Ways to Protect Wildlife
Knowing ways to protect wildlife is important not only for the animals/ insects, but important for us as a human species, too.
Let’s take the bee, for instance. With the naked eye, we may not think much of a bee. But when their work is put under a microscope, we can see that these tiny insects do way more for us than we could ever do for them.
Studies show that bees are the world’s best pollinators. It is said that they pollinate the agriculture of nearly a third of all the things we eat! Their behind-the-scenes work is invaluable in sustaining the way our modern food system works.
However, despite that, we have not done enough to keep the bees safer. In recent years, bee populations have been declining rapidly on a global scale.There has been widespread fear that species extinction could leave us without an essential part of our ecosystem.
In essence, this is part of what is so important about protecting wildlife; the assistance they give us.
So, why protect wildlife? It is an age-old question with many situational answers. To make a complicated answer short, the goal of wildlife conservation is to ensure a better tomorrow for future generations.
Right now, most scientists agree, we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction -- one which hits closer to home -- named Anthropocene, or, ‘the age of the humans’.
Humans are a major threat to some of the most important biodiversity on our planet. Without such biodiversity, entire ecosystems can be flipped upside down in a matter of decades. At the current rate of mass extinction, humans will reach a time where we will have to re-learn how to exist as a species if we don’t want to be the next terminated species -- and immediately take more steps in the right direction.
Here are a few of the ways we have played a part in what has become known as the sixth mass extinction and how making an effort to save wildlife and the environment can turn things around.
Poaching is a term used for illegal hunting, either for entertainment or profit. Legal hunters kill tens of millions of animals per year. For each animal being legally killed, another animal is illegally killed.
Like as seen in the Yellowstone wolves, certain species’ disappearance can have dire effects on entire ecosystems. Poaching and illegal hunting can seriously disrupt ecosystems.
Overfishing is when the rate at which fish are caught is quicker than what can be replenished at sea. Most overfishing is bycatch, whereby mass amounts of sea animals are caught in huge nets as a by-product of the targeted species. The bycatch is, more often than not, discarded as waste resulting in the deplenishing of billions of sea creatures a year for nothing.
It’s hard to believe, but it is entirely possible to see fishless seas in our lifetime -- and that may happen even sooner than you assume.
Wildlife conservation is inextricably linked to some urgent environmental challenges we are facing, too. Below we will dive a little deeper into the connection between wildlife conservation and our environment.
Climate change is arguably the biggest challenge we face as a species.
When we burn carbon-based materials, carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted. Measuring CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and trapped in ice, scientists have found increasing levels, higher than anything we've seen in nearly a million years. Chemical analysis of the atmospheric CO2 reveals the increase is coming from burning fossil fuels.
A rising climate will bring catastrophic, irreversible changes to our livelihoods that we can’t even begin to explain in this piece, but you can take a look at this for more information.
Up to 28,000 species are expected to become extinct by the next quarter of the century due to deforestation. That’s because we are cutting down the equivalent area of a football field of forested biodiversity every second in this world. These species need a place to survive!
Not to mention, saving the trees will dramatically improve our chances at conquering climate change.
Palm oil is in virtually every product we used to consume and still in a large majority of products today. That’s because it is a cheap alternative to many consumer ingredients from a wide variety of industries.
While it can be produced sustainably, it is unfortunately being exploited in the tropics and wiping out thousands of wildlife species with it. We might not be able to stop using palm oil completely, but we need to use less of it.
We can all assume our guilt on the plastic pollution crisis. There is no need to explain human’s blame for this one.
Animals eat plastic, they get caught in it, and they eventually get sick and die from it. It’s a major contributor to the mass extinctions we are seeing of wildlife today.
As the World Wildlife Fund so eloquently stated, “Biodiversity underpins the health of the planet and has a direct impact on all our lives. Put simply, reduced biodiversity means millions of people face a future where food supplies are more vulnerable to pests and disease, and where freshwater is in irregular or short supply.”
Luckily, people are changing. They’re more aware of the threat to essentials like food, water, and clean air. They’re more ambitious, more innovative. And they’re backed by a growing number of corporations. Even governmental regulations which have been made steadily throughout the past half-century have put a focus on conservation of these dying species. However, our work is far from done.
Believe it or not, there are a few things anybody can do which have proved to be effective in the global wildlife conservation effort, here are some examples.
Don’t use pesticides or other toxins that can harm wildlife
Recycle and buy sustainably
Don’t buy products from the illegal wildlife trade
Plant wildflowers and tall grasses in your garden or on your balcony for pollinators
Shifting our lifestyle choices and consumer ways is only one way that we can help tackle the issues. Becoming politically active is another way we can help address issues for a more systematic change. Then, there’s a sort of hands-off approach which does just as much for wildlife species; contributing financial opportunity to on-the-ground armies.
Below are some simple remedies to save the environment. If everyone does their part, we will be one step closer to solving this global crisis.
Reduce the amount of meat in your diet
Recycle and buy sustainably
Grow your own vegetables, in your garden or try out urban farming
Buy local, organic and sustainably grown produce when possible
Be cautious of water usage
Minimize food wastage
Reduce food packaging
Turn the lights/ air conditioner off when not in use
Buy second hand, repair, lend and borrow things instead of buying new things when possible
Avoid ways of travel that emit large quantities of CO2
Paula Kahumbu of WildlifeDirect
Who is lobbying for nature conservation and fighting to reconnect Kenyans with nature.
Sam Shanee of Neotropical Primate Conservation
Who is fighting to save the wildlife of the neotropical Amazon by protecting the rainforest from deforestation.
Kahindi Changawa of Local Ocean
Who is fighting to save Critically Endangered sea turtles through community engagement, education programs and anti-poaching programs.
Dino Martins of Mpala Research Centre
Who is working to raise awareness about pollinator species globally.
Thandiwe Mweetwa of Zambian Carnivore Program
Who is fighting to save the incredible wildlife of Zambia by promoting coexistence between nature and communities.
One way to protect the environment and contribute to global wildlife conservation is to go through Milkywire. When donating money via Milkywire you support wildlife conservation organizations who are making a real impact on the ground. These trusted organizations who are working to save our planet have been handpicked and screened to ensure they are legitimate and meet the highest standards.
Here are some examples of impacters (the faces of our hand-picked NGO) who are working in different ways to protect wildlife.
Who is working to protect the overexploited coastline of Haiti and to provide a greater resilience against the effects of climate change.
José González-Maya of ProCAT Colombia
Who is fighting to save the jaguars, andean bears and harlequin frogs in the Amazon. By saving these species, he is saving entire ecosystems.
Farwiza Farhan of HAkA – Forest, Nature and Environment of Aceh
Who is taking the fight against illegal palm oil plantations and unsustainable exploitation of the unique Indonesian rainforest and its wildlife.
Luke Helmer of Blue Marine Foundation
Who is working to restore the overexploited native oyster reefs along the coast of the UK, which are critical for healthy, clean oceans.
Heïdi Sevestre of Climate Sentinels
Who advises governments all over the world on questions regarding glaciers and climate change and is also researching tropical glaciers.
Milkywire follows The United Nations Development Goals, which are the world's best plan of action to secure our planet's future.
Milkywire takes direct action to protect wildlife and improve the way we donate. As a sponsor, you become closer to the actual reality, daily work, challenges, and progress of local heroes and activists fighting to make a difference in the world for the better.
Impact-making made easy. Choose a cause and activist to support, then follow the work as it happens through updates from the field. It's a powerful way to donate and be part of the critical change needed to save our endangered species.