What is the Importance of Wildlife to Humans?
(2) Recreational Values:
These are usually measured in terms of money expended in pursuit of wildlife in connection with sports and hobbies such as hunting, fishery, touring, camping, non-scientific and noncommercial collecting of wildlife.
Recreational values of wildlife photography cannot be measured in terms of money, include wholesome outdoor activities, absorbing interests, a sense of adventure, engrossing hobbies and renewed physical and mental health and vigour.
(3) Biological Values:
This includes all the services rendered by wild animals to man. Examples are pollination, soil formation and enrichment, water conservation, sanitation, culling suppression of diseases, and recovery and conversion of materials not otherwise practically recoverable and utilizable. Scavengers maintain sanitary conditions not only in isolated places but also in our highways, beaches and harbours. Predators serve to maintain high genetic quality of wild populations through their culling effects.
They also aid in suppression of diseases in wild populations. The most important example of recovery and conversion by wild animals of materials not otherwise practically recoverable or utilizable in their present state is commercial fisheries. Ever since the beginning of geologic history, soils have been losing chemical elements which are ultimately accumulated in oceans.
Planktons convert chemicals in sea water into living substance. These small organisms are eaten by somewhat larger organisms and them in their turn by still larger ones, until they are consumed by commercial fishes, which are returned to land to supply these essential nutrients directly to man as food fishes or indirectly as plant fertilizers to provide human food or food for livestock.
In some instances, entire process is accomplished by wild animals as in cases of vast Chilean guano industry, where enormous colonies of marine birds catch fish and even perform a part of conversion process.
(4) Aesthetic and Cultural Values:
Aesthetic values of wildlife are values of objects, and places possessing beauty, affording inspiration and opportunities for communion, contributing to arts through poetry, music, literature, sculpture, and painting, and possessing patriotic and historical significance.
Some species of wild animals have played an important role in determining our culture including architecture, dress, language and religion. The lion, our national emblem, is the most important example; elephant is another and so on.
(5) Scientific Values:
These are realized through study of wild animals and associated natural phenomena that may affect our welfare either directly or indirectly. Example are population behaviours, diseases and their spread, varying virulence of pathogens, certain aspects of nutrition and reproduction, ecological relations, population dispersal, social organization, effects of stress induced by overcrowding and so on.