Man is forever changing the face of nature. He has been doing so since he first appeared
on the earth. Yet, all that man has done is not always to the ultimate advantage of the earth
or himself. Man has, in fact, destroyed more than necessary.
In his struggle to live and extract the most out of life, man has destroyed many species
of wildlife; directly by sheer physical destruction, and indirectly by the destruction or alteration
of habitats. Some species may be able to withstand disruptions to their habitat while others
may not be able to cope.
Take the simple act of farming. When a farmer tills a rough ground, he makes it unsuitable
for the survival of certain species. Every change in land use brings about a change in the types
of plant and animals found on that land.
When man builds a new town, this means the total destruction of vast areas of farmland
or woodland. Here, you have the complete destruction of entire habitats and it is inevitable.
It follows therefore, that every form of human activity unavoidably upsets or changes the
wildlife complex of the area. Man has destroyed many forms of wildlife for no reasonable
purpose. They have also made many great blunders in land use, habitat destruction and the
extermination of many forms of wildlife.
Man's attitude towards animals depends on the degree to which his own survival is affected.
He sets aside protection for animals that he hunts for sport and wages a war on any other
creature that may pose a danger or inconvenience to him. This creates many problems and
man has made irreversible, serious errors in his destruction of predators. He has destroyed
animals and birds which are useful to farmers as pest controllers. The tragedy that emerges
is that all the killing of predators did not in any way increase the number of game birds.
Broadly speaking, man wages war against the creatures which he considers harmful, even
when his warfare makes little or no difference to the numbers of those he encourages. There
is a delicate predator and prey equilibrium involving also the vegetation of any area, which
man can upset by thoughtless intervention.
Therefore, there is a need for the implementation of
checks and balances. The continued
existence of these animals depends entirely on man and his attitude towards his own future.