What is Wildlife?
Wildlife generally refers to the wild animals found in the forests and jungles. They can be tigers, lions, bears, foxes, wild birds and so on. Is this general reference sufficient to define wildlife? The answer is no. Wildlife goes far beyond this definition. Wildlife has also now come to include all organisms that grow in the wild. Wildlife can be found in all ecosystems such as deserts, forests, rainforests, grasslands and plains.
Throughout time, man has gradually tried to separate himself from the wild by adopting civilization, still it proves that humans have failed to come out of their wild ways. Even today, wildlife are at a threat as they are falling prey to humans for entertainment and interests.
How Wild Life is helping us live?
It is simply amazing if humans ever come to know the contribution of wildlife in helping them survive in this harsh planet. The contribution of wildlife is enormous indeed. How wildlife is helping us live is detailed below:
- Humans are an important element of this massive food chain/food web. If one part of the food chain/food web is disrupted, it also affects humans enormously as a large portion of nutritious foods such as milk, meat, grains and many others are extracted from the ecosystem in which wild lives are helping to maintain the balance of nature. If wild lives are anyhow disrupted off their functions, then humans too will be affected adversely.
- Wild lives such as wild plants and wild animals are massively used for production of medicines which help humans to live and overcome deadly diseases. Examples are Ayurveda products, morphine, aspirin and others which are obtained from wild plants.
- Doctors, researchers and engineers are always on the quest for developing new and useful products through wild species.
- Wildlife is an asset as tourists from different countries are fascinated to come in touch with the nature’s own beauty and this tourism business affects the economic sector of a country by increasing the country’s economic growth and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
- Wildlife is simply a divine gift as it is a manifestation of nature’s own beauty.
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How is wildlife being exploited by humans?
Though the “Stone Ages’ have already passed, humans have not. Wildlife is highly endangered and threatened by humans till date. In the past, humans hunted wild animals for flesh and animal skin for fur in order to protect themselves from the cold. This practice exists even today in some tribes of Africa. In other parts of the world, wild lives are being destroyed and crushed for commercial reasons. Each year, millions of wild animals are sold around the world either for slavery, medication and entertainment purposes. Wild animal trade are legal in some aspects but they are mostly considered illegal. The selling and buying of live wild animals is mostly considered illicit and play a big part in the building of and sustenance of a multi-billion dollar global black market just lagging a bit following drugs export market. Each year, countless animals are taken from the wild to be sold off as pets, medicines and for entertainment purposes. This is a completely illegal act as these animals are smuggled off at peak prices and used to perform different acrobats in circuses. The animals used in circuses are elephants, tigers, lions and even monkeys. They are trained to work out certain acrobats which are life threatening and may cause death anytime. In some cases, these animals are not given proper food and rest. They are even badly beaten by the owners for disobedience.
Rules and Regulations regarding Illegal Trade of Wild Animals
An international agreement titled, “Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), has already been signed by 183 countries across the world. This prevents the trade of wild animals as pets and for trivial purposes. Many countries have also prohibited domestic animal sale. Moreover, various animal welfare organizations, non-government organizations are working together in making people aware of the perilous situation that this planet is in due to the gradual extinction of the wild. An UK based research organization discovered that the most effective way to prevent people from conducting this illegal trade is to present before them that humans can be harmed and are susceptible to risks that these wild lives pose for humans, not the other way round. Yes, and it is time to realize that wild lives are not pets, nor can be used for medication and entertainment purposes. They are there for our harmonious survival.