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The Gap Year Blog

The Importance of Wildlife Conservation

3 Feb 2020 12:45 PM
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What is conservation?

Conservation means to prevent waste of a resource. Similarly, wildlife conservation can be defined as the practice of protecting animal species and their habitats. This emphasis on habitat is crucial, as without their habitat, animals are dangerously exposed to harm and die easily. 

Normally, wildlife conservation is aimed at animals and habitats that are on the verge of extinction, this means that the animal is becoming less and less visible in their environment and thus causing alarm that they are no longer living, or their habitats are being destroyed due to many factors. These factors are normally always said to be environmental causes, such as pollution, climate change, unreasonable laws. 

Frontier are aiding with the protection of our wildlife through animal sanctuaries, research and data collection. The projects aims are to contribute to the current understanding of the local environment and help monitor the spectacular array of wildlife found. It enables people to understand the importance of conservation but at the same time have a real look into a wildlife they would never have been exposed to. 

The main aims of the programme are to assess the biodiversity in the specific studied area and compare different habitat types and the effects of human disturbance, which may take several forms. We hope to gain insights into how each species or family of animals is responding to human induced habitat modification and other anthropogenic stresses. 

Every programme is different and has an array of activities and daily duties all volunteers have to take part in. It is a great way to meet new, yet like-minded people with the same ambitions and desires to help save and protect the environment. Frontier stands out as it enables people to go abroad and experience a new place, but sends volunteers to vulnerable places where they will work in helping a community or area. 

But why is conservation of wildlife really important?

Whether you like it or not, the environment has a massive effect on us all, you may not realise how much air pollution you may be taking in, or how much you as a human contribute to the burning of carbon that is polluting the air. 

Conserving the planet should just just be a throw away sentence, every act a human does in trying to conserve goes a long way in contributing to change. For us humans to live, we rely on natural resources. An example would be medication. A lot of our medication is cultivated from natural substances such as flowers, herbs and also animals! Conserving these plants is paramount for medicinal research and the sustainability of the pharmaceutical industries.

Conserving wildlife also means conserving heritage and traditional culture. Frontier volunteers are thrown into the deep end on purpose and are free to communicate and roam as they please, conversing and challenging themselves in the country they volunteer in.

A volunteer in Madagascar states - 

“Though I don’t think our work is selfless, as we get so much back in return. We make friends, are made family and feel an overwhelming sense of happiness and self-worth when the difference we are here to make is shown”

Additionally, whilst conserving you are also contributing to the protection of biodiversity and the endangered species. Animals depend on each other in the wildlife through the process of a food chain. For example, ‘carnivore animals like lions, cheetahs, and leopards depend on herbivores like antelopes for their survival. If antelopes become extinct in the jungle, the effect can be detrimental to the survival of the cats’.

Our research at Frontier is also vital in identifying new plants and wildlife in general. It gives us a broader picture of how a certain environment is being affected. Which is why we need to protect habitats as many plants are yet to be discovered, killing habitats and destroying land will not help humanity.

There are many more ways we can conserve and as you should already know, every little helps.

By Aisha Benmeriem - Frontier Online Journalism Intern

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservationcommunityteaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!