The forests are an amazing place. When you enter forests it feels like the entire place is alive. There are birds and monkeys on the trees, countless insects on the ground, honey bees and butterflies flying around in search of nectars, herbivores searching for grass and carnivores searching for herbivores. Therefore, wildlife conservation should be of utter priority.
Even though you may feel like forests are extremely silent and devoid of all wildlife, it is far from the truth. There is a huge variety of wildlife ranging from insects to tigers, from small mushrooms to giant trees. This variety in life form is referred to as Biodiversity. The forest has a larger variety of life than a desert, therefore, the forests have more biodiversity than deserts.
Most people think that there is an abundance of wildlife on this planet, but the hard truth is that their numbers are decreasing at an alarming rate. The wildlife is bearing the brunt of our technology and greed. We are ruthlessly cutting down forests to acquire land for agricultural or other such purposes. This means that the animals have no place to go. The encroaching of forests is also responsible for another alarming occurrence; extinction of endangered wildlife.
Endangered animals are animals whose number have decreased due to either natural causes or human intervention. If an animal is endangered, it means that this species could vanish from the face of the earth if we do not attempt to conserve it. In nature, it is normal for a few wildlife species to go extinct per year but it is estimated that due to human activities almost 5000 species are going extinct every year, which means that every day more than 10 wildlife species die, never to be seen again.
Wildlife conservation is the attempt to protect endangered animal and plant species, along with their natural habitat. The main objective is to make sure that their habitats will be preserved so that the future generations of both wildlife and human can enjoy it. The forests exist in a very delicate ecological balance where the health of a forest depends on the health of every member that is a part of its food chain. For instance, there is a wide diversity of species living in a tropical rainforest. If any species should become extinct, the food chain will be disrupted affecting all the species.
Wildlife conservation is also about spreading the word about the necessity for biodiversity and the importance of forests and wildlife. An example to help you understand, bees are essential for the pollination of flowers. Most of the fruits we eat are born because of the hard-working nature of the bees. It is said that if the bees were to go extinct then almost a third of the fruits we eat would be off our shelves.
When we conserve and protect the natural habitat of wildlife species, we enrich our planet. But keeping animals in a zoo is not beneficial for either the forest or the animal. To truly enrich our planet the wildlife must be allowed to flourish in their natural habitat. Today, there are various wildlife preservation programs wherein they allow the animals to roam freely in their natural habitat. Many of the forests in India have been declared National Parks or Reserve Forests and are protected by the Forest Department of the Government. Some of these programs also allow animals to interact with humans. This is beneficial since it educates the people and raises awareness regarding the importance of protecting these wildlife species.
Need for Wildlife Conservation
To see why wildlife conservation is important, we must take a look at the people that will be affected if wildlife were to disappear suddenly. Let’s start with the tribal people, the people who live in or around forests are dependent on forest produce for various aspects of their life. Such people are directly dependent on the health of their forests for survival. Some industries also depend on the forest and the natural resources obtained from forests such as Rubber, timber, paper and we should keep in mind that all the industries mentioned above are massive industries spread throughout the globe. Wildlife is also very important to people who love nature and want to experience nature in its most pristine form and forests make for excellent retreats from the hustle and bustle of the city life.
Wildlife at the same time biodiversity conservation is also important for medicine. Our immense and ancient knowledge of Ayurveda is all based on intricate knowledge of herbs and plants growing in the forests. Animals too have been a great help for us. A lot of medicines that are prescribed by the doctors are obtained from chemicals derived from animals.
Due to the creation of protected National Parks, the wildlife is now in a little less danger from humans and although a little late, we have finally taken the first step on the long road to bring back biodiversity to its full glory.
Also, read conservation of natural resources.