When you hear the term “wildlife,” most people might picture animals, but it includes not only the animals but flora and fauna in the area as well. These living things are not introduced by humans but are found in the wild. Different wildlife lives in every ecosystem, including forests, oceans, deserts, and more. Today on World Wildlife Day, we lead to the question “Why is wildlife important?”
1. Wildlife maintains balance in ecosystems.
Every living organism within an ecosystem is connected to one another. If even just one organism in the ecosystem becomes threatened or extinct, it has a domino effect on the entire ecosystem. It disrupts the food chain, sending shockwaves through the natural environment. It’s also important to know that threats to species hardly ever happen in isolation. For ecosystems to thrive, all wildlife must be protected, from the biggest animals to the smallest of insects.
2. Diversity of wildlife means a healthier ecosystem.
When discussing wildlife, you’ll often hear the term “biodiversity.” This refers to the number of species in an ecosystem. Healthy ecosystems have a lot of diversity… Why is this important? Consider plants. A wide variety of plants means greater productivity and better health. If there are fewer plant species, a disease that affects them spreads faster and more effectively. More variety means better resistance.
Our guides doing the game drives with guests, try and instil an admiration and appreciation for the environment and the utter necessity to protect that which what we have. Having individuals coming from all over the world gives an absolute reason to keep places like Kapama private game reserve going.
For without the visitors there would be no reason to have reserves. The land will be repurposed for agricultural, livestock, mining, and real-estate development. Once this happens, we lose biodiversity and replace it with monoculture and concrete. This will have a devastating effect on the natural world. We as a dominant species who are still a part of the ecosystem are very reliant on the natural world.
Thus, it is important to remember that without people, nature and wildlife will flourish and grow yet without nature and wildlife people will surely perish. So, let’s remember how important wildlife is and continue to look after it and help protect it to the best of our ability.
Story by: Kapama Southern Camp Ranger Lindi Taljaard