Changing human behaviour as a solution to wildlife extinction


Stories of endangered and protected species from all over the world are an example that the loss of biodiversity is not a joke.

For instance in Africa alone, A-Z animals lists some species that have gone extinct because of hunting by humans and others moving after their basic needs had been destroyed.

Animals like the African bear/Atlas bear that inhabited the Atlas Mountains of North Africa from Morocco in the west to Libya in the east, the large sloth lemur that lived on the island of Madagascar and the Zanzibar leopard from Tanzania that was native to Unguja Island in Zanzibar.

All these animals are said to no longer be on the face of the earth because of human activities like target hunting and deforestation.

The foreseen interaction impacts

Human interaction with the environment can have significant impacts on animals and their habitats. Impacts like deforestation, urbanisation, and pollution are among the most significant forms of environmental degradation that can lead to habitat destruction and loss of food sources for animals.

This, in turn, can cause declines in population numbers and even the extinction of some species.

According to an Environmental Activist and Social Scientist, Shamim Nyanda, deforestation and other human activities lead to the destruction of forests and habitats of many animals, forcing them to migrate or die.

“Urbanization leads to the destruction of habitats, as cities and towns take up more space, leaving less room for animals. Pollution affects the food chain, as it contaminates the water and air, affecting the health of both animals and their prey,” Says Shamim.

Humans as “90%+” of the cause

Mankind has it self-proclaimed that humans are more intelligent than other animals. With that, it rings a bell on how many decisions are made without thinking of the other end of biodiversity.

Impact Tanzania’s Executive Director, Mr Abdul Lukindo whose initiative deals with the environment, children’s rights and education said to Tanzania Daily that researchers have proven men to be more than 90% contributors to climate change.

“The human activities that are carried out on a daily basis account for climate change. These bills from the agricultural sector and even production services in industries that contribute to emissions of harmful gases to the atmosphere causing destruction of the ozone layer thus climate change and global warming” says Lukindo.

All these are just among others including poaching, natural hazards like wildfires and others.

It is a boomerang coming back our way

Extinction of animals and species may directly be on the animals but there is more to that rope once it is followed.

Mr Lukindo says the extinction of animals can disturb the tourism chain once it is not managed. Conflicts among humans and animals that lead to the killings of elephants, lions and other endangered animals could be areas for tourism stakeholders to look at.

He adds “There are animals like the Pemba Flying foxes that are among tourist attractions in Zanzibar but these animals are also on the verge of extinction due to human activities, losing them could contribute to the demise of tourism for some tourists, explorers and researchers.”

In return, it could reduce the contribution of the tourism sector to the national economy.

It needs more than one hand to achieve the goal

In the case of Tanzania, a lot is being done. From allocating more than 25% of its total area to wildlife national parks and protected areas and having penalties for poaching and utilization of wildlife hunting.

However, it needs more than what the government is doing to achieve the bigger objective,

According to USAID’s Tuhifadhi Maliasili Private Sector Engagement Manager, Dr Elikana Kalumanga, there is a need to create awareness about the wildlife corridors, especially for communities that live close to them.

“We should not talk about the areas being used for wildlife, it doesn’t make sense to the neighbouring communities, rather, we should talk about how the people can benefit by preserving them and what they have to offer for their survival,” says Dr Kalumanga.

Journalists Environmental Association of Tanzania’s (JET) Executive Director, Mr John Chikomo told Tanzania Daily, spreading awareness begins with using the right people to do so.

“We are working with journalists across Tanzania who are currently producing programs, articles and documentaries to educate people about the evils of climate change. In the long run, people will understand and act accordingly,” Says Chikomo.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), tourism is estimated to increase due to the advertisement done by the government on the tourist destinations of Tanzania. Also, tourism tends to grow rapidly after the growth of other contributing sectors, including arts and entertainment (growth by 11.7%) and accommodation and food services (growth by 11.3%).


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