Through a combination of changing climates, lost habitats, increased poaching, and increased food scarcity, there has been a lot of worrying news about lately concerning the fate of wildlife around the world.
The gloom-and-doom reports can often make the situation seem entirely hopeless; however, there is much that can be done in order to protect and conserve wildlife on a big and a small scale.
Below are 10 ways that anybody can help preserve wildlife, making the world a better place for flora, fauna, and mankind alike.
1. Working with other people is almost always more effective than working alone. Joining a conservation organization is a great way to pool your efforts together with the work of others to help protect against animal cruelty, hunting, or the destruction of habitat. There are lots of different organizations with different goals, so you are sure to find like-minded people.
2. Planting native plants in your garden or on any land you own is a great way of preserving the natural habitat of local creatures. This is not only good for the population of these animals but also helps guard against invasive species, which causes problems for the native fauna.
3. Habitat destruction is the main threat to 85 percent of all threatened and endangered species, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. You can help reduce this threat by planting native trees, restoring wetlands or cleaning up beaches in your area.
4. One of the most common pieces of rhetoric people will hear from environmental conservationists is that you should recycle, and this is oft-repeated for a good reason. Recycling is a great way to minimize our use of non-renewable resources and make the most out of our materials. Easy on the environment as well as the economy, there is really no good reason not to recycle.
5. Find new ways to use things you already own. If you can’t reuse, recycle. The Minnesota Zoo encourages patrons to recycle mobile phones to reduce demand for the mineral coltan, which is mined from lowland gorillas’ habitats.
6. If you do any work with plants – be it farming or gardening – you should try to avoid the use of pesticides and other such chemicals. While these chemicals can protect your plants from pests, they also do a huge amount of damage to the ecosystem.
Beyond simply deterring and starving pests that would feed other creatures, the chemicals can damage and pollute the soil in which your plants are situated. Pesticides do not flush away quickly or easily.
7. Driving is a reality of everyday life, and most will find themselves driving to and from work. Driving is not particularly good for the environment; however, emissions from car exhausts contribute heavily to CO2 pollution in the air. By driving more economically – slowing down and braking less – you can minimize the amount of exhaust fumes your car pumps out.
8. Slower driving is also important in avoiding collisions with any creatures that happen to haphazardly cross the road. Keeping a wary eye out for creatures whose habitat has been divided by roads could help avoid an accident.
9. A better solution than careful driving is, of course, not driving at all. Depending on where you live and your individual travel needs, you can easily substitute a car for a bicycle or mass transit for certain journeys.
10. Donate to wildlife charities. While this may seem somewhat obvious, the fact of the matter is that the more money these charities receive, the more they can do to help conservation efforts around the world. Whether you set up a standing order or make a one-off payment, donate a large amount or just put your spare change in a bucket, every little bit of money helps.