Speak for the ones without a voice

Wildlife consists of plants and animals that are untamed by humans and includes all the organisms, plant or animal or microorganism, that lives in the natural environment. These living beings play a crucial role in maintaining a balance in the environment. They do so by ensuring the smooth flow of natural processes. Ever since we humans turned up on Earth, we have been dependant on this wildlife. But along came evolution and with it brought development into the picture. With time we’ve changed the face of our home planet Earth. Our activities have destroyed the natural habitats that are needed for the animals to survive, for us to survive. With expanding human populations, animals and plants are disappearing faster.

Wildlife management is a practice of maintaining the wild animal population and protecting endangered and threatened species and their habitats with the goal of maintaining the ecological balance. A prime example of this is the wolves of the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Around the early 1900s, the entire wolf population was wiped out from the Yellowstone National Park. The removal of the key predator in this ecosystem meant that the herbivore population was unchecked. Too many herbivores meant that a lot of the plant life was consumed and this led to mass soil erosion, leading to the complete collapse of the park’s ecosystem. Then, due to a changing attitude toward the environment in the 1970s, the wolves were reintroduced in this area. When wolves were brought back to the park, they hunted the Elk which led to these herbivores avoiding areas like valleys where they could easily become prey. As a result, those areas began to regenerate, and species such as birds, beavers, mice and bears came back. Plantlife once again thrived along the riverbanks and erosion decreased significantly. The stabilization of the riverbanks actually made the rivers and streams change course. With the reintroduction of just a small population of wolves, the landscape of the whole park transformed.

Not only wild animals but we humans too are also highly dependent on our forests. They increase the oxygen content in the air and protect us from the harmful greenhouse effect. They also supply our industries with valuable raw materials and also help to generate revenue and provide employment. Forests play an important role in our lives and over-exploitation of this resource will only push us towards a mass extinction that merely affects us in the long run. Wildlife management can help us restore the environment. Achieving the goals of management are difficult but not impossible, but it can only be achieved with the help of each and every person.

Ishani Mehta,

Programme Assistant