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.

The 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.

The 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.

To 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.

The 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.

We 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
Sierra Club  

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Arcturus (protecting bears)

Elliniki Etaireia (EE) 
Hellenic Marine Enviro Protection Assn 

Greek Ornithological Society
Society for the Protection of Nature
Greenpeace Greece
Mediterranean Assn to Save Sea Turtles
- Hellenic Society for the Monk Seal
Tilos Bird Sanctuary

World Wildlife Fund Greece