Have you ever considered exactly what ‘conservation’ means? Most often, it is linked to preserving animals, so that their populations can be maintained. The importance of wildlife conservation can be more than that, though, because preserving wildlife can contribute positively to the health of the whole environment.
The welfare of animals is something we should all be aware of, especially when you consider the role that animals play in their ecosystems. Why wildlife is important is that it relates to conservation more broadly.
In order to understand why native wildlife conservation is important, it’s necessary to consider the relationship between wildlife and their native environments. Everything in an ecological system is linked. If one element is removed, then the whole environment will be affected. This means that, if a particular animal that is endemic to an area is threatened, its habitat will also be affected.
The Dartmoor Hill ponies in England are semi-wild, so don’t receive the type of attention that animals classified as wildlife do. Essentially, these horses are aliens, as they are not endemic to the area, so they have essentially disrupted an ecological system by trampling some vegetation.
The irony is that the numbers of wild horses in the areas from which the ancestors of the Dartmoor ponies originated are decreasing.
Within the areas to which they are endemic, feral ponies contribute positively to the conservation and even rehabilitation of the environment. The ponies eat plants that would otherwise overrun the grasslands, which provide important grazing for other animals, such as cows and sheep. Paying attention to the populations of the semi-domesticated ponies, like the Dartmoor Hill ponies may have a positive effect on the whole environment.
In Queensland, Australia, the Southern Cassowary is an important species that contributes to the ecosystems in the rainforest. But the Cassowary is endangered, mainly because of the intrusion of urban development on their habitat. This has implications for the rainforests themselves.
Projects are underway to rescue the Cassowary by conserving areas of the rainforest or restoring areas thereof. Of course, this will have important implications for the environment, because the attention that is being paid to the Cassowary.
Some species of wildlife are native to very specific areas and their welfare is integral to the general environment. The Tasmanian Devil is one such animal. As its name indicates, it only occurs in Tasmania, Australia, and is an important element in the environment on the island.
Tasmanian devils eat sick and dead animals, thereby helping to take the first step in the contribution of animals’ bodies to the cycle of life in a specific area.
In a completely different way, the Tasmanian Devil also contributes to the environment because it is so unique. People visiting to Tasmania will specifically go to see a Tasmanian Devil and money is collected from them, which contributes to the research into helping this threatened species to survive, which will ultimately help to preserve the environment.
The Long-footed Potoroo is an endangered species of wildlife and has a limited distribution. There are populations in several national parks. Working to conserve this animal will help to keep these designated areas as general environmental conservation areas.
The Long-nosed Potoroo is found in the forests in Otways, along with the Tiger Quoll and several endangered plants. Understanding the relationships within the environment will help to conserve it. Conserving the role of the Potoroo and Tiger Quoll will contribute to the health of the whole area. This is an example of why native wildlife conservation is important.
In urban areas, the native habitats of certain animals are often isolated, which can affect the survival of these species. To facilitate the movement of animals between areas and to expand their habitats, corridors that link open areas can contribute to the health of the whole environment.
When are aware of why native wildlife conservation is important, you can contribute to the environment more generally by creating an environment that will attract different species of wildlife, or offer them food and shelter. This can be done by planting indigenous plants, especially those that are native to your area.
Why wildlife conservation is important is quite simple: animals are integral to their ecosystems. This means that, by looking after a species of wildlife, you will contribute to conserving the environment as a whole.