Conservation is talked about more and more everyday. Organizations and governments around the world work to keep animals away from the edge of extinction, to stop irresponsible or illegal hunting practices, and to preserve habitats.
It’s no secret that human activity is causing harm to the environment that we depend on, and the victims of that damage come in the form of plants, land animals, marine animals, and eventually, ourselves.
What’s at stake without current conservation efforts?
What is conservation?
Conservation is about protecting our wildlife, our natural resources, and our wild habitats so they can survive and thrive into the future. This entails maintaining biodiversity and figuring out a sustainable way to use nature, so we don’t blow through all of our supply.1
There are plenty of conservation organizations worldwide. Some focus on specific animals, others focus on specific regions – they come in a variety of forms, but all have the same goal: to protect our natural world.
What’s happening now?
Throughout the history of our planet, there have been five major extinction events. Scientists believe we could be in the middle of a sixth one. They estimate that 75% of current species that we know of could go extinct if nothing is done to change things. Human activity is a major threat to wildlife. In fact, most of the extinctions we’ve seen in the last century have directly occurred from human behavior.2
One threat is global warming. Experts are trying to keep us within a 2 degree Celsius change in order to prevent the consequences from climate change. Almost 16% of species could go extinct if we exceed that 2 degrees. And that’s just from global warming. That percentage is higher when you take into account what we could lose from irresponsible hunting, overfishing, and deforestation.3
What happens without conservation?
With no one fighting for wildlife, our exploitation of our natural world goes unchecked. Sustainable practices aren’t used. For example, if more habitats are torn down and fragmented, more animals are at risk. Animals need bigger habitats in order for their ecosystems to function properly. When their habitats shrink, they’re more likely to go extinct due to the smaller spaces and increased competition for food.3
It also puts biodiversity at risk. When animals are separated, they either risk their lives by crossing our roadways, or they become isolated. This weakens the gene pool and increases their risk of going extinct.1
Without healthy wildlife, we’re putting ourselves at risk. We rely on nature for everything – our food, our air, medicine, you name it – and if we run through it because we didn’t think about building a sustainable system, we’re going to be in a crisis.
Speak up for our natural world.
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The important word is, “Natural.” Natural habitats. Finding the balance to make humans content without destroying what was there before people. We have to respect animals in nature and our planet.