Help Conserve Wildlife While You Travel

Image Credit Pixabay, PublicDomainPictures

Image Credit Pixabay, PublicDomainPictures

From Africa to Asia,  the seven continents are home to the most treasured - and endangered - animal species on the planet. However, these continents are also rampant with dangers that threaten to destroy the habitats of these animals or pose a direct threat to the animal itself. Some of these threats include - but are not limited to - poaching, habitat loss, the illegal wildlife trade, disease, global warming, overexploitation, and bycatch. Although you cannot remedy all of these major threats while on vacation, there are certain measures and actions you can take which will actively contribute towards the end of some of them. There is no need to stop enjoying your holiday in order to help animals. All of the actions that are outlined below, can easily be done in conjunction with whatever fun activities you have planned. 

Be Careful About What You Buy…. As a tourist in a new country, the most important step you can take towards protecting wildlife is by being careful about what kind of products you buy. It is important when buying a souvenir, or any kind of product, that you check what materials it is made of. This is because it could possibly be made using materials extracted from an endangered animal. It is important that you do not purchase any of these kinds of products, as purchasing will increase the demand for this product, and will allow the damaging illegal wildlife trade to continue. Some materials that you should look out for when checking the labels of your new souvenir or product are ivory, big cat pelts, rhino horns, and tortoiseshells. However, if you are ever unsure that a product is illegal or exploiting innocent animals, then it’s best to check it out on Google. 

Lastly, a lot of endangered animals are also killed for their meat. So it’s best to check what your meal is made of before you tuck in. Some animals that are still killed for their meat are gorillas, orangutans, elephants, whales, and sharks. 

Protect the Environment… This step is all about going back to the basics. If you always put your litter in the bin and switch off all your lights and heating when you’re not using them at home, then you’re already on the right track. There are other ways to be environmentally friendly while you travel. For instance, try to reuse the towels and sheets in your room (within reason), and attempt to find eco-friendly modes of transport (such as hiring a hybrid, or choosing an eco-friendly option if you’re going on a guided tour). Making environmentally friendly choices while you travel means that you are doing your bit to fight against global warming and pollution - two of the biggest environmental threats to wildlife habitat. 

Wild Animals are not Entertainment… When you arrive at theme parks, circuses, or zoos in a new location, the first thing you probably notice is the fantastically exotic wild animals that they have on display. But what you may not realize is that these wild animals do not naturally perform intricate tricks and live in artificial enclosures.  They originally lived in the wild, where they were free from the intervention of humans. What these institutions do not want you to see, is the psychological stress and physical injuries that these beautiful creatures suffer through in order to be trained to perform tricks and to accept their unnatural surroundings. If you believe that wild animals should not be abused for entertainment and profit, then take a stand, and choose to boycott zoos and circuses that are infamous for abusing animals. 

By following these simple actions, you can help protect animals while you travel. However, there are plenty of tourists that unwittingly buy products made from endangered animals, and visit exploitative circuses and zoos. Being aware of these problems puts you in a good position to attempt to inform other tourists about the cruel practices that are oppressing and endangering wildlife. Grand accomplishments are made when we all band together for the common good, so let’s unite for the sake of animals today! 

Victoria E.