The importance of wildlife to a continued human existence has never been more obvious than it is today. In recent times, scientists and authors have begun to realise that wild animals are equally, if not more important than domesticated animals. People have always had an awareness of the consumptive economic importance of hunting or trapping wild animals, but in recent times other non-consumptive values have become popular.
Wildlife is the cornerstone of tourism
Nature is, and has always been, valued for its aesthetic values. In an increasingly commercialised world which can often feel cold and empty, it is important that we have something inspiring and thought provoking to turn to when we need a break. Wild animals can fill this void, whether we simply visit a park and watch the pigeons for a while, go to the zoo, or are lucky enough to experience animals in their wild habitat.
Human fascination with the beauty of wild animals drives tourism worldwide. This has the effect of boosting the economy and creating jobs where there otherwise may be none. Managed in the right way, tourism raises awareness of the need to conserve delicate ecosystems containing endangered animals. It gives people a driving force to want to help in conservation efforts, which will unquestionably lead to a better future for planet earth.
Our ancient bond to wild animals
Historically, wildlife has played a huge part in the day to day life of many cultures. As a part of religious ceremonies, community events, and community bonding, wild animals still have a huge role in many third world countries.
For example, common animals such as the kangaroo still play a huge role in the tribal rituals and beliefs of many indigenous communities in Northern Australian.
Crucial part of healthy ecosystems
Scientists can use models of animal distribution to define the best methods for the preservation of the natural environment. Animal behaviour can also be an important indicator of unprecedented events, such as earthquakes, tsunami’s, or large storms.
Historical information shows that wildlife can behave differently when they sense an imminent threat. If this knowledge could be harnessed effectively, it could save countless lives through early warning systems, allowing people to adequately prepare.
Inspiration to decrease our environmental impact
Many of the world’s environmental problems stem from a lack of knowledge. Consumers are able to purchase certain products or engage in activities without realising the damage they are causing to the earth.
When shown in a positive light, wild animals can inspire people to lead a sustainable lifestyle. They can invoke feelings of sympathy and compassion, causing people to be conscious of the damaging effects of their lifestyles.
Wild animals provide a range of services to the human existence. They can be valuable subjects for modern scientific research and play a huge role in cultures across the world. People can turn to nature for a release when the drags of the modern world become too great.
With respect to the conservation and future of our planet, animals can inspire people to change their lifestyle and rally for a brighter future. If a larger portion of the human population were to realise the importance of wild animals to their existence, they would be able to live a more fulfilling and meaningful life.