In recent decades it has become clear that man has to learn to co-exist with nature. Even in urban areas it has become imperative to understand the principles of wildlife management. Ignorance and negligence of wildlife will one day lead to a rude awakening, of a world reeling from the impact of a major ecological imbalance.
This is because wild animals that are conserved and managed will play a significant part in the earth’s ecosystem. Urban centers need not be a place where wild animals are doomed. The community must learn to develop programs so that wild animals and human beings can co-exist in a world of biodiversity and beauty.
Human beings are oftentimes dictated by their impulses rather than sober thought. If there is a need for more land, they would not think twice in destroying forest cover or transforming farmlands into towns and cities. If they find other living things in that area that they believe is a pest or nuisance then there is no hesitation and once again irrational impulse leads them to kill and eradicate.
However, in recent decades it has become clear that man has to learn to co-exist with nature. This is why it is important that even in cities they should learn the intricacies of wildlife management. There is a need to understand these things because ignorance and negligence will one day lead to a rude awakening, of a world reeling from the impact of a major ecological imbalance.
It is understandable when humans act irrationally whenever they are faced with something they do not understand. Man would act on impulse especially when they are fearful. And there is nothing more terrifying than wildlife, such as carnivores with sharp fangs and vermin that carry diseases.
Thus, the next logical step is to exterminate. This is where man is greatly mistaken because wildlife, properly conserved and managed play a significant part in the earth’s ecosystem. A wanton disregard for the natural system that was built in to ensure balance in the ecological sphere will surely create catastrophic results.
Ecological and Social Impacts
The end result of reducing the number of predator and carnivores in a given ecological system will cause an imbalance that allows organisms in the lower levels of the food chain to multiply to the point of becoming pests. Their population becoming a nuisance to others competing for the same resources. The same can create problems for humans living in areas wherein this delicate balance has to be maintained. In other words biodiversity will benefit every living thing whether in a national park or in an urban setting.
A good example is the efficient conservation and wildlife management of coyotes. Predators such as these limit the number of organisms that will grow and multiply in a given area. For instance, a coyote will serve as an ecological tool to control the prolific multiplication of a bird called grouse (MacDonald & Zubiri, 2004). Even if this bird specie manages to multiply aggressively, the presence of coyotes will make sure that their population will always be in check.
As a result grouses will never reach a number that will cause scarcity of food supply for other birds that have the same preferences for that same food resource (MacDonald & Zubiri, 2004). Even if there are no competing animals the possible runaway population of grouses will pressure the insect population that they feed on thereby causing a possible extinction for the said insect group (MacDonald & Zubiri, 2004).
The need for wildlife management is not only justified in the context of biodiversity and some other ecological principles. Another importance of wildlife management is due to the connection between managing wildlife and health and safety impacts.
According to one expert many wild creatures are carriers of diseases and he added that animals like raccoons and skunks can carry diseases such as rabies and Lyme diseases (Landry, 1994). Furthermore, there is also the psychological impact because people has to feel safe in their homes and they need not be an anxious that animals will attack them in their homes or when they are taking a walk in the park.
Aside from health and safety impacts there is also the social impacts of managing wildlife. There are those who strongly believe in the preservation of endangered animal species while there are those who will give more importance to urban development and therefore wildlife management takes a second priority.
In New Jersey there was a divisive issue regarding the management of the black bear population (Gehrt, Riley, & Cypher, 2010). This has created obstacles that prevented the residents and government officials to effectively deal with a burgeoning black bear population (Gehrt, Riley, & Cypher, 2010). In other words no one benefited from such conflict.
Wildlife management need not be a contentious issue. The community can see it from a health and safety vantage point and to some extent a tourist attraction.
In Louisiana for instance concern for the black bear population in the region prompted the creation of a coalition comprised of more than 60 organizations that resulted in a massive campaign for the support of the black bear and was instrumental in the creation of a habitat for the animals (Gehrt, Riley, & Cypher, 2010). This means that wildlife management can produce positive social impacts.
As one considers the variety of environmental, social and even psychological impacts of wild animals in urban areas, the need for a successful conservation and wildlife management program becomes more urgent. The challenge is two-fold. Community members must find a way to protect and conserve wild animals.
It is imperative to maintain biodiversity and hence ecological balance. On the other hand it is also of utmost importance to do it in such a way that urban areas are kept safe primarily from carnivores and even other reptiles that may carry diseases or attack humans when provoked.
One way to do this is to increase funding when it comes to studies related to wildlife management. Scientists were able to determine that disturbances in the natural habitat of the animals are creating long-term consequences but there is still much to learn (Morrison, 2006).
This is part of the long term solution. But when it comes to creating immediate change in wildlife management there are some urgent measures that need to be implemented such as the creation of suitable habitats for wild animals so that they can co-exist with human beings even in an urban setting.
There is also a need to initiate projects that will determine the extent of the problems. For example coyotes are vulnerable in urban areas because there is scarcity of food. In addition coyotes have to deal with pest and parasites such as mites and ticks which may have been transferred to them when they come in contact with other animals (Wobeser,2006).
In other words the community must get involve in creating measures to increase the survival rate of these animals or else the extinction of some wild animals will become a reality much sooner than expected.
The importance of effective wildlife management in urban areas is something that will benefit not only the present generation but also those who are to come. There is a need to maintain biodiversity because changes in the ecological balance does not only mean the extinction of a particular species, this can also mean the aggressive multiplication of undesirable wild animals.
It is therefore important to learn how to balance conservation as well as the proper management of wildlife to prevent the early extinction of some of the endangered animals. Urban centers need not be a place where wild animals are doomed. The community must learn to develop programs so that wild animals and human beings can co-exist in a world of biodiversity and beauty.
Landry, Sarah. (1994). Peterson First Guide to Urban Wildlife. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Morrison, Michael. (2006). Wildlife-Habitat Relationships: Concepts and Applications. Washington, DC: Island Press.
Gehrt, Stanley, Riley, Seth, & Brian Cypher.(2010). Urban Carnivores: Ecology, Conflict, and Conservation. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press.
Macdonald, D.W. & C.S. Zubiri. (2004). Biology and Conservation of Wild Canids. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Wobeser, G. (2006). Essentials of Disease in Wild Animals. Ames, IA: Blackwell Publishing Professional.