Wildlife is the term used to describe non-domesticated animal species, plant life and microorganisms that live in natural environments. This includes deserts, forests and grasslands and even urban areas. The animals and plants in these ecosystems serve many important roles in nature, such as nutrient cycling, pollination and seed dispersal. Humans also benefit from wildlife by providing food, recreational opportunities and other resources. Wildlife can be found all over the world and is vital to our planet’s ecosystem.
Many people have a strong interest in the conservation of wildlife. There are a number of ways to get involved with this effort, including becoming an environmental activist and advocating for changes in policy and law. Other options include taking up a hobby that involves learning about wildlife, such as birding, gardening or photography. Volunteering in a local nature preserve or restoration project is another way to become involved with wildlife conservation.
Most countries have their own national wildlife agencies that are responsible for the conservation of wildlife within their borders. These agencies have a wide variety of responsibilities, from educating the public to protecting wildlife habitats and species. There are also international organizations that focus on wildlife conservation. These groups work to protect wildlife from threats, such as habitat loss and invasive species.
During the Stone Age, hunter-gatherers relied on wildlife as a primary source of protein. This is still a practice in some parts of the world today, where people catch or kill wild animals for meat or other products. This activity is often referred to as bushmeat. The increased demand for this meat is causing wildlife populations to decline worldwide.
There are a number of other factors that contribute to the demise of wildlife, including habitat loss and human population growth. Habitat loss occurs when new development encroaches upon wildlife territory, or when natural habitats are damaged by agriculture, pollution or other human activities. Climate change can affect wildlife as well, with warmer temperatures affecting water chemistry and pushing invasive species into new habitats.
As the need to conserve wildlife grows, more governments and non-governmental organizations are putting their efforts into wildlife conservation. Some of the world’s most famous forests and sanctuaries are dedicated to wildlife preservation, including Kaziranga National Park in Assam and Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand.
The best way to help wildlife is to not interfere with their natural habitats. Avoid feeding wild animals and never leave food or trash in the wilderness. Trash can trap or entangle wildlife, and even kill them. Preserving wildlife habitats by restoring native forests, grasslands and coastal ecosystems through planting, manual removal of invasive species, and removing fences can help to ensure the survival of endangered and other wildlife. Also, it is important to join local wildlife preservation groups that work to connect wild spaces with pathways and intersections that allow animals to move between them. These efforts are largely supported by Defenders, who works to protect the paths that wild animals use for movement across their landscapes.