Why conserve wildlife? Here are seven of the major reasons.
Wildlife are all non-domesticated living things. This includes plants, animals and other organisms.
Wildlife conservation has been advocated through the years by many government and non-government organizations all over the world. Why is there so much concern about wildlife? Why do people have to conserve them? The reasons why wildlife should be conserved are many but among those that stand out are the following:
1. Wildlife is a source of medicine.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science noted that more than 40,000 species of plants, animals, fungi and microscopic animals are used in some way to benefit humans. More than a third of pharmaceuticals originated from wild plants. Life-saving drugs like aspirin, which is useful in controlling blood pressure, to life-saving medicines like Vincristin that can reduce childhood leukemia deaths, were derived from plants.
Many extracts from animals can be used as curative and health-sustaining food supplement. Squalene in sharks, for example, is a remarkable nutrient that has many benefits. Squalene belongs to a class of antioxidants called isoprenoids. Isoprenoid neutralizes the harmful effects of excessive free radicals in the body. Free radicals are toxic byproducts that damage cellular DNA. When cellular DNA is damaged, the cells that make up the body will be less efficient in protecting the body from harmful elements or healing it from injury. The cell's natural division process may go awry, so cancer can result. Ultimately, free radicals cause aging. Squalene, therefore, can help prevent cancer or slow down the aging process. Thus, it has become a multi-million dollar business because many people desire to be as youthful as possible (read 10 Tips to a Healthy Lifestyle Thus Younger Look).
2. Wildlife enriches food production.
Bees, bats, birds, among other animals help plants become productive by serving as agents of pollination. Pollination is the process by which pollen is transferred in plants, thereby enabling fertilization and sexual reproduction to produce fruit. While feeding, a bee or a bird unwittingly brings pollen or seeds as they fly to feed on a flower or consume the fruits of a plant, respectively. This gives pollen a free ride to a female flower that will facilitate the fertilization process.
3. Wildlife serves as models for man's innovations and inventions.
Inventors and engineers modeled some submarines on fish movement. Nematodes were used by scientists to model an electronic robot that can detect land mines. Airplanes were modeled after birds. These are only some of the many things that arose out of inspiration from life forms.
4. Wildlife serves as food to people.
Animals like wild pigs, deer, and a whole lot of coastal and marine life like fishes, crabs, mollusks, shells, among others support human population especially in the highly natural resource-dependent countries of the world. Without wildlife as a source of food, many civilizations will not thrive.
5. Wildlife serves as gene pool for pest-resistant strains.
Scientists look for resistant strains in wild plants because wild plants have evolved features resistant to disease. Isolating the important genetic component in wild plants can help improve crop production. Special strains can also be used to reduce the impact of global climate change (see Eight Doable Agricultural Practices to Reduce the Impact of Global Climate Change).
6. Wildlife is a pool of nutrients and determines the rate and extent of nutrient distribution.
Wildlife controls the rate and extent by which nutrients are being distributed in an ecosystem. Can you imagine a pool of nutrients running or flying from one location to another? Animals scatter their manure or excretions in different places and make the soil fertile. They are in themselves nutrients since when they die, their remains become a part of the ecosystem where they eventually rest.
7. Wildlife has bequest value.
The continued existence of wildlife on the planet, especially endangered ones, has bequest value. This will allow the future generations to also enjoy the experience seeing and discovering the unique and awesome characteristics of wildlife.
There may be other undiscovered benefits of utmost importance to man. Wildlife, therefore, must be conserved as much as possible to ensure that the next generation will also enjoy the benefits associated with these creatures.
Environmental Defense Fund, 2006. The importance of wildlife and the diversity of life. Retrieved on April 18, 2010 at http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=445.
Parigian, G., Jr., 2007. Harmful effects of free radicals. Retrieved on April 18, 2010 at http://www.longevity-and-antiaging-secrets.com/harmful-effects-of-free-radicals.html.
© 18 April 2010 Patrick A. Regoniel Seven Major Reasons Why Wildlife Should Be Conserved