Africa Wildlife Conservation
The continent of Africa is a magical place, home to plants and animals that most of us have only read about in books and never seen. From lions to cheetahs to elephants, the wildlife here is beyond the imagination, yet without dedicated intervention it will all soon be gone. Due to the combined effects of pollution, tree logging, hunting and poaching, and agricultural and industrial development, the wildlife on this continent is dying and at an alarmingly fast rate. Over the past three generations the population of the African Elephant has decreased by more than 50%, the black Rhinoceros by more than 80%, and many other species have all but vanished.
Since people have become aware of the devastation facing this continent and others, Wildlife Conservation has become an increasingly visible cause. Many groups have set forth to reverse the negative effects humans have brought upon the wildlife of this planet but they rely on your help and continued support in order to succeed.
Below are some of the conservation efforts currently taking place in Africa to help stay the devastation that has been wreaked on the wildlife population of this continent.
Rehabilitation of Wilderness areas
Many species of plant and animal find themselves on the endangered list mainly due to the continued destruction of their natural habitat. Whether from the effects of logging, urban development, industrial pollution or other factors, many animals find their homes destroyed and their food source severely depleted. This phenomenon has led a number of groups to work to rehabilitate the wilderness areas that house these animals. Projects include tree planting, which helps to replenish lost food and shelter sources in the area, as well as injured animal rescue programs which administer appropriate medical attention to injured animals before re-releasing them into the wild.
Animal Orphanage programs take in baby animals whose parents have either abandoned them or been killed by poachers, hunters or other causes. These programs require the expertise of veterinarians and other animal experts, who help to make sure that these young animals remain healthy in their temporary habitat, yet also remain wild enough to -be released back into the wild once ready. These programs help to maintain the population of numerous animal species, many of them endangered or on the brink of extinction. It is important that these animals do not form too close an attachment to humans, in order to ensure their safety from hunters and poachers once they are eventually released. Some programs encourage donors to sponsor an animal during its stay to help pay for its food and medical expenses before it can be released back into the wild.
The many wildlife areas in Africa each require scouts (the equivalent to our park rangers) in order to make sure that the animals and surrounding areas remain healthy and free of illegal activities such as poaching. However, there is little funding available for wilderness scouts in Africa. Thus said, some organizations have created programs in which people can sponsor a scout to help pay for their food, equipment and daily expenses, so that they can properly protect the African wildlife.
Many people dream of being able to take part in an African Safari and see the beautiful wildlife only found in Africa. However, imagine getting to go on a dream safari and at the same time knowing that your money will go directly to helping conserve the very wildlife you are observing around you. This is called ecotourism, meaning “tourism to exotic or threatened ecosystems to observe wildlife or to help preserve nature” (source: hyperdictionary.com) Eco-tours are offered by a number of non-profit organizations dedicated to raising money to help save threatened African wildlife.