From the Fall 2013 Conservationist for Kids
By Gina Jack
Many people are involved in making decisions about the world around us and are acting to minimize threats to biodiversity. They are concerned about the health of different habitats and the living things that depend upon them, keeping them free of pollutants and able to support many kinds of animals and plants.
Wildlife specialists work with species at risk of extinction to assist their recovery. In addition to improving habitat, these specialists may restore animals to suitable habitat and then monitor them while they become established.
Researchers help improve our understanding of what kinds of animals and plants are around us and how the different components of ecosystems rely upon and interact with each other. Lay people help, too. Citizen scientists count wildlife, observe plants, record data, and share their findings with researchers. Landowners work with professionals to improve wildlife habitat on their properties. Biologists use science to figure out how many animals can be taken from the wild, while ensuring healthy populations of species continue into the future. They use laws and regulations to ensure activities such as hunting, fishing, or other kinds of collection are done in a sustainable manner. DEC staff protect populations of wildlife and plants by implementing the laws that regulate the use of fish, wildlife, and the habitats and resources they depend upon.
Image of a young forest
In New York State, DEC staff assist wildlife by managing and restoring habitat. For example, cutting trees to make room for new growth and allowing sunlight to reach the forest floor helps many kinds of plants and animals. Invasive plants and animals may be removed so they don't compete with native species for food, water, shelter and space. Biologists use laws to protect certain habitats, like wetlands and streams, from actions that would damage them. Healthy habitats provide for people and for the animals and plants that use those areas. By conserving habitats, we conserve biodiversity.
Photo: US Fish and Wildlife Service