We are lucky to share the planet with thousands of species of beautiful animals. And nothing quite beats seeing these animals in their natural habitat.
In fact, keeping animals safe and happy in their natural habitat should be everyone’s priority. Sadly, however, centuries of human interference are wreaking havoc on our natural ecosystems and leaving many wonderful species of wildlife vulnerable or on the verge of extinction. From deforestation, to poaching, to climate change, humans are causing harm at an unprecedented rate.
Luckily, many organisations across the world are striving to protect our vulnerable ecosystems and the animals and plantlife that reside within them.
Here are three fantastic wildlife parks that are helping conserve our environment and protect our animals.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system. Located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is composed of nearly 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands, and stretches over 2,300 km.
Built by billions of tiny organisms, the reef supports a wide range of biodiversity and was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1981.
Unfortunately, due to climate change and pollution, the Great Barrier Reef is at great risk. Climate change is leading to increased coral bleaching, which leads to increased disease susceptibility; and pollution from nearby farming is severely damaging the reef.
To help combat this, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which protects a large portion of the reef, is working to limit the impact of human use, such as fishing and tourism, and is raising awareness of the threats that are facing the Great Barrier Reef.
Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti ecosystem is located mainly in northern Tanzania and extends into south-western Kenya. Spanning approximately 12,000 square meters, the Serengeti hosts the largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world.
The ecosystem is also famous for its large lion population, home to 70 species of large mammals, and hosts around 500 species of birds.
The Serengeti is protected by the Serengeti National Park, which strives to protect the immense biodiversity found in the area. This includes preventing poaching from big game hunters and regulating access to tours of the park.
The National Park also works closely with scientists to better understand the ecology and wildlife in the park. Indeed, the park is currently working with the University of Minnesota’s ‘Snapshot Serengeti’ project, which seeks to classify over 30 species of animal within the park, and helps in providing relevant training to local communities; hence improving support to wildlife management.
Yasuni National Park
The Yasuni National Park spans an area of nearly 10,000 kilometers square in Ecuador, and is located between the Napo and Curaray Rivers in Napo and Amazonian Ecuador.
Made up of primarily rainforest, Yasuni was granted UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status in 1989 and is considered the most biologically diverse area in the world by many.
In addition to amphibians, birds, mammals, bats, vascular plants, and more, The Yasuni is also part of the ancestral territory of the Huaorani indigenous people, and is home to two uncontacted indigenous tribes, the Tagaeri and the Taromenane.
The Yasuni National Park is also home to an estimated 1.7 billion barrels of crude oil, and as such is at threat from people who want to tap into the oil reserves, endangering the many animals, plants, and people that live there. In June 2007, President Rafael Correro launched the Yasuni-ITT Initiative to prevent drilling in the park. Unfortunately, because the initiative did not receive enough international support and funding, it was scrapped in 2013 and a economical, legal, and technical study on drilling the region was commissioned in preparation for the park being formally opened to drilling.
Here at Dingbats*, we firmly believe in protecting the world’s valuable ecosystems. That’s why we launched the Earth range. Each notebook in the range is dedicated to a fragile ecosystem and aims to raise as much awareness of these parks as possible. Each notebook is beautiful, functional, and eco-friendly, and in the future we intend to use proceeds from these notebooks to financially support the areas we are highlighting.
Three Wildlife Parks That Are Putting Animals First was originally published in Dingbats* Notebooks on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.