Environment - Wildlife
The Wild Heritage
Polar bears drown among retreating patches of sea ice. Wolves are hunted to near extinction. Desert antelope forage in narrow corridors of habitat amid urban sprawl. Sea turtles and dolphins die as by-catch of industrial fishing fleets. Even the bald eagle, mighty national symbol of the USA, is on the endangered list.
parade of threatened species passes our inbox like a funeral cortege, each
one an icon of some disaster in the making. It’s come to a tipping
point, and what was once dubbed ‘progress’ is increasingly being seen
as undesirable destruction.
wild places and their denizons are victims of what some might call
‘survival of the unfittest.’ Humankind has been winning the
competition for land, water, food, mineral rights, snowmobile access and
condo beachfront. As pressure on wildlife increases, we discover that many
regulations tip the scales
even further in favor of commercial interests. This works not just against
wildlife but also against the public, for whom the wild lands have been
held in trust up to now.
ameliorate the destruction and find ways to co-exist with the
natural world, we may have to live in smaller houses, eschew sprawling
commercial malls, reduce our use of fossil fuels, refuse to switch to corn
ethanol, and insist that wild species be protected from ‘development.’
It may mean a sacrifice of our lust for consumption and growth.
handful of wildlife groups active in the mid-20th century has
grown geometrically. In part, this is due to good marketing and facile use
of the Internet. But it also indicates growing concern for the balance of
nature and our own place in it.
can respond by contacting lawmakers, contributing to wildlife groups, and
making conscious choices about our own activity. If we don’t, our
grandchildren, maybe even our children, will live in a world from which
something of beauty has been irretrievably lost.
For more information:
Birdlife International (ornithological)
Sircusa Charter on BioDiversity, G8, April 2009
Center for BioDiversity
Defenders of Wildlife
League of Conservation Voters
NRDC Natural Resources Defense Council
National Wildlife Federation
Endangered Species Act
Oceana – protecting the world’s oceans
Arcturus (protecting bears)
Elliniki Etaireia (EE)
Hellenic Marine Enviro Protection Assn
Greek Ornithological SocietyGreek
Society for the Protection of Nature
Mediterranean Assn to Save Sea Turtles
MOM - Hellenic Society for the Monk Seal
Tilos Bird Sanctuary
World Wildlife Fund Greece