With an ever increasing human population and an ever decreasing supply of open land and natural resources, wildlife conservation is a growing and serious problem. An issue of such far reaching and, in many cases, irreversible consequences requires an informed public pressuring its political leaders for answers. In an arena with so many disparate viewpoints, how can a lay person find the information needed to correctly assess wildlife conservation problems?
Many people turn to wildlife conservation magazines for help in deciphering the questions facing citizens concerned with balancing the needs of mankind with the needs of the natural world. Many of these magazines address specific concerns within the conservation community; others have a more broad based approach.
A subject currently the focus point of vociferous and divisive debate is whether or not the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) should be opened to oil exploration. For decades heated arguments have been ongoing over whether there is sufficient oil in the region to justify exploring for and potentially drilling for oil with the Refuge. Some contend that the theorized oil reserves would reduce American dependency on foreign oil and that investigation and drilling can be accomplished without damaging the delicate ecosphere of ANWR. Others assert that there are not enough barrels of oil hidden in the Refuge to make the possible detrimental affect on the area worthwhile. The discussion has become so rancorous on both sides that independent research by lay people is necessary in order to have an unbiased opinion. Consulting a variety of wildlife conservation magazines is a good starting point for understanding the facts.
Another important concern facing conservationists is the depletion of the wetlands within the United States. The largest of these evaporating wetlands may be the Florida Everglades. Not only are the wetlands in danger but the barrier islands in the coastal area are also at risk. Many people do not comprehend the immense peril presented by the loss of wetlands and barrier islands. These formations provide habitat for a great variety of animal species as well as protecting the water table, reducing flood risk and shielding the Florida shoreline from storms such as hurricanes.
On the other side of the table, there is the continuing need for land for population and manufacturing growth. Without the ability to expand the Florida economy could be endangered. Yet, ironically, continued economic stability of the area requires a healthy environment for the natural beauty which draws many tourists to the area. Complex questions such as this require the informed essays which are many times available only through wildlife conservation magazines.
Wildlife conservation magazines also address topics which are of more individual concerns. Many hunters are also avid conservationists. They view hunting as a necessary process for keeping the wildlife population healthy and in proportion to the natural food supply. Thus, many of the magazines which support hunting are also in their own ways wildlife conservation magazines. The articles within hunting magazines that delve into wildlife management often share the same viewpoints as similar articles in wildlife conservation magazines. If a reader wants a truly diverse spectrum of opinion, a sampling of hunting magazines should be sprinkled in with the more traditional wildlife conservation magazines that make up a reading list.