Halting and reversing biodiversity loss is important to protect the environment and prevent species from becoming extinct. The world is currently facing its sixth mass extinction, with a 69% decline in wildlife since 1970. This poses a threat to civilization, and we need to rethink our conservation practices.
One solution to combat this crisis is “rewilding,” which aims to restore nature’s balance by creating biodiverse and untamed landscapes. Pakistan, which used to be home to majestic tigers and other wildlife, has experienced a tragic decline in species over time. However, the country has made commitments to protect biodiversity on the international stage.
Rewilding involves restoring ecosystems to their natural state by reintroducing native plants and animals. There are different approaches to rewilding, but they all recognize the harm caused by human activities and aim to restore and maintain wilderness. Scientific benchmarks help inform and implement rewilding projects.
The scientific foundation of rewilding consists of three fundamental components: large core protected areas, ecological connectivity, and keystone species. Cores are important habitats for wildlife, while corridors connect these areas and allow species to move between them. Keystone species have a significant impact on the ecosystem and help maintain its balance.
One famous example of rewilding is Yellowstone National Park in the United States. The reintroduction of wolves changed the behavior of deer and elk, leading to tree regeneration, more plants and animals, and even affecting the physical geography of the area. Rewilding has also been happening in Europe, with a focus on reintroducing herbivores.
Rewilding not only helps restore species but also plays a role in addressing climate change. Restored ecosystems can capture a significant amount of carbon dioxide and contribute to meeting climate targets. It is important for Pakistan to prioritize rewilding as a conservation strategy and embrace its benefits.
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