Due to the activities of human beings such as poaching, deforestation, burning of forests and so on, quite a lot of resources require protection or conservation to be prevented from being used up or going into extinction. Among this group of resources is Wildlife.
Wildlife, according to the Cambridge English Dictionary, refers to animals that live independently of people that is, in natural conditions. Wildlife should be protected for various reasons and one of these reasons is that wildlife offers quite a lot of benefits to mankind. Some of these benefits include maintaining balance in nature (that is, eating herbivores thus reducing the number of herbivores that consume vegetation), economic importance, sources of recreation, scientific experimentation and so many more. Apart from these benefits, wildlife should also be protected to preserve them for the sake of future generations.
One of the things Africa is widely known for is her abundant wildlife. According to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), Africa is home to some of the world’s endangered species which include the mountain gorilla, Grevy’s zebra, and the Ethiopian wolf. In Africa, wildlife is faced with lots of threats to their survival thus, heightening the need for their protection. Some of these threats are in the form of overexploitation of wildlife, poaching (which is the illegal killing of animals), pollution, habitat loss or destruction, and illegal trading of wildlife. It is pertinent to note that human beings are the major threat to wildlife as the aforementioned threats are outcomes of our activities (African Budget Safaris).
Efforts have been made so far to ensure the protection of wildlife in Africa and some of these efforts include the establishment of wildlife conservation foundations, the establishment of non-governmental organizations committed to the conservation of wildlife and the creation of national parks like the Serengeti Park in Tanzania, Etosha Park in Namibia, Chobe Park in Botswana, Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya and many others including private reserves.
Though these efforts have been achieving positive results to an extent, they have to be more intensified. Just on the 8th of April, 2020, the Straits Times, Singapore, reported that a South African was jailed for the unlawful transport of rhino horns. Thus, if human beings will not desist from endangering these species, then their protection should be taken to a greater extent.
One of the ways through which the protection of wildlife in Africa can be taken to a greater extent is through the preservation of their habitats. The destruction of these habitats will ultimately lead to the destruction of these animals thus to prevent this, human beings should refrain from bush burning or any other dangerous activity. However, if these activities are necessary, for instance, the construction of roads, then the affected animals should be transferred to a game reserve or park.
Another way is through the education of the populace on the importance of preserving and the dangers of overexploiting wildlife. The populace should also be exposed to human activities that are threats to wildlife. The indiscriminate killing of animals should be discouraged with punishments attached in the case of violators. Also, if necessary, more parks and reserves can be built to house these species.
In closing, wildlife is a very important aspect of nature and there is no doubt that their protection is for the good of mankind. Thus, Africa as a whole should put more effort into ensuring its protection.
Oluwademilade AKINSOLA is a Law student at the University of Ibadan. She has a strong interest in volunteer works (that deals with eliminating poverty and making education available to all) and leadership.