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Costa Rica and the Importance of Wildlife Conservation

“We might not have big industries or impressive man-made landmarks but if there’s one thing that sets Costa Rica above all places is our amazing wildlife” the Costa Rica man said. Having already spent one week traveling in this amazing country, I must say that he is absolutely right. Wildlife is the national treasure of Costa Rica and I truly admire their efforts in preserving it.

Isn’t it amazing how this small land covers only 1% of the world’s surface and yet, is home to half a billion different species of plants and animals? Yes, you can go to Guatemala for the culture, to Belize for the snorkeling and to Nicaragua for the volcanoes. But Costa Rica? Costa Rica is all about life.

The essence of Costa Rica is all about preserving and respecting wildlife. The essence of Costa Rica is all about enjoying the small daily moments of life. The essence of Costa Rica is all about Pura Vida (Pure Life) and the amazing meanings that this phrase conveys.

Why Should We Care About Wildlife Conservation?

True, we humans have done a lot of atrocities against wildlife in both the past and the present under the name of survival. After all, we were responsible for the extinction of many of the world’s most impressive species of mammals and birds.

Even sadder is to think that in modern times, we humans are heartless enough to be the only species that kills for sport and not only for survival, each time I see a man with a rifle right next to a dead animal, my heart aches with sadness and pain.

Wildlife conservation it’s not only about ensuring the sustainability of the world’s many ecosystems, it’s all about respect. It’s about understanding that we as humans are no superior to any other species and that we all deserve to live on this wonderful planet. It’s understanding that sloths, crabs, butterflies, and humans all have the right to enjoy life. And that’s the greatest gift of them all.

Sloth in Costa Rica
Sloth in Costa Rica

In the last couple of days I had the pleasure of admiring Costa Rica’s unique wildlife at the Manuel Antonio Park. I also got the chance of visiting projects that are aimed at rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife to ensure their proper introduction to their eco-system.

Sure, the cynical person will always claim that even non-profit rescue centers are all about the profits but hey, think about the alternative for a second. Do you really think that people should turn a blind eye to the sloth that was set on fire by a bunch of drunk teenagers?

Ignorance is not an excuse for atrocities against wildlife. A kid might not realize that it is wrong to step on ants but it is his parents responsibility to teach him how to behave like a human being.

The biodiversity of Costa Rica's birds
The biodiversity of Costa Rica’s birds

We are all one. And we should remember that

In modern society, there is a big problem in terms of speciesism. We humans like to place ourselves at the top of ladder, it makes sense for us to do so. Afterwards we include animals that are traditionally kept as pets. I mean, unless you’re a Vietnamese guy you would probably never want to eat a dog. After humans and pets, we tend to place mammals and birds in our ladder of importance.

Fish, reptiles and bugs? Way down at the bottom of the ladder. Sure, some people keep iguanas, fish, tarantulas and the such as pets (and they should definitely avoid doing that!) but in general it is not frowned upon to see a human intruding into the fish home in order to kill it for dinner.

It is not frowned upon to see a human skinning a crocodile in order to make boots. It is not frowned upon to see a human stepping on ants as he casually goes on with his day.

And we should change that. We should eliminate that mythical ladder of speciesim and start to realize that we are all one. We are all connected. Each organism, no matter how small, should have the right to live. Because life is the greatest gift of them all we should definitely respect that.

Do you agree?

Curious Costa Rican Tree Frog
Curious Costa Rican Tree Frog

What can we do about wildlife conservation today?

It saddens me to think that the endemic fauna of my dear Mexico is slowly dying out thanks to poachers, deforestation and basically, a lack of interest in the general population.

How sad is that?

Get inspired and start saving the wildlife today! And of course, don’t forget to share your thoughts to let us know what you think about wildlife conservation :)

The Ultimate Wildlife Conservation Travel Guide
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