In recent years, more people than ever have come to realize that earth needs protecting. People have grown more interested in sustainability and the green movement. There is also more interest in protecting not only the planet and its natural resources including its air, water, and land but various species of wildlife.
This includes helping endangered and threatened species continue to survive, wildlife conservation isn’t limited to this goal. Instead, it recognizes the impact that different kinds of wildlife have on their environment, and vice versa. Understanding the synergistic relationship between the two can help spur interest in the importance of protecting both.
Each species of wildlife exists as part of its own unique habitat or ecosystem. Their habitat must include basic survival needs such as water, food, space, and shelter. If any of their four needs are limited or in short supply, it has a huge impact on the wild animals that live there.
The elements of an ecosystem include plants, animals, water, and land- They are all interrelated. Meaning changes to one element impact the other parts of the ecosystem. If a species of plants die off, the animals that eat that plant may also die or have nutrition issues if they cannot find another food source. If those animals die, the number of predators feeding on that species will also be affected.
Similar results occur if different varieties of wildlife are affected. If the coyotes of an ecosystem are overhunted/relocated to different areas by humans-the number of animals they prey on will increase. This includes the squirrel and rabbit populations that feed on plants. Too many animals eating plants can throw the ecosystem out of balance.
While it may be easy to overlook the impact these kinds of changes may have on a broader scale, the fact is, Earth is one huge ecosystem made of many smaller ones. People can help maintain a single ecosystem by protecting the wildlife that lives there as well as shielding the natural resources wildlife needs to live. There are numerous methods to do so. The accompanying resource describes ways in which people can help maintain the delicate balance of ecosystems throughout the world.
Graphic created by International Anti-Poaching Foundation.