With constantly growing human populations, keeping wild lands intact is becoming increasingly more difficult. There are rising numbers of habitat conservation groups, but that doesn’t mean they can do it alone. Why is protecting these pieces of land so important? These habitats are home to hundreds of species of wildlife, including endangered and threatened species that will never recover if the proper action isn’t taken. There is a myriad of ways for the general public to help preserve these disappearing lands and prevent the elimination of some of the world’s most precious wildlife species.
Avoid Introducing Invasive Species to Local Habitats
Many animals are in trouble because non-native invasive species of animals and plants are taking over their natural habitats. One non-native plant can overtake native plants and use up valuable resources and habitats that allow certain animals and plants to thrive. When non-native plants and animals are introduced into these habitats, there aren’t any natural predators to control their population, so they flourish while the native wildlife suffers. People can reduce the amount of invasive species entering the country’s ecosystem by not releasing captive pets into the wild and only planting native plants in their yards.
Reducing Carbon Footprints
Believe it or not, recycling and living a greener lifestyle will significantly decrease negative impacts on the environment. Recycling reduces how many resources have to be used to create certain products, and this decreases how many habitats are destroyed because of excessive human consumption. On a larger scale, people can get involved with their local government to spread awareness about reducing the town’s environmental impact. This can be as simple as educating the town on recycling or by encouraging laws that increase the town’s efficiency in regards to energy usage.
Exercising Caution with Pesticide Usage
Many marine species are endangered because their habitats are slowly poisoning them because of excessive chemical contamination. Even small amounts of harmful chemicals will take years to dissipate in rivers and streams, and by then, significant damage is done to native species critical to the proper functioning of the local ecosystem. Not many people think fish or amphibian species play a role in a properly functioning ecosystem, but they are critical for insect and disease control. People should strive to only use environmentally friendly methods of pest control, and local governments should work closely with the EPA to ensure businesses are adhering to state and federal regulations in regards to chemical disposal.
Treading Lightly on Protected Lands
One of the best ways people can keep public lands protected is by visiting them. This may seem counterintuitive, but the best way to raise awareness is by helping local residents fall in love with nature around them. Visitors of these lands should always strive to leave no trace of their visit, like staying on designated trails, picking up after pets, and removing any trash regardless of who left it. Setting a good example for children will set them up for a conscientious future as they grow up. Volunteering once a month at nature preserves like the Mohonk Mountain House gives passionate people the opportunity to educate their fellow residents about the importance of the local ecosystem and the wildlife that plays an integral part in it.
Protecting wildlands is best done as a whole society. When people work together, wildlife species and their homes will be kept safe for years to come.