Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wildlife conservation - Why are current efforts not enough?

Wildlife conservation is one of the burning environmental issues that still lacks adequate solutions. There are many different projects around to globe that aim to conserve as much wildlife as possible but these noble projects are overshadowed by the severity of different ecological and economic problems that surround them. This is really the main reason why today there are so many endangered species across the globe.

The latest survey compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature has come up with the data that a fifth of the world's known mammals, a third of world's amphibians, more than a quarter of world's reptiles and around 70% of plants in the world are under threat of extinction Three main problems for such alarming state are without a doubt habitat loss, climate change and poaching.

Habitat loss is the biggest reason why today there are so many species threatened with extinction. As the human population keeps on growing many animal habitats are being destroyed to make rooms mostly for farms. When their habitat is destroyed plants and animals experience the decline in population due to decline in territory, and are in many cases brought to the brink of extinction. Endemic animals and plants are mostly affected with habitat loss because they are only found in certain area, and adapting to some other environment is in most cases extremely difficult, if not impossible. Habitat loss is the biggest problem in tropical rainforests since they are the areas with the richest biodiversity in our planet, and current deforestation rates are destroying habitats of many plants and animals that live in these ancient forests.

Climate change is the biggest ecological problem in our history and increased temperatures due to global warming phenomenon will put lot more animals in trouble than just polar bears like some people may think. In fact areas worst hit with increased temperatures will not be polar areas but tropical areas because many species that live there have adapted to life where there is very small difference in temperature throughout the whole year, so higher temperatures are likely to put many of these species to the brink of extinction. Oceans will be also heavily affected, mostly because of the ocean acidification problem. Generally speaking, all species will have to adapt to new climate conditions, and since many of them won't be able to do so they will go extinct.

Poaching is still a sad reality in many third world countries in Africa and Asia. The more endangered animal it is the better price it shall achieve on the black market. The most infamous black market where many poachers do their business is Chinese black market. Current poaching gangs are highly organized, sometimes even supported by corrupted politicians, and in most of these third wold countries environmental laws are neither very strict nor there is real interest to enforce them from the governing bodies. The facts that most of people in these countries are extremely poor also plays its role in poaching popularity because many local people see poaching as the easy source of good money.

These three problems combined are making current wildlife conservation efforts insufficient, despite lot of hard work from millions of people that really care about wildlife on our planet. Most of these wildlife conservation projects lack three main things: international character, bigger funds, and adequate political and media support. Working on international level with enough money and with politics on their side these people could succeed in their efforts to prevent many animals from going extinct. Without these three factors all of their hard work will sadly come to nothing at the end.

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