Wildlife conservation is a practice in which people try to protect endangered plant and animal species as well as their habitats. The goal is to ensure that nature will be there for future generations to enjoy and to recognize the importance of wildlife and wild lands for humans. Many countries have government agencies dedicated to this practice and can help implement policies designed to protect wildlife. There are also many independent, non-profit organizations that promote various causes of conservation.
Several disciplines are involved in wildlife conservation. To practice it, people need to use biology and other sciences to identify populations at risk and study those populations to learn more about their needs. The economy is often involved when organizations strive to reserve land for wildlife use, with conservationists trying to find effective land use solutions. The field also relies heavily on education, using outreach programs to educate people about wildlife and show people why it is important to conserve natural habitats.
Wildlife advocates are working around the world to identify and protect species that need help. This discipline often involves capturing animals and raising them in captivity to ensure that the population remains large and diverse while environmentalists work to establish a territory for the animals so that they can have a safe place in nature. Conservation must also be balanced with other land uses. Many countries, for example, value forms of recreation in nature, such as hiking, camping, and hunting, making it difficult to reserve land specifically for animal use.
A wide range of questions intersect with this area. The establishment of protected areas for animals could, for example, interfere with land use plans for agriculture or housing. A wildlife park can also interfere with international borders or traditional tribal lands. Issues such as pollution, deforestation, overhunting and other environmental issues also play a role. Despite the many obstacles to conservation that need to be overcome, many believe that the fight to save wildlife and natural habitat is crucial.
Many organizations that promote wildlife conservation use famous and photogenic animals such as pandas, cheetahs, gray wolves and elephants to promote their cause. By attracting people to the problem, these organizations hope to raise support and funds to protect lesser-known animals, such as rare and endangered birds, small mammals, and reptiles. These animals are also a meeting point and a symbol of conservation.