Wildlife is basically the term that we use for undomesticated animal species. But generally speaking, wildlife can be anything, including the plants, the small organisms and the fungi that grow and live in a wild area. These species of organisms and plants have not been introduced to the environment by humans.
Wildlife is a part of all ecosystems. Every ecosystem has a special type of wildlife. You find a distinct form of species in different ecosystems. Be it dessert, the rain forests, grasslands or any other ecosystem, each ecosystem is unique in its own way. In popular culture, we generally refer to wildlife as the animals that are far off and are untouched by the human activities. We don’t realize that our activities have an adverse effect on them directly as well as indirectly. Wildlife has always been of much interest for tourism too.
Many nations have established their natural wildlife as a tourist attraction. The whole tourist section revolves around the famous species that are found in these places. These not so commonly found species are of much more interest to the people, especially the kids. The national parks of South Africa, India and other nations have a lot to offer to the people visiting. People from far off places specially visit these spots to explore the diversity of flora and fauna in these areas.
Specific animals live in their specialized habitats. They have a preferred environment in which they can reside. In order to have these species to survive in the sanctuaries, the animals and plants are kept in the suitable environment and full care is taken to prevent their death. There are special zoos, wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in a large part of the world for tourism.
THE HISTORY OF EXPLOITATION
We have always studied that our ancestors were hunter-gatherers and relied greatly on wildlife for their food. Many of the species became extinct even before we were born. There has been the constant extinction of numerous species since time immemorial. Human beings have always hunted the species for their personal benefits. The animal skin has been used to make leather jackets, mats and many more. Elephant tusks have been an important source and are used for various other purposes. The Human beings greatly depend upon the nature for their survival. There is a codependence that exists to maintain an ecological balance in nature.
The demand for wildlife as a source of food in Eastern parts of Asia has put a lot of species there in danger. This has lead to a great decrease in the population of pangolins, primates, sharks etc. The animal meat is being consumed in all parts of the world and poses a great threat to many of the species.
There are several surveys conducted each year to have a good idea of the well being of the different wildlife species. The wildlife can be divided into a number of categories-
1. Extinct- this category includes the species of which each and every animal has died. There is not even a single individual left alive.
2 Critically endangered species- this second category includes those wild animals which are almost on the verge of extinction. There are only a few lefts.
3. Endangered- the species that are decreasing in number and hence these species possess high risks of extinction.
Most of the species, fall under the above three categories.
Human activities and their effects on the ecosystem
We have always studied the different activities that are carried all around the globe. We know the effects that these have on us as well as the surroundings. The wildlife, especially the animals is deeply affected by each of our activities. The different human activities and phenomenon that affect the animals and plants are-
1. Global warming- we very well know about global warming, don't we? Global warming is the overall increase in the earth's temperature causing the earth to become hotter and hotter every day. The effects of global warming on the flora and fauna of different areas have been different.
2. Deforestation- the forests are home to almost all the animals. We clear the forests to build infrastructure and to extract the timber from the trees. Deforestation has led to the loss of habitat for many animals worldwide.
3. Pollution- We human beings have been a source of pollution for the soil, water, air etc. All sorts of pollution taking place have played a major role in the death of many animal and plant species. The waste that we dump into the water bodies has also been a major cause of death of the aquatic life.
Exploitation of wild population and defaunation is the characteristic which defines the man of today's time. We are believed to be in the sixth great extension event on this planet. The rate at which we have been harming the animals, it won’t be long when we will lose many other species in the world and the names of these species will remain only in the pages of history where we will be able to see the pictures and will be reminiscing the times when these species existed.
As per the recent surveys that have been conducted, we have lost almost half of the wildlife all across the world in the past 40 years. Creatures across river, seas and land have decreased and been decimated because of our activities. We have been killing these animals unsustainably for food. We have been polluting and destroying their habitats rigorously. Not only the land animals but also the aquatic life is being exploited. Hence here comes the role of conservation.
Save species to save the earth
Conservation is a very important aspect in order to save our mother earth from further loss of lives and species. Wildlife conservation is the practice of protecting the wild animals and plants species along with their habitat. Wildlife is an important part of our environment and is much needed to maintain a balance in the ecology and provide stability to the different natural processes. The goal of different conservation projects is to ensure the presence of a lush green environment and a large variety of flora and fauna for generations to come. The main motive behind the conservation process is to ensure that the future generations can recognize the importance of wildlife and wilderness for humans and other species.
Conservation has become important due to the negative effects that our activities have posed on wildlife.
The government has taken up a lot of schemes for the conservation of these animals. To preserve the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, special methods are adopted each year according to the requirements at that time. There are various funded as well as non funded organizations that have been taking up projects for the welfare of different species.
WWF is the acronym for World wildlife fund. The WWF is one of the leading international non-governmental organizations found in 1961. It is based on the policy which aims at conservation of mainly the 36 species all over the world which are very much important to our ecosystem. It has been working continuously since 1961 i.e. the time it was established. It also works on the 6 areas that are part of the ecological footprint. These include carbon emissions, grazing land, cropland, forestry, fishing and water. They also work to restore the biodiversity and implement measures to reduce the consumption of natural resources that are being used at an alarming rate. WWF works in collaboration with hundreds of groups and other NGOs to achieve their target worldwide. The WWF in recent times has more than 5 million people who support its work. The mission statement of the WWF states that we need to stop the degradation of the natural environment of our planet and need to build a future in which we as humans live peacefully with nature. We can do so by:
conserving the biological diversity of the world
ensuring sustainable use of renewable natural resources
promoting the reduction of wasteful consumption and pollution
Want to pursue a career in saving your ecosystem?
Several people all around the world join this field and dedicate their lives towards taking proper care of the diversity. If you are one of those enthusiasts and love helping preserve the nature, you can certainly be of great help to the surrounding. Conservation of wildlife is a vast multi-faceted field. You can find a large variety of work according to what suits you. The field offers a large variety of opportunities which will challenge you in each and every step.
Wildlife conservation can also be pursued as a career option. Being a conservationist will not only help you to preserve the natural balance of the beautiful world that you live in but also provide you to go and explore the various opportunities in this field. You travel throughout the world and get to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds along with loads of thrill and adventure along with your journey. You get to see an amazing wildlife which is only a dream for many.
You may be wondering if it is possible. Yes, of course, it is. Becoming a conservationist is a dream for many. The nature lovers and their love for the wildlife bring them here. Certainly, like any other jobs, there is a list of skills that you need to acquire to be able to fulfil your dream. Firstly, and most importantly you must bear love for animals and the natural world. You also need a degree and proper qualification along with some relevant experience to carry out the work smoothly. The combo of all of these combined together will bring you any job that you aspire for.
There are a lot of job opportunities for people who wish to be a part of wildlife conservation. The wildlife conservation jobs need a particular skill set and a lot of hard work to excel. The basic and must have the skill set for any person aspiring to be a conservationist is enthusiasm and a thirst to learn more. You must be eager to learn more and not be satisfied with whatever you have. That's the most important skill of a winner. The more the thirst for knowledge you have the better results you will get.
We are well aware of the advancements that are taking place in different parts of the world. We need to follow the latest trends and hence reading is important. You must attend a number of conferences and should be up to date with whatever is going on around the world.
Many enthusiasts probably have an undergraduate degree or are pursuing it. But degree itself cannot determine your worth. As stated, “A single sheet of paper cannot determine your future.” So, what is it that makes you stand out among other candidates having the same degree as yours? Well, it is the knowledge and the experience. The best way to acquire a skill is to get indulged in activities that you enjoy. Getting experience in this field can be through internships. Internships are the best way to work with qualified people who have been working in this field for years. Just by working with them you will have a fair idea of how things are carried out. The internships are the proofs that show the employers that you have all the necessary skills that make you fit for the position you are applying to. It opens your way to all the different types of wildlife conservation jobs without much work. Internships also help you meet like-minded people, plus the travelling experiences will make you much more independent and confident.
The Earth is our planet. It’s our home and every living and non-living being is interconnected. If we harm the planet, it will harm us. Killing animals, birds and plants for selfish needs and luxurious lifestyle and momentary gains is a selfish act. These activities are affecting us in every way. If we bear true love for our planet and the animals that belong here, we can turn this planet into a beautiful place to live in. The day each of us starts to fulfil our duties and responsibilities truthfully, the Earth will transform into heaven and there will be peace and harmony everywhere.