became aware of some truly tragic circumstances regarding endangered wildlife, but also extraordinary tales of wildlife conservation, a profound issue emerged. I realised that there is an essence of shared responsibility across humankind, not just the conservationists that choose to dedicate their lives to wildlife.

Human - Animal Conflict

tigers cuddling

It could be argued the illegal pet trade and poaching is the biggest threat to endangered animals. However, it is not the only threat animals face. Sadly, in places such as Africa and Asia, humans and animals need to co-exist in the environment they both call home. Understandably, farmers need to protect their farms and their families, as their livestock and their crops are their livelihoods. In third world countries also, it is much tougher to make means to an end than it is for me writing this on expensive technology, and yourself, reading on your iPhone or tablet or computer that these people would never be able to have. Furthermore, when animals that are powerful enough to pose an imminent threat to the farmer’s livelihoods, like elephants and tigers, sometimes they have no choice but to kill them when they come onto their premises.

The Importance Of Education

African school kids

Opposing to the illegal pet trade, I feel as though the tragedies that stem from human-animal conflict do not always necessarily occur through malice. Out in the wild, mother nature says, ‘kill or be killed’ and therefore sometimes these people do not have a choice. However, what makes our Great Projects just that, is that our projects that have communities in close proximity to the animals, such as our Shamwari Conservation Experience, where visits to local schools are part of the itinerary, allowing volunteers to educate the youth on this issue. The children learn about the importance of conserving biodiversity and take part in recycling projects and other ways of sustaining and maintaining the animal’s habitat. The loss of which is one of the key reasons so many animals are now endangered. They believe if they can instil correct and appropriate knowledge into the children on how the conservationists and members of the community can work together, then when they grow up, and fill the shoes of their mothers and fathers, they will know how to care for their environment in the most appropriate way and will genuinely want to do so.

The conservationists tag the animals that wander onto farmers’ lands, so they can track them, keeping an eye on their whereabouts so they can predict, and prevent any human animal conflict. They safely redirect the animals back into their own environments so both the humans and the animals can continue with their lives minus any fuss.

Habitat Loss

jungle

Responsibility also falls heavily onto first world countries to preserve these animals. Some of the products we choose to use have such distinct ingredients that can only be found in particular parts of the world. Unfortunately, these commonly tend to be in areas of great biodiversity, that are destroyed to extract resources for our products. Alternatively, there are many products that are similar prices, have the same results, but do not involve massive loss of animal habitat. Always research natural remedies for any health or beauty issues, as these can be just as effective, and often cheaper! We have recently posted about animal cruelty-free cosmetics that are also a great alternative option to try.

It's Up To Us

african cub

For the people in the countries actually executing the loss of animal habitat, often have no other means of making money. The more educated these people are the greater the chance of change. The more people want to help each other, and care for the animals that we have slowly begun to destroy, we can work together, and take the shared responsibility we need to acknowledge, for the damage we have done to innocent wildlife. We encourage others to give to charity, to stop supporting the pet trade and all the other propaganda you would have heard of. Although, it is rare that you see humans admitting that the tragic state of the world’s wildlife is our fault.

Wildlife Conservation Does Work!

white lion

Some people may hold the view that even if they make subtle changes and try to make a difference, poachers are still going to kill the animals, and orphaned animals are still going to be sold into domestication, to be neglected when they become too difficult to handle. However, the work of wildlife conservationists so far has made such a difference already, therefore it is so worth it! 20 years ago, there were no white lions whatsoever in the wild. Now, there are 12 white lions in wild prides in South Africa, that are well and breeding! This, however, has taken time, and the issue at hand will not be solved overnight. Laws surrounding the illegal pet trade are beginning to become much stricter as awareness of the plight of endangered animals is spreading. If this is happening now, can you imagine how healthy the world could be in the next 20 years to come?

We Can Make A Difference

victoria falls

It is not just up to wildlife conservationists to reignite and maintain the ecosystems that are currently under threat around the globe. It is profound that awareness of this fact is spread, as it could be the key to unlocking the solution that all of us should be looking toward. It isn’t about preaching; if you have never volunteered with animals before, or you eat meat, no one is saying you are a bad person, or it’s your fault that, for example, 30-50% of all species could possibly be heading to extinction by the time we are halfway through this century. There should not be extremism, there should not be forcing information down people’s throats, creating more of a breakdown of those who care.

What is important is putting the knowledge and resources out there, that people then have the option to embrace. If everyone contributed, just a minuscule fraction, it could make the world of difference. We want to stop global warming and reduce carbon dioxide levels for the sake of the ozone layer because WE need the world to survive. It is, however, all or nothing, if we want the world to survive, we need all of the world to survive, including its inhabitants, whether bald, furry scaly or spiky…not just the parts that we need it for.

Of course here at The Great Projects, we give you the chance to make that difference. You can check out our project page if you would like to know more.


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