Wildlife is the wild animal species that live in the natural environment and play an important role in sustaining the ecological balance. Wildlife comprises a wide range of animals including fishes, reptiles, insects, birds, mammals and others. They are threatened by various factors such as pollution, temperature and climatic changes, over-exploitation of resources, irregular hunting and poaching, loss of habitat, etc.
A significant portion of the human population relies on wild animals for food, materials, recreation, inspiration and many other things. The accelerating global biodiversity crisis, with a million species facing extinction, threatens to deprive people of these vital contributions from the natural world.
The term wildlife includes all living animals that inhabit the wild without human intervention, whether they are undomesticated (wild) or domesticated (tame). This category also includes a variety of plants. Some of these species are important to agriculture, such as crops and fruit trees, while others have a cultural or spiritual significance for humans, such as sacred forests, wetlands and deserts.
Billions of people in both developed and developing nations depend daily on wild species for food, energy, fiber, medicines, materials, recreation and other life necessities. The extinction of these species will not only deprive the world of valuable natural resources, it may also affect the quality of our lives.
In addition, wild animals provide a source of entertainment, from the spectacle of a migration of whales to the thrill of a hunt or the awe of watching a lion or bear in its natural environment. They also serve as indicators of environmental health and the sustainability of our planet, from the awe-inspiring beauty of the great whale to the dazzling iridescent color of the dragonfly.
Wildlife can be preserved in zoos, nature parks, wildlife refuges and aquariums, where visitors are encouraged to interact with the animals and learn about their habits through education programs. It can also be protected by promoting eco-tourism, although it is essential to ensure that this tourism does not adversely impact the wildlife.
The best way to protect wildlife is to plant native species and eliminate invasive plants on your property, as well as in local ecosystems. It is also helpful to volunteer with organizations that restore wildlife habitats by planting, picking up trash and removing fences. You can also help by writing to your legislators and urging them to support laws that conserve wildlife. Educating yourself and your family about the value of wild animals, and living harmoniously with them, is also essential. This can be done by encouraging children to take up a hobby that involves nature, such as gardening or hiking.