Ever since we were kids we’ve been exposed to animal wildlife through various educational channels and shows. We’ve been fascinated by the animals, birds and the various forms of bizarre animals and birds that come in all shapes and sizes.
Channels like these played a key role in introducing us to the world of animals and the forest ecosystem. Channels like Discovery, National Geographic etc. give us in depth knowledge of the various forms of life present in the different parts of the world. It was through that medium that we realised that forests on earth are endangered, and many species of animals are in the verge of extinction.
Most of us would’ve dreamed of becoming a wildlife photographer, wanting to work closely with the animals. The people and researchers on those television shows were an inspiration for us all. But what exactly is the forest ecosystem? How does it affect us?
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A brief glimpse
Forests are an important part of life on this planet. They contain most of the animal population that exists. Forests were the sole source of food for the early man, who hadn’t discovered the techniques of farming. He used to survive by hunting animals, digging up tunes and fibres, plucking fruits and vegetables from trees and plants.
The forest would provide humans and other animals, everything they needed to survive the harsh environments. Even today, there are tribes which are isolated from civilization and still depend on the forest for survival. The fact that still exist, tell us that forests are self-sufficient and still capable of pricing l providing us with the basic necessities.
Forests are ancient ecosystems, having some trees that maybe older than humanity itself. Most of humanity prospered in the forests, before moving on to clear land and spaces. We cannot help but wonder if, the advent of civilization, technology and industries have led to the destruction and downfall of the forest ecosystem.
How exactly did humans affect the forests, these ancient wonders full of life and resources? What’s the toll it has taken on the planet?
As human population increased and man became more industrious, he started invading the forest lands. He started clearing forests to make space for his fields. The tribes that burn entire hills to make space for farming.
As technology advanced, man came up with faster ways to clear land, this in turn was done to accommodate the industries, factories and warehouses for the these facilities. With a population explosion, residential areas were quickly depleting.
Thus, more forests were cleared, to make way for residential zones. This lead to an intrusion in the forest ecosystem. Every animal has their own territory, hunting grounds and they become wary and confused when humans invade their land.
The animals then begin exploring towns, cities, villages in search of food and shelter. This leads to animal attacks and other troublesome situations. You maybe be familiar with tiger attacks, leopard invasions in the news.
This occurs because we humans have built our homes by invading into their ecosystem. We blame the animals, where in fact, it is us who performed the wrong act. Are we humans now, aware of our mistakes? Have we started thinking about protecting the ecosystem? What steps have we taken?
Slowly but surely, humanity has realised its mistake. Forest preservation is one of the top priorities of world governments. Rules and regulations regarding deforestation have been tightened. Since forests have been known to directly affect the amount of rainfall a region receives, people have become more and more aware of the dire situation.
The Amazon, one of the world’s largest forest ecosystems, has begun to thin out. It has led to adverse climatic and geographical changes in the area. As forests deplete, so do the animal species, since it is their home. Species have begun to go extinct due to human recklessness. If not controlled, they could cause great harm to the food chain, and inadvertently affect our livelihood.
People have begun to take this matter seriously. Campaigns, events and drives are being held to plant trees. The recent Plantation drive in India made history, by being the event to single handily plant the most amounts of trees, with more than a million trees planted. Let us take the initiative. Let us save our forests!