What could we give the Wild Animals back or could do for them?

What could I do for the wild animals?
From the discussions on various threads here I see we all got a lot from iNatting or we can say from the wild creatures of all types.
We have learnt a lot about them, observed a lot, photographed a lot, can identify a lot, became better photographers, increased patience, healed our mind and soul, got a reason to walk/ more walk/Slow walk, urge for getting outside a lot more, visiting places like National/State/City Parks/Zoological Gardens/Museums/Road tours/Nature Hikes…
In short our knowledge has advanced hugely about them.
These are all we got from them.
So in lieu of that, we should also give something back to them, right? After much thought I could not find anything that I could give them new or give something back. When we see them increasing in number, we reduce them again by declaring them as ‘Vermin’, ‘ Pest’, ‘Least Concerned’, ‘Man-killers’, ‘Livestock -killers’ etc. When we see them dwindling in number, we want to avoid the issue or become satisfied with explaining the reasons e.g habitat loss (most popular) for the inevitable XYZ reasons etc.
Indeed, many experts are thinking about such problems but they are very limited in number.
What could we give them back or could do for them?
What can I give them back or can do for them?
PS: I am not expecting suggestive replies elaborating What Should be done.


In a nutshell, marketing! :mega:

One of the best things that you can do for wildlife is to promote iNaturalist and nature appreciation. Share your love for nature on social media, and talk to your friends about it. Spread the word! :speaking_head:

As Baba Dioum said, “In the end, we will conserve only what we love, and we will love only what we understand.”

In places like the Philippines, they are concerned with basic infrastructure. Paved roads, clean water . . . they don’t have the luxury of chasing after rare butterflies.

But in terms of infrastructure and meeting basic needs, the world is getting better than ever before. Far better!

So it comes back to marketing! Let’s share our passion for nature. The more we understand wildlife, the more we will do to protect it! :heart:


When I failed to spread my passion in a Platform specifically for the Nature lovers (shared several such Pics, links, instances (as I like to comment on something with illustrative examples)- ignored grossly barring a limited number of respected persons), I don’t expect any remarkable response from other Social Media Platforms which are now being reigned by Copied without consent, fake Passion/bravery videos and Pictures (I could have attached illustrative Screenshots or images in this respect also). Hahahaha. .

Right – by “what should be done,” you presumably mean that you don’t want nebulous policy suggestions by people who are not policymakers. You seem to be speaking on the individual level – how can you or I, as private individuals, give back to nature?

You are right – slacktivism doesn’t mean anything when the social media world is full of thousands of competing influencers and most people might interact for a few moments before scrolling on by. “The medium is the message,” and the message of social media, like that of television before it, is “stay tuned.”

What drives habitat loss? Is it not the ever-growing demand for resources? What if we wait one more year before upgrading our mobile device? If we delay our upgrades each time, how many fewer resources does that add up to over the course of our lives? What if we make “reduce, reuse, recycle” central to our lifestyle? How much does that shrink our lifetime resource footprint?

I don’t know if you are familiar with the Lorax story. I remember being in a sporting goods store looking at kayaks. I saw one that I could have afforded at that time. But then, images came to me: a kayak factory spewing out gluppity-glup and smogulous smoke; me in my kayak made of molded truffula fiber, paddling down a river devoid of humming-fish and swomi-swans, scanning the banks in vain for any sign of a brown bar-ba-loot among the grickle-grass and truffula stumps. It occurred to me that I could enjoy kayaking just as much by not owning my own kayak but using one supplied by an outfitter. If many people use the same kayak, that is a lot less resources put into making kayaks.


I am on my second (ever) cellphone. Took me decades to concede to the first one - a decade ago.


I’m in a rural area with abundant wildlife. I think the best thing we can give wildlife is the freedom to live their lives unimpeded by our activities or our fears. We can support their needs by planting native plants and mowing less. And if we choose to feed them, we should keep our feeders clean and their food free of pesticides. Most importantly, we can dignify them by learning about them and then respect their role in the web of life.


Finally a story:

I was a village boy, who lived in a village where there were many trees, small and large animals, birds…There were three large water bodies where migratory ducks (Tufted, Gadwalls, Pintails, Ferruginous etc) used to come every year on their winter vacation (although we didn’t know their English names). But there were also some muddy ponds that the migratory ducks didn’t like.
One of our village-related Uncle, who was a mentally divergent thinker, used to sit on the edge of one such pond for most of the day and throw earthen stones into the pond from time to time. He thought the pond, with the Kingfishers and Otters, was his property.
Whenever someone asked something, he would say, “I am making waves here, I am seeing what kind of waves can be generated here”. Sometimes on the way to our playground we used to ask him, “Hey Uncle! What kind of wave today?” Sometimes he would say something and sometimes he would not say anything.
But we could not stay in the village for long. We had to move to a city due to studies and some other reasons. But that was not a big city either. It was a small town in the Himalayan area of our state. After that… to a bigger town… then in different parts of our country…
but I could not go back to my village for a long time.
Many years later I went there to attend one of my niece’s (Village-related) wedding Ceremony.
That village is no more; it is now a full-fledged city, where there are almost no trees, no birds, no otters, no snakes, not even a single pond. Wandering around in a morning I stopped at the place where the Uncle’s pond was. Someone from inside me asked, 'Hey uncle! Why did you stop making the waves?” If you hadn’t stopped, we could have saved at least one pond, few otters, kingfishers. Did someone answer me then? “kaku (uncle)! now it’s your turn. Go and keep on throwing stones in other ponds. See whether any waves can be generated and what kinds of waves they are?”

No, I was not familiar with the Lorax story till yesterday but now I am. The Swomee-Swans, the humming fish, brown bar-ba-loot, gluppity-glup, trophic cascade- Somebody threw stones a decade back. Thanks a lot jasonhernandez74 for accurately pinpointing the thoughts. Such comments need to be read in depth.

Traffic Jam in Mount Everest, Win of “Plastic Wrappers/bottles/ non-recyclable waste” view of Sandakphu over the mesmerizing ‘Himalayan Sleeping Buddha” Range, disappearance of Mangroves and their habitats of the Sundarbans, rush of Picnickers, Eating, Shouting, Selfies, Bonfire- barbecue- DJ/Soundbox whole night by drunkard, week enders inside almost all the Forests/Bird areas, demand for more luxury, AC accommodation, Swimming Pool, Spa, Restaurant/Bar everywhere, loss of wildlife owing to electrocution, too many motorbikes with GoPros and running commentaries in each and every nature place, competition to become a champion/Expert, demand for Leather/Fur Products, Plastic everywhere- 100000 marine animals die every year, Wild Animals/Even Elephants die deep inside the forests owing to internal bleeding and organ failure by blockage of significant amount of plastic in the intestine…
Wherefrom all these are coming? Where is the origin? How they are being accumulated everywhere from the top of Mount Everest to the deep Jungles- to the Rivers/Seas/Oceans?
So I’ll ask my uncle again:
Have any waves been generated today? What kinds of waves they are?
Edit: My English and my ignorance.


Without being preachy or judgemental I occasionally like to point out that maintaining the conditions for a species to survive in the wild also maintains humans as a species. Just like the wild animals, everyone of us requires functional ecosystems for our survival, whether it be healthy soils, uncontaminated aquatic systems, productive forests or intact oceanic environments. Everyone one of us depends on the natural world for food, drink and oxygen. This applies as much to someone working as a IT programmer or internet influencer as it does to a hunter gatherer in the Amazon or the Kalahari Desert.


Yes, but so what?
Is this a relevant answer that satisfactorily validates all such actions mentioned and thus addresses all concerns of all beings (including humans)?
Anyway I got my question answered and so don’t want to continue the topic anymore.

In my position as director of a biodiversity conservation NGO this is the sort of question I get asked a lot.

My answers tend to boil down to a few points, most people/policy related as it’s people that are responsible for most of the difficulties the environment faces and therefore it’s people who need to be approached in order to make a difference.

  • Pay attention to your local area and do what you can to make that suitable for the native plants and animals of your region (eg. native plant landscaping, or even as potted plants if you don’t have much room, minimise use of things harmful to wildlife, get involved in local invasive plant removal projects, etc)
  • Vote, and make sure to be electing people who are actually qualified to legislate on the issues before us. This, in my opinion, means electing more people who have good understandings of sciences (esp. ecology and climate related fields), social benefits/care, education, etc. Let your legislators know when you disagree with or disapprove of their actions and decisions.
  • Promote good education and encourage environmental literacy and engagement in people of all ages.
  • Hold corporations and business accountable for their decisions and actions. Support ones that try to be responsible, and make a point of letting others know that you disapprove of their actions when they are irresponsible.
  • Recognize that not everyone has the same options and potential as yourself and be understanding when it comes to individuals who are doing things you are upset about. Taking the time the learn more and be understanding has a vastly better chance of affording the opportunity for engagement and finding a better way forward.
  • Encourage ‘environmental tourists’ to actually be careful and responsible.

There are more, but these are some of the core pieces.


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Yes, it can be done when it seems that the desired objectives have been achieved.

I was hoping for some simple and personal responses here as accurately clarified by @jasonhernandez74.
I have observed, in many threads here (iNat Forum and Observations), that many many persons are doing great and magnificent works in several places of this world (e.g trying to keep Bird Nests cool [@jcrown @onefishyboi @bevwigney, trying to save other creatures [ huttonia ], Spotting roadkill areas [ @nataliewaddellrutter @dianastuder], Creating a great environment by doing very much commendable as well as magnificent gardening/plantation works [ @spiphany] and many many many others- not mentioning all to keep the post short) which are helping not only us but also some other creatures to live well (may be a bird, may be a butterfly, may be some other wild creatures. It doesn’t always have to be a tiger, a bear, a lion etc.
I did not/do not want to continue the topic as it may have sounded something as “Preachy and Judgmental”

A Screenshot:

Now that I am retired and more involved with a local conservation group, I’ve learned there are many things that you can do to make a difference. Every little bit helps, and everyone’s contributions and talents adds to the chorus.
I think starting locally can make a great impact. Our local group (before my time) was instrumental in getting a swath of land attaining National Monument status. Our group sponsors trash pick ups and hosts educational events/guest speakers. We’ve participated in invasive species removal (Saharan Mustard). I personally lead hikes and have small education sessions. Also on these hike, we pack out any trash we come across. We’ve collected native seeds for the Seeds of Success Program. We provide free retiree manpower for all types of projects to many different organizations. Many of our members who can’t participate in actual manpower and time, do contribute monetarily.
The bottom line is that there are many things you can do. Whether it is great or small, with fanfare or in anonymity, do something.


A Key line. I know all iNat users/members are doing these things. This is evident from various posts in various threads. If we hear about such activities from them, we all can be very motivated and inspired.

Assam Police DGP requested people to be extremely cautious while driving. Sharing a video of a herd of elephants crossing a road on X, he wrote, “Our co-inhabitants have first right of passage on highways in times of distress brought by floods.”

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I think there a lot of ways we can do better for animals, but I’ll list the major things in somewhat broad categories and expand on them

1. eat a predominantly vegan/plant based diet
2. buy less; buy second hand when needed, waste less
3. advocacy, donations, habitat restoration, composting, education + more

1 and 2 can apply to almost anyone.

  1. The biggest contributor to habitat loss is agriculture, primarily meat production. One of the biggest contributing factors to greenhouse gas emissions is methane from factory farms. Runoff from fertilizer contributing to freshwater and ocean dead zones is mostly coming from farms growing crops for animal feed. Meat (and also dairy) require an immense amount of resources, including fresh water.

By eating less animal products, your footprint is wayyy smaller. We all need to eat, multiple times per day. For the average person, this is the change that will have the biggest impact on your ecological footprint.

Of course, seasonal, local, organic are also points to consider.

*2. Buy less waste less
In the last 10 years its become so easy to purchase products of any kind. While I don’t think most iNat users are doing Shein halls, regardless we can all take a look at how much we are consuming and also throwing away. When you do need to buy, try to get it second-hand.
Follow the Rs starting from the beginning: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Repurpose, Recycle, Rot.!

Food waste = methane production, infinitely worse in terms of greenhouse gases than carbon. A compost is actually easy to manage even if you don’t have property. Vermicompost and bokashi are some options.

3. advocacy, donations, habitat restoration, composting, education + more

My last suggestion is rather vague. I think it depends on individual circumstances and there are a lot of great yet little things you could do.

If you have a garden, habitat re-wilding or pollinator patch. Use your car less often. Advocate for public transit and bike lanes in your area.
Find a way to share knowledge with others.For some people that might me dedicating time to meet with a community group, create posts, donating money (to inat maybe), starting an eco-bookclub, sneaking environmental books into your regular bookclub (guilty twice over) joining a hiking group and talking with people there, having discussions at your farmer market, or just convincing your friend to buy less stuff. Whatever route you choose, hopefully everyone can find a way to inspire others to care about nature and find a supportive community to be a part of.

Apologies for the formatting and word vomit. I finally found the time to write a post but I should be sleeping


Fight on Mt.Everest for best Selphie Spot
“In video footage, two men can be seen punching each other at the viewing platform situated at the height of 8848 feet. A woman can be seen trying to separate them, but soon afterward, two men can be seen kicking one of them. Everest Border Police Camp intervened and separated the fighting couples. It took the four tourists into custody for further investigation.”-The Economic Times

Same day some other people were doing something else:
Assam Flood
"The park authority and the forest department have also managed to rescue 133 animals during flood time and 111 animals were released after treatment.,“Seven rescued animals, including two rhino calves, and two elephant calves, are now under treatment”- Business Standard.

With iNat we can virtual travel anywhere in the world.