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wildlifebridgeThe Netherlands

With the destruction of many natural environments and many species driven close to extinction, conservation biologists used to think that the answer to saving at least some of this precious land and endangered species was to create National Parks and Protected Areas. In many cases this believe has worked, but it does not necessarily apply to all cases around the world.

This model has been in place for a few decades now but has been unable to stop illegal poaching and many species are still at risk because of the vast territories that are hard to police.  In addition, other problems have been identified such as the clustering of marked territories preventing wild life to roam in a natural way.

One of the most evident problems is the unbalance of the ecosystems as the individual populations of species are altered because of the artificial creation of borders or boundaries in these reserves. After millions of years of evolution, nature has adjusted itself so that all species are interdependent on each other for their survival, as cruel as it sometimes seems to be when killing another specie for survival, is just how each individual species rely on each other and in some cases even partner to obtain food or protection. If one specie is affected, the rest will suffer and the ecosystem becomes unbalanced and deteriorates.

Wildlife has been in migration mode for millennia. You just can’t set a boundary and expect animals within these boundaries to thrive and flourish because their populations begin to inbreed and slowly decline in numbers and health.

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With the implementation or better said, with the reinstatement of natural corridors around the globe, animals are able to continue their migration patterns and maintain healthy populations and thrive the way they are supposed to. Here in North America, the Yellowstone to Yukon Y2Y is a great example of how the grizzly bears, caribou, lynx, golden eagles and native cutthroat trout populations are rebounding.  The same happens with the Florida Wildlife Corridor protecting the panthers and bears. Around the world the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative in Australia, The Jaguar Corridor from Mexico to Argentina, and the Kenyan and Tanzanian Corridors are just a few examples of how we should protect wildlife.

Because of human population explosion in the last fifty years, the pressure on natural resources, the environment and natural fauna, the planet has suffered tremendously. After all these years, some communities around the world are turning around this trend. They have realized that this destruction cannot continue if we are to survive as a specie and as a planet, and now are protecting the environment and learning to co-exist with the animal world. One example of this is in India, despite having the second largest population on earth and having exterminated most of its fauna, in the Gujarat region where only twenty or so individuals of Asian Lions existed a few years ago, they now number over 400 thanks to the community’s ability to coexist next to this magnificent creatures. The community tracks lion movement around towns while protecting their crops with the lions help. At night time when the deer come to eat and destroy the crops in the town’s fields, the locals know where the deer are and sound a bell indicating the lions that dinner is served and where to go. The lions move in and hunt a few dear for dinner, the rest of the deer depart while the locals watch the spectacle assisted with some bonfires just a few meters away from the lions-partners in crime. For the most part lions stay away from town, even if they come in, people know to stay away from them and ignored them, even if someone is hurt or killed, which is very rare, they are just left alone. A unique relationship has developed between lions and people, revealing a story not of continual conflict as we might expect, but one of survival and tolerance, this is because of a change of attitude of these communities. Examples like this can be seen around the world and are an encouraging sign that we can change for the better.

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Not only people have this attitude of coexistence, but animals seem to have evolved in the same way. What a better example of this, when a mama bear and her two cubs decided to take a dip in Lake Tahoe last week much to the delight of tourists around them.

“Let’s just hope it’s not too little too late”

 

 

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