Wildlife refers to non-domesticated animal species. However, in a broader sense, it includes all organisms which grow or live in wild areas without being introduced by humans. The attempts for domesticating wild plants and animals for human benefits have occurred many times all over the world, with a major impact on the environment and ecosystem—both positive and negative. So, I sat down to write an essay on wildlife protection.
Wildlife has distinctive forms and features invariant ecosystems—deserts, forests, plains, grasslands, and even in suburban areas. Wildlife animals are of various types, such as lions, tigers, elephants, deer, bears, baboons, leopards, wolves, reptiles, etc. This includes such domesticated animals too as cats, cows buffalos and dogs.
Humans have made their civilization by separating mostly from wildlife in a number of ways including the social, legal, and moral sense. In modern times, concern for the natural environment has provoked activists to protest the exploitation of wildlife for human greed or entertainment.
Anthropologists opine that people at the Stone Age and for some time thereafter depended on wildlife, both plants and animals, for their food. In fact, some species—e.g. mammoth’s and safe-tootled tigers—may have been hunted to extinction by early human hunters. Even today, hunting, fishing and gathering wildlife is still a significant source of food in some parts of the planet. In other areas, hunting and non-commercial fishing are mainly seen as a sport or recreation. Meat sourced from wildlife is regarded as ‘bushmeat’. The increasing demand for wildlife as a source of traditional food in East Asia is decimating the number of sharks, primates, pangolins and other animals, which, according to popular beliefs, have aphrodisiac properties.
Many animal species have spiritual significance in different cultures around the world. Some of them are used as sacred objects (totems) in religious rituals. For example, in Hinduism, the cow is regarded sacred mostly for its domestically utilitarian importance, and eagles, hawks and their feathers have great cultural and spiritual value to Native Americans.
Though wildlife is spread all over the planet in different measures, there are some major habitats for them. The forest covers of Asia, Africa, and the Americas are favourite for the wildlife, especially for the deer, tigers, lions, elephants, etc. Malaysia is home to a vast array of amazing wildlife through illegal hunting and trade pose a threat to it. Many Amazon species, including turtles, anacondas, etc., are sold primarily as food. Others in the informal markets, such as monkeys, dogs and parrots, are collected for the pet trade, often smuggled into the United States and other countries. Besides, some of the Amazon species are used in some popular ingredients in traditional medicines sold in local markets, based largely on superstition.
The four most general reasons that lead to the decrease and destruction of wildlife include overkilling, habitat destruction, the impact of introduced species, and chains of extinction.
Overkill happens to be dangerous whenever hunting occurs at rates greater than the reproductive capacity of the species. Habitat destruction includes forest clearing for farming or timber production and wetland draining for urban expansion. Impact of introduced species is another factor. All wild animals have many complex intertwining links with other living organisms. Any change in these series of chain reactions is by far the most destructive factor that can occur in any ecological community.
Many countries have established their tourism sector around their natural wildlife protection. South Africa has many tourist spots to visit the country’s wildlife, in its National Parks, In India, there are Perier Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandipur National Park, Madamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Jim Corbett National Park, and also forests of Sundarbans—famous for Royal Bengal Tigers, etc.
Wildlife protection has long been a common subject for educational television shows—Animal Planet, National Geographic, Discovery channels, etc. are at the forefront.