There’s more than one way to promote wildlife conservation. The news is often headlined with titles like “ Poachers kill 26 elephants… “ or “… the gruesome wildlife trade”.
Friends and family share horrifying images of lifeless animals whose horns and skins have been ripped off. But there’s a lot of positive stories out there with regards to conservation and wildlife. The success stories and advances in ending exploitation and illegal trading are ripe, and they deserve more exposure.
For example, efforts over the last seven years by the Wildlife Conservation Society has boosted snow leopard populations in Afghanistan. Which is great news for the troubled country, who can really benefit from an increase in tourism. Even though the chances of seeing a leopard is slim, it’s the national park’s star attraction.
Rhinos, repeatedly the face of sad and shocking news articles, seldom get to experience their share of beauty and splendor. We know more about the elephants and rhinos tusks and horns then we do about their habitats and behavior. But did you know, just like the elephant, a rhino cannot sweat, and thus rolls in mud or dust to keep them cool? Or why not get up close with a cute, newborn rhino, a result of a successful breeding program at Samara Game Reserve.
What about the lesser known wood duck of Yakima, North America. It’s populations were almost completely wiped out due to land development and over-hunting. By the early 1900’s it was threatened with extinction, but because of the determined efforts of individuals, a wildlife management system was put in place. And today, that little wood duck is reestablishing itself in lakes and forests where it once lived.
Just this week there’s been a handful of both local and international stories pertaining to ecological efforts: from the Sneeuwberg Conservancy at Memel has become the first in the Free State to be declared a “protected environment” to the well known story about giant pandas moving off the endangered list.
These examples, are really just a small selection out of hundreds of positive news articles circulating in the media. Most of which will be overshadowed by a depressing statistic or scare tactic. But social media and its users, like yourself and I, have the power to change what content circulates online. And it does not always have to be negative.
More and more programs are being established to ensure these animals are being protected, bred and taken care of. These programs motivate and increase the awareness of the public regarding conservation and natural resources.
So next time you’re feeling environmentally conscious, and want to get more involved in online channels, why not try source something inspirational, something that says ‘there’s hope for the future’. Let’s inspire change through sharing progress, hoping that in turn, it inspires action and engagement.
We never know the worth of water until the well is dry.