Wildlife Conservation: Your 2 cent contribution

There are 7 billion plus people on Earth as of today. Imagine if every one of us committed to do one thing — no matter how small — to protect wildlife, national parks and conserve the environment every day, How beautiful our planet would become.

Every individual action has a ripple effect and a person can make a difference, through collective action we can definitely make a big difference!

Maximum Knowledge

If each one of us is aware of the species that thrive in our local biodiverse hotspot, we can learn to forget the superstitions that surround such species.

The maximum threat to the wildlife and national parks today is poaching and indiscriminate cutting of endangered flora.

This results from false assumptions that some animal species parts or plants are excellent aphrodisiacs or useful in black magic rites.

This also involves increasing the knowledge of the numbers of each species of animals that live in your community.

This is especially important in community conservation.

Do you know that thousands of wild animals die each year as roadkill?

If people were informed that a particular area of the suburbs or inner cities was sensitive, then they would drive slowly when passing by.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Put up road signs and step up efforts to safeguard animals in your locality.
  • Take a census after every quarter to track their breeding progress.
  • Conduct local seminars pertaining to their habits (nocturnal/diurnal) or feeding needs.
  • Educate the public and let them be free of various misunderstandings and superstitions.

Minimum Interference

We all like others to respect our privacy. The residents of national parks also prefer us to respect theirs.

Today, the main problem lies in tourism! With more “adventure” and “explorer” companies out there that you can shake a stick at, its really difficult to manage interference in sensitive hotspots.

Therefore, its a question of ethics and common sense VS. commercialism and profit-making!

We humans are naturally curious and like to explore, but we should do so with minimum damage to the environment we are studying. Usually good samaritans have a habit of feeding birds and squirrels or wildlife. This can cause great harm to wildlife as feeders or commercial food contain lots of pesticides/chemicals.

In 2016, in Pune city, due to the reduction in the local predation (kites, sparrow hawks, etc.) and food being made available to squirrels (Funambulus palmarum) and rock doves (Columba livia) by over-zealous citizens, the population of these animals increased. This overpopulation led to their causing nuisance and increase in squirrel-borne vector diseases. The rise of commercial bird-netting also reached an all-time high that year!

I know this commercially processed good is unhealthy for me…but its easy effortless food and delicious too!

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Try to maintain the peace and quiet at all tourist spots and national parks you are visiting.
  • Try not to pollute your environment.
  • Try not to feed the local fauna unless specifically directed by wildlife authorities.
  • Make sure you dispose of junk foods and your garbage properly so that wild animals do not have access to it.

Invasive Introductions

Appropriate bans must be enforced on the breeding/sale of invasive species of animals. In the Everglades, in Florida, the fish Giant Snakehead (Channa micropeltes) has wreaked havoc by breeding indiscriminately in the wild and eating and destroying local native fish populations. This fish, naturally found in Asia, did not face natural predation in Florida and thus flourished. This 1.8m growing fish was exported there from Asia in the pet trade as babies and released into local streams and water bodies by irresponsible fish hobbyists when their dear pet got too big for their aquariums.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

If you can’t take care of your pet or it becomes too big in size and unmanageable submit it to an adoption clinic or to wildlife federal authorities. DO NOT release it into your local community or waterbody!

True Appreciation

True appreciation starts with the maturity that we need not always possess something from the wild or national parks in a cage to appreciate its beauty! Today, the need for owning exotic animals (like Great Apes, Kinkajous, Fennec Foxes, Otters, Hedgehogs, Burmese Pythons, Mongooses, Slow Lorises, African Grey Parrots, Marmosets, etc.) are reducing their numbers in the wild.

When poachers snatch baby apes from their community, their parents defend the babies to their death. Thus, in catching one baby monkey, the poachers kill 3-4 adult individuals.

There are federal research institutes that breed these endangered species on a mass scale to make up for their decreasing wild numbers; so private hobbyists need not be concerned!

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Don’t buy from unreliable sources and in the first place, don’t buy exotic animals. The exotic animal trade keeps going on because of rich enthusiasts who are ready to pay any amount to the traders.

Media Awareness Updates: All media briefs the common man on true statistics and the accurate latest facts right? Well…today rarely any journalist is so frank! It is their responsibility to do so when it comes to conservation of wildlife and national parks. If they put real facts out there, people can gauge where we are heading and thus change course in time.

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I am a software engineer, social media manager, travel and wildlife lover and photographer currently living in Pune, India.
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