What Does a Global Wildlife Conservation Organization Do?

By Ashley Ess in Thinking Sustainably

With disruptions to animal habitats across the globe, many of our natural systems are being thrown off balance. Global wildlife conservation organizations are here to help, working to safeguard threatened animal species and their habitats to restore the balance of nature.

What Is Wildlife Conservation?

Wildlife conservation is the practice of protecting animals and the ecosystems in which they live. Its goal is to ensure the survival of a species. To protect animals from extinction, global wildlife conservation organizations are tasked with preserving animal habitats. Environmental stressors, human destruction, and a growing population pose a threat to many fragile ecosystems upon which various species are dependent. It takes the dedication of wildlife conservationists to help sustain our planet's biodiversity.

National Geographic defines biodiversity as "the variety of living species on Earth"—an important issue for wildlife conservationists. When the numbers of just one animal decreases due to environmental or human causes, it disrupts the food chain. This can threaten other species as well, including animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria, adversely affecting an entire ecosystem.

White bird flying over lake

What Do Wildlife Conservationists Do?

Global wildlife conservation organizations help to prevent the extinction of a species in several ways. For example, they may help to write legislation—such as the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which places protections on threatened or endangered species. They also work with law enforcement to prevent illegal hunting and poaching. According to National Geographic, a large part of their task includes educating the public about living sustainably among other species. Conservationist filmmakers do this by creating documentaries, often funded by wildlife conservation organizations, to spread the word about the importance of protecting endangered wildlife. Wildlife organizations may even aid the release of certain animals, such as elephants and orangutans, who are used for entertainment and tourism.

Protecting species from extinction and restoring habitats is a global effort. Government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and citizen benefactors all work together for this vital cause. Conservation organizations comprise a wide variety of experts, including scientists, engineers, and land surveyors. Some experts do fieldwork or laboratory research, while others focus on compiling reports for legislators and landowners. Lab research often includes environmental testing of water, soil, and plant materials to get to the bottom of a specific ecosystem's declining health. Conservation champions may also research the effect that humans have on a species' survival and vice versa. How might we be affected by imbalanced ecosystems and modified food chains?

There are several global wildlife conservation organizations doing powerful work to protect our planet. The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Sierra Club are just a few groups on the front lines of conservation. World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the world's leading conservation organization, works collaborativley with partners like Tom's of Maine to support nature and help safeguard the environment for current and future generations.

Learn more about partnerships for global good, such as efforts to protect and restore natural water sources.

Image Source: Unsplash| Unsplash

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Why It's Good

Wildlife conservation is about protecting threatened animal species and their habitats. Conservation organizations work hard to sustain precious animal populations, important ecosystems, and mobilize people to do good for the planet.