National Wildlife Day focuses on endangered species, preservation, and conservation efforts around the world. Zoos, aviaries and marine sanctuaries provide a variety of ways to get involved.
Why is conservation important?
Wildlife conservation can be defined as the practice of protecting animal species and their habitats. From the smallest plankton to the largest Blue Whale, the ocean is home to roughly 700,000 marine species.
Plants and animals maintain the health of an ecosystem. Ecosystems are groups of plants and animals that are found in the same area and interact with each other. When a species becomes endangered, it’s a sign that an ecosystem is out of balance and the consequences can be critical.
What do we have going on in our local area?
Within our local area of Plymouth we are very lucky to have so many different marine projects occurring. Some of these include:
National Marine Aquarium - As the UK's biggest marine aquarium, NMA have been working on many different things, one of these projects being their breeding programme focusing on elasmobranchs (sharks, rays and skates).
Ocean Conservation Trust - We have been working with OCT recently on their Seagrass habitat restoration project, where they have collected over 2000 seagrass seedlings, cultivated and replanted over 18,000 seeds and seedling bags into our local waters, all by hand!
Dartmoor Zoo - Dartmoor Zoo has an amazing Conservation Academy where anyone ages 6-18 interested in conservation can become rangers and cadets. These rangers and cadets will learn all about the importance of conservation, animal welfare, biological and zoological diversity across a wide range of animals.
Plymouth Marine Protected Area - One of the many projects PMPA is collaborating on is Reducing and Mitigating Erosion and Disturbance Impacts affEcting the Seabed (ReMEDIES). PMPA are focusing on how sensitive seabed habitats, such as seagrass meadows, are impacted by recreational activities and what we can all do to protect them. They recently received a grant from the National Lottery award which will greatly help the local marine environment.
Marine Biological Association - The MBA are constantly working on so many different specialised projects that it's hard to keep a track of! The MBA has been promoting marine scientific excellence and representing the marine biological community since 1884, an amazing feat.
British Divers Marine Life Rescue - BDMLR attempts to attend all call outs it receives whether that is simply checking a seal reported by a member of the public to a full blown environmental disaster such as an oil spill. It has medics and various pieces of specialised equipment located around the UK coast and works with rehabilitation centres and experts in many fields of animal rescue.
Shark Trust - We have collaborated with Shark Trust this year to help aid their conservation goals. Shark Trust host lots of different citizen science projects, where anyone can get involved! These projects are great opportunities to raise awareness and interest whilst also helping to aid Shark Trust collect real time data.
There are so many different environmental bodies helping all manner of wildlife and the conservation of our UK lands and waters that we unfortunately can't mention them all! We're pleased that these agencies and bodies are protecting all different kinds of life so that we can all enjoy the planet we share with all wildlife.
We offer a huge thank you to everyone interested and acting on saving our planet.