Wildlife refers to undomesticated animal species, that haven't been tamed and are usually living in a natural environment. Wildlife is important because it provides stability to different processes of nature. It matters as it balances ecosystems and helps in the preservation of food chains. The human population has grown exponentially over the past 200 years, to more than seven billion people today and the pace is growing.
IUCN estimates that 27,000 species of the ones assessed are at risk for extinction. Expanding to all existing species, a 2019 UN report on biodiversity put this estimate even higher at a million species. After monitoring the population of vertebrates, a devastating 69% drop on average since 1970, was found according to the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Living Planet Report 2022. In the case of Nepal, a number of species, including nine plants, 55 mammals, 149 birds, 64 herpetofauna, and 21 fish are included in the IUCN Red List according to Nepal’s 5th CBD report.
Wildlife conservation was needed utmostly, World Wild Fund For Nature (WWF), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and CITIES, etc have been working continuously to protect endangered species and save wildlife. Nepal also signed the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on 12 June 1992 and became a party to the Convention on 21 February 1994.
Wildlife conservation is the practice of protecting and preserving plant and animal species and also their habitats in order to maintain healthy wildlife species to protect the natural ecosystem. The major concern for wildlife conservation is due to pollution, climate change, unreasonable laws, haunting and illegal trafficking, and habitat fragmentation. Due to human activities, much wildlife is endangered and some have vanished. The main aim of wildlife is to ensure the protection of wildlife and preservation of nature and their habitats for humans as well as wildlife. For this initiative, many governmental organizations have been set up for the cause of wildlife conservation and protection. In Nepal, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) was established in 2037 BS (1980) AD to conserve and manage wildlife and biodiversity of the country. About 20 protected areas including National Parks, Conservation Areas, Wetlands, Wildlife Reserves, and Hunting Reserves are established to protect biodiversity.
Somehow, there are still issues for the conservation of wildlife: demand for wildlife parts and products on the international market. For e.g. Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), tiger, musk deer (Moschus moschiferus), pangolin (Manis spp.), red panda (Ailurus fulgens), common leopard (Panthera pardus), Himalayan black bear (Ursus thibetanus) and some bird species are especially at risk from poaching. Human-wildlife conflict relates to crop raids and livestock depredation, property damage and human injury and casualty by wild animals is common around protected areas in Nepal.
Thus, it’s necessary to protect wildlife for the ecosystem and for all of us.