Nature and Wildlife should be part of our education

Nature and Wildlife should be part of our education system

Nature and Wildlife should be part of our education system . It should be taught at schools just like the other basic subjects. So as to help kids appreciate and understand more about them from the beginning.

Giving Nature a Voice

Giving Nature a Voice

It’s a programme in Kenya that helps spread conservation education and awareness among the communities. They help young conservationists come up with ideas, help them develop a film and show it on the media. It’s a great tool and support for conservation.

I was lucky to attend one of their meetings yesterday. Whereby they were luncing their next season of films. It was a great experience. Meeting with conservationist across all ages and races. It’s like a cocktail of determined conservationists. Ready to cause positive developments in the world of conservation.

Several people got an opportunity to explain few topics on the conservation status in our country. Aired out the challenges as well as the victories.

The young ones are embracing conservation

The youngsters are embracing conservation too.

There was a group of young students in attendance. They were very vocal and didn’t shy to air out their ideas.

They wondered why wildlife was not taught at schools and wished that would change. They want such important issues to be part of their learning at schools.

I was moved by how good they had researched on the current status of various species in the world. They knew which species were at the verge of extinction. And also understand very well , that media can be a game changer in all these.

They explained how media can be used to help many understand basic information about wildlife and nature. And the fact that, currently, media moves information around in a lightening speed.

So I thought to myself, if those kids learnt about wildlife from few meetings and got that attached to them. To a point of creating their own group to create awareness. What would happen if it was part of their education. How much could they be able to do for the wildlife and nature.

It will also reach those schools in other towns outside Nairobi. Hence extending the coverage.

Education is the Key, Knowledge is Power

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What do you think?

I would like to know your thoughts about this thought am about to share with you.

It’s something that have been bothering my brain for a while. And always eats me up when I see something that make me remember about it.

Why do we value illegal trade of wildlife parts in form of money/price? Why do we place a price tag on them? Estimate what value they would have attracted in both black and illegal market.

There is this beautiful public beach in a filling station along the highway I use on my way home. It’s very beautiful and contain important information and awareness about rhinos.

It does a good job to explain all the reason we should allow rhinos a bright future. Giving us recent updates of their population status. And boldly gives us two choices, “Let it Live or Let it Perish”.

I have no problem with all that. In fact I like it and gives me a smile wherever I pass by. Unfortunately the smile vanishes away shortly. This is because, the information goes ahead to give estimates of rhino’s horn. How much they can be sold out there. Why did they just have to spoil every with that one sentence.

That one sentence handicaps most of conservation effort being spread to the people.

I remember while I was volunteering as an assistant teacher in some secondary school. I introduced wildlife club and we held meetings on Fridays. We could discuss various issues surrounding our environment especially the wildlife. We also held debates and tackle challenging topics.

One day my students brought up a very sensitive and tricky debate. At first, I was shocked but impressed so I agreed we debate about it. It was about the burning of ivory done by our president of Kenya. The burning of ivory is done in support of fight against poaching.

One group supported the motion of burning the ivory. While the other group thought it was wise to sell the ivory and use the money for conservation of the remaining wildlife.

For them, they reasoned that since damage was already done. Why not look at the remaining possibilities of generating positive feedback from the whole horror. Some countries still practise ivory trade legally so trading the ivory could a legit deal.

Its clear this group understood the financial problems facing conservation and thought sale of those ivory would offer some help. Hence innocently fought against the motion. Since for them it was a double loss. The dead wildlife and the burnt ivory.

The other group too did a good job to support their motion. And stood firm that ivory should continue to be burnt. So as to send a message to all poachers and illegal traders of wildlife products.

In the process, I asked myself. What if the students didn’t know the estimated price of the ivory? Or the value of the ivory had been presented in terms of the number of wildlife that had to died in the process? Would they have come up with that motion?

My thoughts

Read the full article here.

Understanding Captivity of Wildlife

What do you understand about captivity of wildlife?

Unlike many many years ago whereby by default wildlife was found in the wild. They have been introduced to captivity arrangements.

What does captivity arrangement include?

Captivity arrangement is whereby wildlife occupies a controlled environment. An environment that have been subjected to several alteration by humans.

Such places include:

  • Ranches
  • Private homes
  • Zoos
  • Orphanage centres
  • Laboratories
  • Aquarium
  • Sanctuaries
  • Safari Park
  • Circus

Not all of these places offer conducive environment to these wildlife. Some are more of subjecting them to slavery. And hence should be stopped.

So what are the reasons behind wildlife captivity?

Breeding

Due to geographical fragmentation, wildlife has been separated from their relatives over time. Hence leading to poor breeds or extinction of some breeds.

By captivity such wildlife, we are able to breed them safely and most of the time. returned into the wild to boast their population.

Pet keeping

Wildlife especially the big cat have been known to be adapted as pets for prestigious status. They are seen as symbol to power and fame.

Unfortunately , most wildlife kept as pets are not well taken care of. But rather abused.

To prevent extinction

Wildlife can be subjected to captivity to save its species kind.

Within a confined environment, the animals can be able to improve on their population and studied closely. And as a result saving them from getting extinct.

For tourism purpose

Not everyone will gladly hope into a car and enjoy a safari. Some just want to have wildlife in one place. No hustle to spot them in the wild. Or undergo the long bumpy drives.

Such tourists will prefer enjoy wildlife through captive environment.

Habitat loss and fragmentation

Read the full article here.

Leopard : Fast and beautiful

Leopard are the fastest felines as they can run up to to 58 km/h. The rosettes (dark spots that  resemble the shape of a rose) on their coats makes them look very beautiful.

The rosette patterns are unique to each leopard. Leopards in East Africa tend to have circular rosettes while the ones in Southern Africa and Asia, have squarish rosettes.

Leopard subspecies include ;

  • African leopard
  • Indian leopard
  • Javan leopard
  • Arabian leopard
  • Anatolian leopard
  • Amur leopard
  • Indochinese leopard
  • Sri Lankan leopard
As we can tell, these subspecies are named according to the places they are found. Some of the species have gone extinct, vulnerable or threatened. This is due to majorly humans and both habitat lose and habitat fragmentation.

Leopard are adaptable to almost every environment.

They can literally live anywhere in the world
They can literally live anywhere in the world

 

Most of our wildlife parks and reserves in Kenya have leopards. The famous ones and known for their leopards include Samburu National Reserve and Maasai Mara National Reserves.
They are also found in the ice continent. There is where you get the amazing snow leopard.
More about the snow leopard in the next post.

They are solitary animals
They are solitary animals

Leopards are solitary animals. They only come together during mating.

Do you know that black panther is the other name for a melanistic leopard?

I hope the famous black panther movie gave something back to the wildlife. The name really helped their brand, and leopards qualify for some pat at the back.
Melanism do affect leopards do. It makes the rosettes invisible under the black coat.

FYI : Leopard’s coat colour varies based on the climate and habitats they occupy. They vary from pale yellow to yellowish brown or golden. 

Their colour varies depending on climate and habitat
Their colour varies depending on climate and habitat

Apart from running very fast, leopards can leap as well as spring a height of  6 meters.

Leopard are nocturnal animals

Read the full article here.

Extinction means forever

“Humanity can no longer stand by in silence while our wildlife are being used, abused and exploited.
It is time we all stand together, to be the voice of the voiceless before it’s too late. Extinction means forever.”
Paul Oxton

Climate change, global warming, extinction of species, among others have been in our news for many years. But recently, it has been getting some backup. People are more alert and interested to understand what it entails. Although we are not yet where we need to be, but at least we are making good progress.

Nations have been holding talks and conferences to find solutions for a better environment. Everyone is interested in and working for both a green economy and blue sky. Climate change agenda is finally penetrating into governance.

Did you know that there some countries with no wildlife in the wild. But rather in zoos and controlled areas. This is due to different factors such as:

  • Land encroachment.
  • Introduction of invasive species.
  • Over-hunting (over-fishing included).
  • Over exploitation.
  • Human-wildlife conflicts.
  • And many others.

Wildlife are amazing creatures to interact with especially the ones in the wild. The captured ones are more like the domestic animals due to the controlled conditions.

Just like the way we enjoy watching nature documentaries. It’s way cooler enjoying a game drive or camping and being able to be with the animals. Studying them is one of the most interesting study you could ever want to. They will always surprise and amaze you.

Have you ever watched the simplest animals like butterflies, beetles, ants, wasps. Get to observe how they operate and relate with each other. You will notice they are not very different from us. As well as surprise you how organized they are.

Imagine all that awesomeness disappearing due to our negative impact to the environment. A planet with no wildlife will be like a graveyard. No birds to wake us up with beautiful songs, no cricket noises in the evening and no watching lions pursuing an antelope. It will be a boring planet.

Picture a very busy city like New York or even Nairobi. The heavy traffic of both vehicles and humans. Running up and down like mad men and women. Some of them not knowing where they are heading or doing. They are just on the move.

The atmosphere filled with harmful gases and fresh air because a looked for commodity. Cities that run around the clock whereby you easily miss out weekends and holidays. Since you fail to recognize them due to busy and tight schedules.

Extinction means forever. And there’s no coming back. It’s a dead dead situation. Once it claims something, it goes for good. Just like dinosaurs and other extinct species did.

Read the full article here.