World Wildlife Day 2019

Here at Ecofieldtrips, we are passionate about protecting and conserving the beautiful wildlife flora and fauna around us. That is why in lieu of the World Wildlife Day on March 3rd , we would like to share with you some of the wild life in Singapore and why we should protect and cherish them.

Wild life refers to all organisms that live or grow in wild areas without being introduced by humans. From crop pollination-assisting bees to soil recycling cud chewers to potential cancer treating compounds in rainforests, wildlife plays an immensely important role in the health and wellbeing of our planet and society. Due to the intricate nature of food webs, the fate of a single animal population can have far-reaching and unexpected consequences.

When most people hear the word “wildlife”, what comes to mind immediately are the gentle elephants that frolic about the Savannahs of Africa, or the lumbering rhinos that roam around the grasslands. Of course given the limited land and space we have in Singapore, there are no such enormous wildlife here. Instead, you may the famous Bishan and Marina otter clans, the occasional Heron perched near coastal roads, monitor lizards in wetlands of Sungei Buloh and even the ubiquitous, not so interesting mynas that roam about everywhere. Do you know that we are also home to the world’s most trafficked mammal? That’s right, we have 9 tagged and monitored Pangolins on our very own land.

For such an urbanised and densely populated city like ours, Singapore hosts an impressively large variety of wildlife. There is an estimated of 23,000-28,000 species of terrestrial organisms and 12,000-17,000 marine organisms in a total land area of mere 707 sq km.

Yet we shouldn’t be too glad about it because it’s no secret that global wildlife population is in sustained drastic decrease. 60% of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians populations have declined between 1970 and 2014; half the earth’s shallow water corals have disappeared; and a fifth of the amazon forest is permanently lost. Isn’t it painful?

Much of the decline is due to human activities like urbanisation and deforestation, leading to loss of natural habits. Unsustainable fishing practices also reduces the ability of populations to regenerate itself. In addition, poaching is perhaps the most destructive activity that is behind almost every species that faces the impending doom of extinction.

Needless to say, should such unsustainable human activities continue at this rate, we will soon be loosing our wildlife into the jaws of extinction. Do we really want to live in such a (wild)lifeless world?

No we don’t! While a concert effort between governments and private sectors on a global level must occur in order to mitigate the situation effectively, you and I can make a big difference. Here are some things you can do:

1. Volunteer

Support conservation organisations like Wildlife Reserves Singapore by volunteering and donating your time.

2. Trash it

Rubbish isn’t just a sore sight, it’s harmful. Bin your trash in the appropriate places lest they find their way into the ocean and ensnare marine animals.

3. Refuse

Recycling has almost become a trend. Except, it’s not nearly as effective as refusing entirely. Refuse to use single-use plastics that unnecessarily harm the environment. Use lunch boxes and bottles instead of the disposable plastic packaging they come in.

4. Abstain

Abstain from purchasing products made of animal body parts. This includes trophy ornaments like rhino horns, or traditional medicine whose efficacy is steeped in beliefs.

5. Speak Up

Don’t keep your convictions to yourself, share your passion and knowledge with your family and friends. Let them know how their actions can make a difference.

The clock is ticking, our earth is in trouble. Help conserve and protect our wildlife today!

Anna Zhang - EFT Biologist