Wednesday June 19, 2024

Wildlife services to ecosystem underlined

By Syed Kosar Naqvi
February 27, 2023

ABBOTTABAD: Wildlife provides essential ecosystem services, such as pollination, seed dispersal, nutrient cycling, and soil formation which are critical to maintaining the health and productivity of natural ecosystems and supporting human life and well-being.

This was the crux of the daylong orientation workshop on “Importance of wildlife & ecosystem “organized by the civil society organization, Integrated Development; Empowerment & Advocacy for Livelihood Support (IDEALS ) here on Sunday.

Speakers said that Wildlife refers to all the animals, birds, and plants that exist in natural habitats without human interference.

District Forest Officer Muhammad Idrees said that the natural world is full of biodiversity, and it is essential to our existence. “Wildlife plays a vital role in balancing the ecosystem, and it is necessary to protect it to ensure a sustainable future,” he added. He said that Wildlife habitats range from dense forests, vast grasslands, and deep oceans to small pockets of greenery in urban areas. Each of these habitats is unique and supports a wide range of species, each with its own place in the food chain.

The official said the diversity of wildlife ensures that each species has a specific role in the ecosystem, and the loss of one species can have a devastating impact on the entire system.

Unfortunately, wildlife populations are declining at an alarming rate due to habitat loss, poaching, climate change, and pollution, claimed Sardar Nawaz SDFO wildlife, adding that loss of natural habitats due to human activities such as deforestation, mining, and urbanization is a major threat to wildlife.

“Poaching, the illegal trade in wildlife and their products, is another significant threat to many species, including elephants, rhinos, tigers, and pangolins. Climate change is causing disruptions in natural ecosystems, affecting the breeding, migration, and survival of many species.” Pollution, including plastic waste, is also taking a significant toll on wildlife, with animals dying from ingestion or entanglement in plastic debris, he concluded.

IDEALS Secretary Saeed Akhtar in his presentation briefed the participants about protection measures for wildlife and said that we need to take a multi-faceted approach that includes conservation, education, and sustainable development.

He said conservation efforts must include habitat protection, species management, and anti-poaching measures. “Education is critical to increasing public awareness and understanding of the importance of wildlife conservation. Sustainable development that balances the needs of people and the environment can help reduce the impact of human activities on wildlife,” he explained.

Saeed Akhtar said that wildlife is a critical component of the natural world and plays a crucial role in maintaining the balance of ecosystems. He said we must do everything we can to protect wildlife and their habitats from threats such as habitat loss, poaching, climate change, and pollution.

“By working together, we can ensure that wildlife thrives for generations to come, and our planet remains healthy and sustainable”, he concluded.