Humans and Nature a Complex Synergistic Relationship
Trouvailles is passionate about wildlife and keeping all the remarkable curiosities mother nature has bestowed upon us whether flora or fauna safe.
In a time when any and all information is at the touch of our finger tips, it comes as a surprise that many still do not understand the importance of preserving the population of plants and animals on our planet. It may not be apparent to some, but all aspects of our daily lives are touched by nature.
You may think eco warriors who protest, lambast and lament the loss of a species are over reacting, overly sensitive or just fanatical, but here’s why the loss of just one species can be catastrophic. You see the demise of one species will undoubtedly trigger the loss of another, a well-documented example of which occurred in Yellowstone National Park. In 1872, when the park was first created there was a sizeable population of gray wolves, but by 1926, man had hunted every last one of them to extinction. As there was no longer a natural predator to keep numbers down, elk multiplied rapidly. More elk meant heavier grazing on the parks deciduous aspen and cottonwood trees. However, cottonwood and aspen are also the main diet of beavers. With the elk overgrazing on plants and trees needed by beavers to survive, their numbers decreased significantly. The rise in elk also caused mass deterioration to the parks range, to the detriment of many other species. Furthermore, the loss of the gray wolf led to coyote numbers increasing, as a consequence pronghorn antelope numbers became suppressed by heavy coyote predation.
So, how exactly does a species becoming extinct affect humans? Firstly, just like every other living creature humans are part of the biosphere. The biosphere, as shown in the Yellowstone example is a complex web of synergistic relationships. Secondly, the services nature affords us are self-evident. Most of us eat animals, those that don’t eat plants. Pollinating insects such as bumblebees pollinate a third of everything humans eat, if they disappear so too will much of what is on your dinner plate. Overhead frugivorous birds spread seeds allowing them to colonise far and wide. Earthworms add nutrients to soil benefiting arable land and agricultural production. Meanwhile, phytoplankton keeps the oceans clean supporting a diverse marine life. It also provides us with the very oxygen we breathe, something I hear is fairly important to the survival of our species. Then there’s the medicinal value us humans reap, drug digitalis from the purple foxglove alone prevents the deaths of millions of people each year. It’s used to treat epilepsy, asthma, congestive heart failure, and much more. With this in mind it seems clear that it is our duty to remain vigilant in protecting the keystones of our ecosystem, because in doing so we also protect ourselves.
For more information on conservation projects in Mongolia and Bhutan or to book one of our Birding, Trekking, Botany or Wildlife Tours, please contact 020 3877 0670.