Passionate about helping the world’s most amazing animals? There are all sorts of things you can do, simply, quickly and by using the vast array of modern technology already at your disposal. Smartphones, social media sites and a single click of your computer mouse have all become powerful tools in the fight to save our natural world. Here are five easy ways you can make a difference to conservation efforts.
1. Take part in wildlife surveys
Scientists recognise the importance of getting the public involved in logging the wildlife they’ve seen in order to provide essential data and help with conservation efforts. There are a huge range of projects to get involved with, from mass-scale events like the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch to conducting a simple ‘BioBlitz’, which involves using a white sheet or open umbrella to count how many instances of life there are in a particular area. Using the internet is the most obvious way to share your information; apps like iNaturalist are another easy way to record wildlife sightings using your smartphone.
2. Sign online petitions
It’s staggering how many different types of animals around the world are under threat—issues range from single animals being unfairly culled to the extinction of entire species’ due to human interference. Signing petitions online can help you become more aware of the issues that need addressing and make a real difference to the other creatures that call Earth home. Take a scroll through the environment and wildlife or animal welfare sections on thepetitionsite.com to get started.
3. Spread awareness through social media
Although sharing immediately-affecting issues like animal abuse through social media does help, research shows that longer term issues like deforestation and illegal wildlife trade tend to get neglected. Of course it’s important to spread awareness of the horrific instances of wildlife neglect that appear on your social media timelines, but it’s even better to be proactive and help to campaign on behalf of those lesser known issues as well. A timely tweet or Facebook update could help to save lives.
4. Use apps to report illegal animal trading
Planning on travelling the world one day? Unfortunately you might encounter illegal animal trading, such as the use of rhino horns or ivory in products being sold. By using the free Wildlife Witness app, you can share important images and report suspected illegal wildlife trade to TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.
5. Click to help (for free!)
Believe it or not, the simple act of clicking on certain websites can help to raise money for important causes. These sites feature ads, and the operators ensure that 100% of the money raised from them goes towards helping to solving the issue of your choice. Wildlife-related click-to-donate campaigns on Care2 include saving the rainforest, protecting baby seals and fighting global warming, while clicking the big purple button on The Animal Rescue Site helps to provide food for animals in shelters.