Four Ways Animals Help Protect the Ecosystem
Protecting the millions of animal species on our planet is not just a moral imperative, it’s self-preservation. Each species of animal has an important role in maintaining the Earth’s health and humanity’s ability to thrive, and doing everything we can to make sure that the planet’s wildlife can continue to exist is both vitally important and urgent, as many species are on the verge of extinction.
So if you’re asking yourself “why are animals important to the ecosystem?” or “how do animals help the environment?” Below is a very incomplete list.
1. Animals Help Feed Humans
No, this is not advocating for eating meat. Each species has an effect on the planet’s food supply whether you’re an omnivore or a strict vegan. A lot has been written lately about the importance of maintaining the world’s bee population, for instance, and for good reason. Besides providing humanity with one of our favorite ingredients for a myriad of dishes, bees are one of the animals that help humans exist, as they are responsible for a huge percentage of our food supply by pollinating roughly thirty percent of the world's agricultural crops and ninety percent of wild vegetation.
2. They Provide Resources to Other Animals
Each species in an animal ecosystem serves a specific function, keeping other species populations in check and providing valuable biological resources to the environment. Elephants are not only one of the most intelligent species on the planet, they are an animal that helps the environment in the African savannah and are essential to the existence of other species. During dry periods, they dig for water that aids the existence of smaller animals and vegetation. And the massive swath they cut through vegetation when foraging enables new plants to grow and smaller animals to find new paths. Hot Tip: Track your own wild elephant with Fahlo’s Expedition Bracelet.
3. They Keep Other Animal Populations in Check
Let’s not forget the predators. Polar bears serve a vital function in the Arctic animal ecosystem by keeping the seal population in balance, which in turn keeps the crustacean and fish populations in balance as well. And other Arctic predators often depend on the larger kills of the polar bear for their own sustenance.
If we take a trip below the surface, sharks help to keep fish populations in check. If you want to learn more about some of the varieties, check out our blog.
4. They Serve as an Indicator of Ecosystem Health
Because of the specific functions animals serve, any imbalance in a local ecosystem provides warning signs that indicate the necessity of a course correction. Seals, who hunt fish and crustaceans, and polar bears, who hunt seals, are some of the animals that help humans measure the health of the Arctic ecosystem, as their hunting habits indicate the thickness of Arctic ice. The thickness of this ice affects sea levels across the globe, impacting the underwater animal populations from Greenland to Australia as well as human coastal communities.
Help Us Help Them
If you’d like to be a part of Fahlo’s mission to educate people about our planet’s wildlife and protect humanity in the process, check out our story and get more information about what we do and who our partners are.