The world is continually going through changes like new cities being built or new scientific discoveries. However, not all changes happening in the world are great news. Animal populations are also declining.
According to Earth Day Network, humans have impacted 83 percent of Earth’s land surface, which has affected many ecosystems as well as the range in which specific species of wildlife that used to exist. This means that now more than ever, humans must take steps to save these declining animal populations from extinction. We need to emphasize the importance of animal conservation more now than ever.
What is an animal conservation?
Animal conservation, or also known as wildlife conservation, is the act and practice of protecting animals and their habitats from dangers. Animal conservation programs are used to help rebuild and maintain the life of endangered, threatened or vulnerable species.
What’s the difference between endangered, threatened, extinct and vulnerable species?
You might have heard the terms endangered, threatened, imperiled and at-risk species tossed around. Most people don’t know the difference between them. Educating people between the differences of these species will help show the importance of animal conservation. Down below is what each of these means:
According to National Geographic, an endangered species is a type of organism that is threatened by extinction. An animal can get put on the endangered species list due to loss of habitat and loss of genetic variation.
Loss of habitat happens when the animal starts to lose its home due to human activity or increased encounters between wild species. Loss of genetic variation is when there is a lack of diversity between species. It is due to inbreeding within its own family.
Some of the animals on the endangered species list include Asian elephants, blue whales, giant pandas and Sumatran orangutans.
According to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), a threatened species is one that can become endangered in the future. An animal can be put on the threatened list because there’s a chance of it losing its habitat or genetic variation.
An extinct species is a species that has died out because of a cataclysmic event, evolution problems or humans. Organisms are disappearing throughout the Earth at different rates as time goes by. Some animals that have gone extinct are the woolly mammoth or dinosaurs.
Vulnerable species are species that are likely to become endangered unless the circumstances that are threatening its survival are resolved. One species that is on the vulnerable list are African Elephants. They are on this list because of their loss in habitat and being poached for their tusks.
The importance of animal conservation
From the tiniest mammal to the largest fish in the oceans, every animal is essential to the ecosystem. Animal and wildlife conservationists protect and raise awareness of the importance that every animal has on this planet.
If you would like to learn how to get a first-hand look at animal conservation, For Elephants has expeditions to elephant conservation areas in South Africa. It’s a magical experience where you can get hands-on experience with research and see the elephants close up. For more information, contact us.