The crack of dawn on a bull moose’s antlers, the swell of passing sandhill cranes, the splash of a black-tailed deer in a river, marks from a grizzly bear’s claws scratched deep into the bark of a grown aspen. Such are the scenes of wildlife in Alaska, the very scenes that have been woven tightly into the fabric of Alaskans’ lives and the minds of millions of visitors. However, there is more to the sheer beauty of Alaskan scenery and in this article, we shall look at some of the importance of Alaskan wildlife conservation.
Alaskan wildlife has an important role to play in maintaining the ecological equilibrium of nature. Its presence directly affects the nature of its habitat by encouraging evolutionary adaptations of not only animals but also humans that live in its environment.This is also an effective and holistic way to assess the quality of the surroundings that the people are living in. The wildlife is not only a source of food and livelihood but also an essential component in traditional medicine amongst many other things to the Alaskan people.
Conservation is not just important for animal species but to all living things. The preservation of the Alaska’s natural resources helps to mitigate or reverse the negative effects of human activity, without it human populations will not be able to thrive comfortably alongside its animal counterparts. Many of the state’s resources are non-renewable which means that upon depletion, they are gone for good. Without proper intervention, many of the Alaskan Wildlife we are familiar with may become extinct and the results on the Alaskans living there will be dire.
A discernible representation of the state’s natural wealth, Alaska’s wildlife inhabits its legends and myths, provides food for Alaskans, recreational activities for leisure, and teaches us as humans about our world and its workings. Furthermore, wildlife helps fuel the Alaskan economy and is a prime driver of tourism in the state.
In a study done by the Alaskan Division of Wildlife Conservation, indicates that a total of $3.4 billion was spent on hunting and wildlife tourism in 2011 alone, this also generated a huge $4.1 billion in Alaskan economic activity.
The money spent on wildlife related activities goes to work immediately to pay the wages of the stores and service crew involved in the activity. This ripples outward in various directions through the local community, even to sectors that are not directly connected with hunting and viewing. This cycle usually continues until it eventually leaks out of the Alaskan economy. Thus, without preserving and the conservation of Alaska’s natural habitats, the Alaskan people are unlikely to survive in their natural procedure of livelihood.
Social and Cultural Factors
Surveys, including the ones conducted in research reports, consistently demonstrate that wildlife contributes significantly to residents’ quality of life and is also one of the main reasons people visit Alaska.
Because it is important to them, people spend money to hunt, view, and experience wildlife. The non-monetary value is also profound, where most Alaskans citing the Alaskan wildlife as a significantly important reason for living and thriving there. Through varied subsistence activities, Alaskans have formed and constituted a way of being and relating to the world, thus compromising an essential component of Alaskan native identities and cultures.
Most Alaskans, native and non-native alike, would like to see customary and traditional subsistence activities continue. Although, some safeguards to subsistence have been passed through federal and state laws, it is clear that they cannot endure without legal protection and actions that are put in place to not only protect but conserve the habitat in which their traditional livelihoods depend on.
This writing and the readings on which it is based demonstrate what many people instinctively know: Alaska’s wildlife is vital to Alaskans as well as visitors alike.
Not only does it shape the industrial constitution of Alaska’s economy and the geographical pattern of development, it is also supports a whole host of cultural traditions and livelihoods. For this to continue, wildlife populations need to remain heathy and strong for present and future generations. This can only be done through constant and effective education, when more are able to understand the many ways in which wildlife contributes to the Alaskan economy while enriching the lives of the people who live or visit Alaska.
Alaskans need solid information to make the best possible wildlife conservation decisions. We hope this writing is an important contribution towards that endeavor.