Wildlife is a term that includes a wide variety of animals, plants and fungi. They can be found in almost all ecosystems, including deserts, woodlands, wetlands, grasslands, and other areas that are usually considered to be wild.
A large number of species of animals are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss, climate change and other environmental factors. The IUCN Red List lists more than 40,000 endangered and threatened species worldwide, a number that is growing by the day as human activity continues to impact the environment in new ways.
The world’s natural resources are being consumed by humans faster than they can be replenished, creating a domino effect that is affecting all life on earth. This is why wildlife conservation is so important, as it helps ensure the continued existence of both plants and animals as well as the ecosystems they are a part of.
In addition to reducing the risk of extinction, wildlife conservation can help save habitats for a range of species and provide many benefits to humans, including food, scientific research opportunities and esthetics. It can also connect people to nature and help them learn how to live sustainably with others.
Most species of wildlife have complex relationships with each other. They interact with one another in a variety of ways, such as pollinating plants or eating parasites that are carried by other animals.
As a result, these intertwining relationships can have major effects on the entire ecosystem, including causing chain reactions that eventually lead to complete species extinction. This is called an ecological collapse, and it happens because the population of a specific animal or plant becomes too small to support itself.
The most common ways that this occurs are through pollution, habitat loss and destruction, invasion by non-native plants and animals, and poaching. Invasive species may also compete with native species for space and food, causing a decrease in biodiversity.
Humans have always hunted wild animals for their meat, fur, and body parts (a practice known as poaching). Today, a significant portion of the global population participates in hunting or fishing activities, particularly in developing countries where governments have little control over the illegal trade of wildlife.
Often, the only way to prevent illegal hunting is through strict enforcement laws and regulations. WWF supports countries in this process by helping them comply with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and providing training and funding for enforcement.
In addition, we work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Land Reclamation, the National Park Service and other federal agencies to enforce laws that protect wildlife and their habitats from damage caused by humans.
We also work with local government agencies to educate communities about their responsibility for ensuring the sustainability of wildlife. This includes teaching people about wildlife’s rights, the need to preserve their habitats and the importance of protecting them from poaching.
We also encourage people to take action to preserve and protect the wildlife they love, from planting trees in the forest to picking up trash around their home. These simple actions can make a big difference in the lives of birds and other species.