A conservation is an effort made by a group of individuals in a community to observe and protect the well-being of persons, places or things.
The purpose of a nature conservation is to protect earths animals and plants from harm often created by pollution, global warming and hunting.
These conservation efforts may extend beyond animals and plants to include water, soil and any other form of nature that may stand the chance of being affected.
Scientists, non for profit organizations and political groups are just some of the people who can make up a conservation movement.
Scientific research has helped aid conservation’s in making a large global impact towards protecting our earth and the animals that inhabit it.
These groups are tasked with not only trying to prevent the endangerment of a species or habitat they are aiming to protect, they are also responsible for providing alternative solutions and aiding in the creation of new policies.
Impact on Marine Mammal Habitats
Big problems require worldwide coordination.
A marine mammal conservation is a global effort that starts with the individual, causing a ripple effect that must move upwards to the highest level of governments.
There are multiple whale species that are currently on the endangered species list, meaning that they are in danger of becoming extinct due to human actions, environmental factors, or a combination of the two.
There are already many species of whale that have been nearly killed off due to hunting and illegal poaching.
The individuals hunting whales in the past have been killing them in order to attain the oils from their blubber, the blubber that provides them with insulation, and a variety of other elements of a whale’s physiology.
The fats and oils have gone into a variety of consumer goods, including food, motor oil, cleaning supplies and beauty products.
In addition to cetaceans such as whales and dolphins conservation’s also help protect other marine mammals such as polar bears and others severely depleted species of marine mammals.
The Groups at Work
Conservationists consider it to be part of their duty to raise the public awareness of these kinds of practices.
Eliminating the demand for these kinds of products will slow the hunting of particular species of whales.
Conservationists must also fuel the fire of public outcry in order to sway individual countries who are yet to outlaw the hunting of whales.
There are a number of institutions that have been established with these types of goals in mind, including the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Organization (WDC), The Whale Trust, and the National Wildlife Conservatory.
The Numbers are a Call to Action
The educational programs and fundraisers that programs like this have established are making an impact on whale populations across the globe.
The humpback whale is currently on the U.S. Endangered species list.
By 1960 an estimated 95% of their population had been wiped out due to hunting.
An estimated 200,000 humpback whales were killed just in the southern hemisphere.
However, thanks to the efforts of conservationists, the population has rebounded.
The numbers currently reflect a 50% growth in their numbers since coming so near to extinction.
Recognizing the Dangers
Although hunting whales is on a steady decline, the human activities on the earth’s oceans are on the rise.
This activity presents many different threats to whales.
From oil spills to over-fishing, the whales have not escaped danger.
Over-fishing in certain areas can pose a threat to the food supply of whales.
Even though we may not be eliminating the specific type of food they consume, every ecosystem depends on a very dynamic and delicate balance.
Eliminating one element can effect other living creatures in ways that we cannot anticipate.
Boating also inadvertently causes whales bodily harm on a regular occasion.
Whale often are not able to move out of the way of the propellers of oncoming boats.
The rise of ship strikes seems to be on the rise, particularly in Hawaiian waters.
Understanding Your Role
Whales also find themselves in life threatening situations when they become entangled with fishing nets and other debris that has not made it to the landfills.
When they are restricted in movement, they are unable to feed and run the real risk of drowning.
Whales are actually mammals that need to come to the surface of the water to fill their lungs with air.
Some whales that live closer into shore also can become beached.
If too large a portion of their body makes landfall, then they are unable to swim back out into deeper waters in order to survive.
Protecting whales from these types of dangers requires the advocacy of the individual.
Stranded, injured, and dying whales should be reported to the NOAA hotline.
Handling dangerous situations that threaten marine mammals is also a part of the programs meant to educate the general public on how to assist when they come across a marine mammal that is vulnerable.
Information sheets and possible actions that the public can take when faced with these types of situations are available online.
How whale and dolphin conservations are improving the lives of cetaceans
- Over the years whale/dolphin conservations have been able to create change in countries that hunt whales and dolphins by influencing political groups, aiding in the creation of new polices and making law enforcement aware of illegal treatment of whales and dolphins.
- Stop and/or limit the sale of whale and dolphin meat in certain countries and/or regions.
- Provide medical attention to stranded whales and dolphins.
- Reduce the creation of ambient sounds and noise pollution created by boats and other man-made technology which can and has affected the hearing and use of echolocation for many cetaceans.
- Aided the International Whaling Commission in the construction of new policies and laws.
- Fought against pollution and helped clean the earths oceans.
- Continually monitor the whaling industry in foreign countries.
- And monitored aquariums and marine shows to ensure proper care is being given to dolphins.
As you can see these conservations have played a very large role in protecting wildlife and the animals within it.
Without these conservations many animals and natural habitats would continue to be in great danger or possibly face extinction.