Guest post by Jackie
How to Get Your Children Interested in Wildlife Conservation
If you are a wildlife conservationist, there can be no greater joy than to watch your child follow your footsteps. If you are visiting or live in South India, especially near the Western Ghats, there are a lot of ways to awaken your child’s interests about conservation.
What is the history of wildlife conservation in the Nilgiris?
The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in the Western Ghats is the first Indian biosphere reserve and was established in 1986.The Western Ghats happens to be one of the largest forest areas in Southern India. Several rivers originate from this area and this region is home to many endangered species of plants and animals.
How can you can awaken your child’s interest in conservation?
The goals of conservationists today is to ensure a healthy, vibrant, and sustainable environment. Teaching the younger generation about conservation can be done by:
1) Education and Messaging:
A crucial strategy used by conservationists today is informing children about the importance of conserving natural resources. Educating youth in their formative years helps them understand the message of how important conservation is.
2) Habitat Protection:
The decline in animal populations can be considered to be a direct result of the destruction of their habitat. Conservationists take proactive measures which help ensure the protection of the habitats of diverse wildlife species. Some examples are pesticide and fertilizer regulation which are used in an area and preventing siltation in local ponds and streams. Get your kids involved in such activities to help awaken their interest about nature and biodiversity.
3) Scientific Research:
Conservationists collate and study the lifestyle, needs and reproductive strategies of various species. Doing this allows them to identify different ways of protecting various species of animals. Involve your children in this study of species and the analysis of the data that you collect.
How can you get your kids excited about conservation in the Nilgiris?
There are a lot of activities in the Nilgiri region that you can carry out with your children which will help them learn about conservation in the region:
a) Teach your kids to identify different species:
Make it a point to teach your children how to identify trees in their neighborhood, fish in the local river, or birds in your garden.
b) Play nature- and conservation-oriented games:
Games are a great way to help your child learn valuable lessons. You can take your child to a nearby park and play a simple scavenger hunt.
c) Attend camps, presentations, and workshops together:
Various organizations in the Nilgiri region hold conservation- or nature- oriented camps or workshops for children. Keep a look out for various kids wildlife and birding camps that you can take them to. Attending such camps which focus on the flora and fauna in the Nilgiris is a natural way of getting them interested in convservation.
d) Allow your child access to different kinds of media about conservation:
There are a lot of television shows, documentaries, books and websites which focus on nature and conservation. Letting your child access these in a moderated fashion is great to awaken their interest in conservation.
According to various studies, one out of four mammals is on the brink of extinction. To make a positive difference in this world, it is imperative to realize that tomorrow’s citizens should learn about nature and conservation at an early age. As a conservationist, you will know the importance of our global ecosystem. Get your child interested in wildlife conservation from a very young age and make a difference to our world’s future.
Disclaimer: Views and opinions expressed in the article are of the author’s own.