God has not only created humans on this earth but wild animals and birds are also God’s precious gift to this earth. The term ‘wildlife’ does not only cater to wild animals but also takes into account all non-domesticated life forms including birds, insects, plants, fungi, and micro-organisms. Now is the time to realize that animals, plants, and marine species are as important as humans to maintain a healthy ecological balance on this planet. Sadly many animals and birds are endangered today. Natural habitats of animals and plants are being destroyed for land development and agriculture by humans. Poaching of animals for fur, jewelry, meat, and skin is another major factor leading to the extinction of wildlife. Soon, if no drastic measures are taken to save the wildlife, it won’t be long before they end up only on the endangered species list. The next generation should see animals and birds only in films. So, for us humans, it is a big responsibility to save wildlife and our planet.
1 . Healthy Eco-System
An ecosystem is a relationship between different organisms connected through food webs and food chains. Even if one wildlife species becomes extinct from an ecosystem, it can disrupt the entire food chain, ultimately leading to disastrous results. If the number of bees decreases, the growth of food crops will decrease due to a lack of pollination. Similarly, if the number of species increases, it again disturbs the ecological balance. Consider another simple case where carnivores are decreasing daily due to human hunting. The reduction of these carnivores leads to an increase in the number of herbivores that depend on forest vegetation for their survival. The number of herbivores in forests increases to such a large extent that they migrate to agricultural lands and villages for their food needs. Thus, saving wildlife plays a vital role in checking the ecological balance.
2. Medicinal Values
A large number of plant and animal species are used medicinally to benefit humans. Many drugs such as aspirin, penicillin, quinine, morphine, and vincristine are derived from plants. Many herbs are used in the Indian system of Ayurveda, which uses various plants and herbs to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, and many other neurological problems. It is not only useful for plants, but many extracts of animal species are rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Ayurvedic herbs can also be used for purposes like pest control, natural dyes, and formulation of food items, teas, and perfumes among others. India has been known to be a rich repository of medicinal plants. The forest in India is the principal repository of a large number of medicinal and aromatic plants. If wildlife is not protected today, the time will soon come when the human race will also face great danger.
3. Agriculture and Farming
The human population mostly for its food needs
dependent on food crops and plants. Wildlife plays an important role in the growth of these crops. The fruits and vegetables we get from plants are the results of a process called pollination, the transfer of pollen grains from the male flower to the female flower in the reproductive system in plants, which results in the production of seeds. For pollination, birds, bees, and insects, among the smallest species on this planet, play an important role. These insects and birds transfer pollen between flowers as they move from one flower to another. A reduction in the number of pollinating birds and insects for any reason can significantly affect crop growth.
4. Healthy Environment
Wildlife also plays an important role in keeping the environment clean and healthy. Many microorganisms, bacteria, fungi, and earthworms feed on plant and animal waste, decomposing them and releasing their chemicals back into the soil, thus replenishing them with nutrients taken up by plant roots. Scavengers break down this organic matter and recycle it into the ecosystem as nutrients. Birds like eagles and vultures also contribute positively to nature as these scavengers help remove animal carcasses and dead bodies, thereby keeping the environment clean. It is also true that the role of animals and birds is very important in this land.
5. Preserving Rich Bio-Diversity
Nowadays scientists and researchers are working to preserve plants and animals through ‘gene banks’. These gene banks are repositories of cells and tissues of wildlife species that play an important role in agriculture. With these cells and tissues, original plant species and animal strains are re-produced as a result of the reduction or extinction of these species during wildlife epidemics, climate changes, or any such natural calamities, while new species and strains with improved genetic characteristics are thus produced, increasing chromosomal diversity within the species. Besides cells and tissues, gene banks also store plant seeds, sperm, eggs, and embryos of several mammalian species. With the advancement of science and technology, harvesting reproductive organs such as ovaries and testicles has become common.
6. For Recreation
If there are no fish left in lakes and rivers and these water bodies disappear due to deforestation in a warmer climate, where will the fish be consumed? We are facing problems as forests, wildlife, oceans, rivers, and lakes are at greater risk due to global warming and deforestation. As we disturb nature at such a pace, it won’t be long before Mother Nature has limited options for recreational activities. If we don’t save wildlife then the time will soon come when we will only show pictures of these creatures to our children instead of going to zoos and biological parks to see the beautiful animals and birds.
7. Economic Value
Wildlife plays an important role in improving the economy of a country. It invites tourists from all over the world for game safaris and birding tours and to see rare animal and bird species. Wildlife reserves and forests contribute a lot to foreign exchange inflows and increase the country’s GDP. It is not only wildlife safaris or bird watching that contribute to the country’s economy, many other activities like trekking, fishing, and river rafting require government permits, the cost of which goes to the government account. Not only that; Expenditure on tourist travel, local transport, food, accommodation, and sightseeing – all indirectly contribute significantly to the economy of a nation. This in turn contributes to improved GDP. For this very reason, many countries today are promoting wildlife tourism, attempting to create artificial habitats by importing flora and fauna from countries rich in these resources.
8. Socio-Cultural Value
Wildlife plays an important role in various cultures. Like many animal and plant species, trees represent the cultural backbone of a community. Certain animals are associated with specific gods and often symbolize the deity’s power. For example, the cow is worshiped by Hindus as the mother, and many deities are believed to reside in it. In India, sparrows are considered a symbol of prosperity. So it means something good will happen in the coming days. Due to the contribution of such species to cultural heritage, special cultural conservation acts under animal protection laws have been framed in many countries. If beliefs about wildlife had not been formed by our ancestors, some of these species that contribute so much to human well-being on Earth would have become extinct centuries ago.
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