World Wildlife Conservation Day has been observed on December 4 since 2012. This day spreads awareness about preserving Earth’s many beautiful and varied forms of endangered flora and fauna and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that their conservation provides to mankind. The survival of wildlife is our survival and their survival is in our hands. Today, the most invasive species on earth is humans, nature's most magnificent creatures, causing irreparable damages to the wildlife and ecosystem.
Wildlife cannot be manufactured, it’s for thriving the planet. Every year, countless wildlife species are being killed, hunted or slaughtered for human agendas. Such continuous loss of wildlife is not dangerous for the species itself but is a big threat for human survival. Billions of people worldwide depend on wild species for food, energy, materials, medicine, cosmetics, decoration, recreation, inspiration and many other vital contributions.
Over exploitation is one of the main threats to the survival of many wildlife. One in five people rely on wild plants, algae and fungi for their food and income; 2.4 billion rely on fuel wood and about 90% of the 120 million people depend on fishing. 50,000 wild species meet the needs of billions worldwide. An estimated 12% of wild tree species is threatened by unsustainable logging. Hunting has threatened 1,341 wild mammals.
As of now, there are 1,50,300 species on the IUCN red list and 42,100 of them are threatened with extinction including 41% amphibians, 34% conifers, 27% mammals and 13 % birds. In the last 500 years, human activity has forced 869 wildlife species to extinction. Indonesia, China and India are among the countries with the most threatened mammals and bird species. In a shocking survey, it is found that the wildlife population size dropped by 69% between 1970 and 2022.
Human interference in the world’s natural ecosystem has been ongoing for centuries. In the modern world, as humans traveled and settled in different parts of the world, they cleared forests and continued development. Thus over the years, wildlife became victims and their populations started to decline. Now, illegal trade in wild life represents the third largest crime of all illegal trade.
Wildlife conservation is an integral part of creating a sustainable world. Ensuring Earth remains a thriving, living, breathing planet means taking care of everything in it. The loss of a species can lead to changes in the local environment, which again affect the organisms surviving around. Experts estimate that about 200 species of plants and animals become extinct in every 24 hours -more than 10,000 times the natural rate of extinction.
The animals and plants that live in the wild have an intrinsic value. Wildlife preservation is a management for human progress. A symbiotic relationship exists between the forest, forest-dwelling wildlife species, ecosystem services and mankind. These spaces are not only their economic resources, but also to their cultural identities.
It is the need of the hour to be aware about the causes threatening the staggering wildlife that inhabit this planet. It is also necessary to understand that humans are not the only species that have the rights to live and share the earth’s resources. With rapid urbanization, decreasing forest covers, irregular seasonal changes and forest fires, our wildlife is threatened like never before with different plaguing to cohabitants such as man-wildlife conflict.
The children and youth are the future leaders of wildlife conservation. They deserve to bring for a future where humans live in harmony with nature and wildlife, and share the planet. A trip with students can easily get the learning about wildlife conservation and maintenance. They must understand the important aspects of wildlife in their own life. Wildlife is the most beautiful gift of God which we need to be preserved and honored.
So, it is the time to act and work together to preserve and protect wildlife. We all can contribute to save wildlife by observing our own responsibilities. Therefore, let’s rebuild our relationship with nature, ending our wanton invasion of natural habitats and restore the degraded landscapes to bring back the past glory.