Wildlife conservation and education
Photo by Pixabay.com
May 27, 2020

As a natural resources and environmental sciences major with a concentration in fish, wildlife, and conservation biology, I’m very interested in working with wildlife in the future. During a TED talk I watched, Jane Goodall discussed the importance of ecology in the field. However, it’s also important to look at peoples issues as well. Something that we talk about in NRES is that people don’t generally care much about the environment unless their basic needs are met.

For example, Goodall was talking about chimpanzees’ diminishing habitat, which is an environmental issue; however, we can’t merely blame people and expect them to change. Around the chimpanzees’ habitat, people barely have enough room to live. It’s essential to focus on human well-being, including education, agriculture, and public health. Only when people’s basic well-being is met do they really consider the world around them, including the environment and wildlife.

In conservation activists Moreangels Mbizah and Ashwin Naidus’ TED talks, they also discussed how important it is to get local communities involved with the conservation of wildlife. Local communities are able to really advocate for wildlife around them and stand to gain from it. Connecting with local people and showing them why they should protect a species of animal can make a huge difference in conservation efforts.

Mbizah specifically talked about environmental education and finding a way to introduce people to the wildlife near them. She mentioned that growing up in Zimbabwe, she didn’t even know that lions lived just miles away. I found that surprising, and it showed me how crucial environmental education really is. Naidu spoke about conservation efforts that created pride in a local community, which even turned a wildlife poacher into an esteemed conservationist.

Wildlife conservation is something that I would like to become a part of, so it was really interesting to hear about all the different ways it can be done. I don’t know now how I would like to get involved with wildlife conservation, but I know it’s something I would like to do.

Students in ACES 399 “Vision 2050 – Grand Challenges of the Millenium” were asked to watch three videos about a topic of their own choosing, and write a blog post reflecting on the topic. The Voices of ACES blog will feature several of those blog posts in the next weeks.