Why we love wildlife

The importance of wildlife to a continued human
existence has never been more obvious than it is today.
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.
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 countries.

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.

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.

It is commonly believed that the more diversity of life within an ecosystem the stronger it is and the better able it is
to sustain itself in the face of external stresses. Biodiversity is also key for the continued provision of ecosystems services it provides, which serve both humans and the systems themselves, although the term is largely used in relation to the benefits reaped by us.

Other benefits of biodiversity include cultural, spiritual and recreational values. Because people evolve with their
environments, their history and identity is embedded there.
Human life relies on our ecosystems providing the life-sustaining services of providing oxygen, detoxifying our soil and water, providing materials for clothing and shelter and providing our food and the nutrients we require.
Biodiversity is measured not only by the richness of an area in the number of diverse species living there, but it also
considers the evenness of the species. This is because the more equal species are in proportion to each other, the more stable it is because there are not dominant species. Dominant species may reflect an imbalance in the food chain which will likely lead to the extinction of the prey. Or a dominant species could be an invasive plant that will overtake the native plants in the competition for soil.
In essence, any reduction of the diversity of life, whether by human hands or by natural causes, weakens the links that exist among species and habitats.

Given the interconnected nature of ecosystems, where a change in one area can have far reaching effects elsewhere,
it is therefore vital to maintain as great a variety of species as possible in order to ensure the continued healthy
existence of the planet.

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