Africa, home to a beautiful wildlife population bountiful with species such as gorillas, lions, giraffes, and of course, the elephant. These animals are not the only ones that reside here, but people as well. However, everyday, humans destroy habitats, hunt ivory, and overpopulate areas that ultimately leads to animals being forced to migrate into an area they are not used to. One of my biggest concerns is the ivory trade going on in the black market. Everyday, hundreds of elephants and rhinos are hunted for none only than their tusks; leading poachers to saw their tusks off their precious faces to be left in the wild to die.The African Wildlife Foundation agrees that, “If people and wildlife learn to live together—inside and outside of protected areas—the future for all will thrive.”
Why should we care?
Well, as species of higher intelligence than animals, it is our duty to be stewards of our earth, meaning we must conserve our ecosystems and wildlife. Saving wildlife and wilderness is the responsibility of all thinking people. We should prioritize the conservation of our African wildlife because they enrich our planet with biodiversity. Everyone who has taken at least one biology class knows that biodiversity is essential to a healthy and working ecosystem. If an animal is extracted from a habitat, it ruins the natural balance of our ecosystem. Not only that, but BBC’s post, “What is the point of endangered species?” states that “In 1997, ecologist Robert Costanza and
his colleagues estimated that the biosphere provides services worth around $33 trillion a year.” What does this mean? How do animals contribute so much money to the earth but do nothing but roam around in their habitat? Well, imagine if there was no food to eat? I dont mean animal meat, I mean plants. Plants provide us with numerous things from medicine to oxygen. Plants and animals depend on eachother, if there are no anim
ls to pollinate or add nutrients to their soil, they cannot live. The size of ecosystem services that animals provide us turn out to be incredibly large. Aside from our own human benefits, on ethical standards, these animals have no voice of their own. They can do nothing but fight against hunters and poachers and most of the times unfortunately, die. Jefferey Gettleman’s article, “Elephants Dying in Epic Frenzy as Ivory Fuels Wars and Profits,” in the NY Times states “Africa is in the midst of an epic elephant slaughter. Conservation groups say poachers are wiping out tens of thousands of elephants a year, more than at any time in the previous two decades, with the underground ivory trade becoming increasingly militarized.” The vast amount of this ivory trade happens in China where ivory is priced at $1,000 per pound. We should care about the conservation of wildlife in Africa because these precious animals should be liberated of dangers and be preserved for future generations to come.
What sparked my interest?
Ever since I could red them. I was always updated on new species and breeds of animals, I lived on Animal Planet. However, as I got older, I started remember, I had a dying love for all animals. From domesticated dogs to wild leopards, I loved them all. However, as I got older I started realizing how much harm we as humans do to animals. I started watching news about rainforests being chopped down and poor animals being forced to relocate. From domestic animal abuse in everyday homes to wildlife animals being burned alive due to forest fires, I was devastated. Recently, I’ve discovered the mass amount of elephants and rhinos being killed or having their tusks cut off and being left in the wild to bleed to death. These utter actions make me go crazy. Elephants are beautiful creatures and are one of the most intelligent animals. New York times states that, “After poaching incidents, the researchers watched as different core groups fused.” After mass killings of elephants, they form together with unbiological elephants to form their own families. They are more intelligent than most think.
There are endless amounts of solutions we can implement to help conserve Africa’s wildlife. For starters, we can build sanctuaries for animals far away from harm such as poachers, hunters and even tourists. The African Wildlife Foundation states that, “lions attract a huge amount of safari tourism. With less than 21,000 left, the species could fall into extinction, leaving local communities and governments in pover
ty.” Isn’t it crazy that Lions are very vulnerable to endangerment? Second, we can implement community projects that benefit both people and wildlife. For example, setting up protected areas outside of small or large populations where animals can roam without the possibility of pollution or hunters.
AWF. “Wildlife Conservation.” African Wildlife Foundation, n.d. Web.
Marshall, Michael. “What’s the Point of Saving Endangered Species?” BBC. N.p., 14 July 2015. Web.