In times like these, the need for wildlife conservation programs becomes increasingly important. As the numbers of rare species continue to dwindle around the world, it becomes ever more necessary to step up efforts to save these species and their habitats from extinction. Unfortunately, in some areas of the world, these extinctions are occurring at an alarming rate. This situation has been made worse by the slowing down of many economic growth rates worldwide, especially in developed countries like the U.S., which is leading the way towards a “shocking” decline in wildlife conservation levels.
What Is Wildlife Conservation
As indicated, wildlife conservation efforts are designed to help offset the impact of such population declines on various species. In this regard, projects focus primarily on protecting habitat and wildlife conservation areas. These projects often focus on promoting biodiversity, increasing habitat connectivity, stopping wildlife loss, and reintroducing wildlife to previously unharmed areas. Moreover, the ultimate goal is to increase the numbers and genetic diversity of animals and plants, particularly in ecosystems where biodiversity has become threatened or already lost. It is also hoped that such projects will provide local people with improved knowledge of wildlife conservation and habitat restoration.
One particularly troubling issue is that of habitat destruction. Habitat loss directly affects wildlife conservation efforts, since, without the protection of naturally occurring wildlife habitats, there will be less wildlife to feed off of naturally. In the case of agriculture, the loss of wetlands and agricultural fields directly reduces food sources for livestock. Meanwhile, agriculture contributes significantly to the destruction of wildlife habitat because it includes vast amounts of land that is unsuitable for wildlife conservation. As an example, farmers typically clear brush and tree-studded areas to plant crops, greatly reducing wildlife habitat.
In addition, farmers frequently pass along contaminated seeds to consumers, negatively affecting wildlife conservation. As an example, herbicides and pesticides commonly used on fruits and vegetables can threaten species survival. Similarly, agricultural runoff causes washouts and litter in streams, rivers, and lakes, negatively impacting aquatic species such as fish and wildlife. Efforts to control run-off include creating vegetated buffer strips along roads, installing fencing to prevent access, and regulating runoff from fields.
Wildlife populations need to be protected so that they can continue to flourish and survive. In this regard, there are two main methods for accomplishing this task: protecting existing populations and encouraging the reproduction of population components. Several techniques can be used to enhance the success rates of established and/or protected populations, although the ultimate goals should include the restoration of reproductive capacities. Methods that promote reproduction include improving nutritional status, encouraging migration, improving habitat conditions, monitoring reproductive rates, and establishing legal protections for species.
The second step involves federal budget appropriation to support clean energy and clean coal technologies. This effort has the potential to significantly impact wildlife conservation funding through both direct and indirect means. On a basic level, federal agencies are required by law to review and approve Clean Energy and Clean Coal Technology initiatives before approving them. Similarly, there are numerous programs authorized by executive orders that have the same goal; however, most of these programs are not implemented due to a lack of political will or a lack of financial resources.
As part of the budgetary process, the United States House and Senate have established the congressional committees charged with the responsibility of authorization and funding of federal programs and legislation. Those organizations are responsible for managing federal wildlife conservation programs and legislation. The main legislative branch is the House of Representatives, which is responsible for writing and passing annual Appropriation bills, while the Senate is responsible for passing annual resolutions. From these two chambers, there is a wide range of different options for wildlife conservation funding. These include programs that provide funding to states for addressing environmental issues and the implementation of regional management plans; programs that provide funding to individual states for conservation projects; programs that provide seed money to states for wildlife conservation projects; and programs that provide revenue for federal agencies, state conservation agencies, and individual landowners.
A variety of factors determine the success of federal wildlife conservation programs and initiatives. Some of these factors include current conditions and threats faced by species; natural habitats and areas of wildlife conservation focus; land management and habitats of selected species; natural resource assessment of selected habitat areas; management plans and management actions for species; and legal actions taken to preserve species, reduce impacts to wildlife, and increase access, use, and numbers of public lands for wildlife conservation. In addition, effective permitting, licensing, and monitoring strategies are key components of a successful wildlife conservation program. States and the federal government rely on voluntary conservation organizations to manage wildlife conservation on their behalf. However, voluntary organizations can have limited success if they are not properly organized and funded.