From the plants deep in the jungle to the bees in your garden, wildlife is spread throughout the planet. The animals, flora, and fauna are all part of the Earth’s ecosystem and are important in keeping the Earth healthy.
As wildlife is beginning to disappear and go extinct, we must conserve as much of it as possible. Wildlife plays a vital role in maintaining the balance of ecosystems and supporting human well-being. Here are a few reasons why wildlife is so important:
1. A Balanced and Healthy Ecosystem
Every living thing on Earth is connected in one large ecosystem. If one part of the ecosystem is disrupted, there is an effect on the rest of the whole system as well. For example, if one plant species goes extinct, animals that eat that plant may die out, and so on.
For the ecosystem to remain healthy and balanced, all of the wildlife is important. A healthy ecosystem is more diverse, and the greater the number of living species there are, the higher the biodiversity will be.
2. We Depend on Wildlife for Food and Nutrition
Wildlife is a major food source for billions of people across the world. Whether it is people getting fish from the oceans, meat from hunting, or fruits and vegetables from plants, everything we eat comes originally from wildlife. Wildlife ensures food security globally.
3. Wildlife is Nature’s Medicine
Throughout history, humans have turned to nature and wildlife for medicine. Many of our modern-day medicines come from plant and animal sources. Millions of people still depend on traditional medicinal systems such as Chinese Traditional Medicine which relies on herbs and spices.
Other modern-day medicines such as penicillin and morphine have been derived from wildlife. Some studies have also been done concerning different species that help cure diseases. For example, certain compounds found in frogs and amphibians are being used to treat seizures and strokes.
4. Ecological Services
Wildlife plays a crucial role in maintaining the balance of ecosystems. For example, pollinators such as bees and butterflies help to pollinate plants, which in turn provide food for other animals. Similarly, predators help to control the population of prey species, preventing overpopulation.
5. Many People Get Their Livelihoods from Wildlife
All around the world, many people’s livelihoods depend on wildlife. Many local and indigenous communities depend on forests very heavily and extract resources from forests to be sold ahead. Other examples include fishing and the dependence of finishing communities on oceans. Wildlife is also a major source of tourism. Everybody involved in the tourism industry globally depends on wildlife to keep their jobs.
If the wildlife were to shrink, these people would be without resources, food, and livelihoods. The economy would also greatly suffer without the wildlife.
6. Climate Regulation
Wildlife also plays a critical role in regulating the Earth’s climate. For example, wetlands and other natural habitats act as carbon sinks, helping to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
7. Wildlife Holds a Lot of Cultural Significance
Wildlife is hugely culturally significant for many people, especially those living off the land. However, cultural significance is often overlooked because it cannot be measured and valued the way that economic and monetary gain can be. It is irreplaceable from spiritual and religious significance to the value of leisure that wildlife provides.
There are many sacred sites that people of different religions and spiritualities consider sacred. One example can be the Galtaji Temple in Jaipur, India, dedicated to the monkeys and a basis for religious practice.
8. Being Around Wildlife Is Calming
As can be seen by the huge tourism industry and how people floc to different landscapes and natural habitats, wildlife is hugely calming. The peace and tranquility felt while around nature cannot be replicated. Many people have reported that being around nature helps their mental health, too. For calmer and better mental health, we must protect and preserve wildlife.
Wildlife is essential for maintaining the balance of ecosystems and supporting human well-being. It is important for us to protect and conserve wildlife, not only for the sake of the animals themselves, but also for the health and well-being of future generations.