Beyond The Zoos-Wildlife’s Strategic Value in the USA


Wildlife has always been a vital part of the American landscape, providing us with joy, inspiration, and adventure. But there is more to wildlife than just its intrinsic value. Wildlife has strategic value in the USA, and understanding this can help us better protect and conserve it for future generations. In this blog post, we will explore the strategic value of wildlife in the USA, the role of the US government in conservation, and the importance of local communities in protecting these animals. By the end of this post, you will understand why wild animals are so important to the United States and how we can help protect them.

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Intrinsic Value of Wildlife in the USA

Wildlife plays an essential role in the United States, extending beyond zoos and wildlife sanctuaries to hold intrinsic value for citizens and impact human health and well-being. Additionally, wildlife holds significant economic value, both through direct expenditures such as lodging and goods, and indirect expenditures related to management. With a UN report estimating that 1 million animal and plant species could face extinction in the coming decades due to human activity, it’s critical to take action towards protecting endangered species and their habitats and harness conservation initiatives. To achieve this goal, we must track population trends and migratory patterns impacted by environmental factors such as habitat destruction and climate change, using data to inform sustainable, long-term conservation efforts. As Olaus Murie’s 1954 paper on Ethics in Wildlife Management notes, “Wildlife Management is an art of making land the productive.” Understanding the intrinsic value of preserving the US’s rich variety of flora and fauna should be a top priority to ensure their presence for generations to come.

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Benefits Of Wildlife Preservation for The US Economy

Wildlife preservation is an essential component of maintaining a healthy US economy. There are various ways in which wildlife preservation can offer strategic value to the economy beyond zoos and wildlife parks. Preserving wildlife can enhance biodiversity, improve air quality, and create job opportunities. It also increases tourism, which generates income and creates jobs in forestry, wildlife conservation, outdoor recreation, and related fields. National parks attract visitors from all over, adding to economic growth and providing recreational opportunities for locals. Protecting national parks also promotes better air and water quality leading to healthier citizens with lower medical costs, as well as helping reduce infrastructure costs and limit sprawl, resulting in a more sustainable environment in both rural and urban areas. Accredited zoos and aquariums protect endangered species through their Species Survival Plan Program™ and play a crucial role in preserving diverse ecosystems. Lastly, outdoor recreation also contributes to overall mental well-being, leading to a better quality of life.

Wildlife Conservation by The USA Government

The US government plays a critical role in wildlife conservation and habitat preservation. Conservation efforts are necessary for maintaining a diverse and healthy ecosystem, preserving natural sights, sounds, and experiences that offer benefits for both tourists and locals. Climate change, urbanization, deforestation, poaching, hunting, and captive animal mistreatment are all looming threats to biodiversity loss that the US government must address through public education campaigns promoting environmental stewardship and creating public-private partnerships that promote wildlife conservation.


Understanding how conservation efforts help sustain wildlife’s strategic value in the USA is essential for appreciating the potential social, cultural, and economic benefits of continued investment in protecting our country’s precious resources. The restoration of endangered species to the wild is of paramount importance. The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) seeks to increase federal spending on state-led wildlife conservation from funds collected through offshore oil drilling royalties. Additionally, the State Wildlife Grant (SWG) Program allocates $56 million to states for natural resource stewardship and imperilled wildlife habitat conservation.

Captive wildlife needs safe environments free from poachers, hunters, and potential harm. Humans must be held accountable for possible mistreatment or exploitation of captive animals. Many species can only survive in their natural habitats, making restoration efforts essential. Captive breeding programs utilized by many organizations have helped ensure species’ survival despite their threatened status. Plans must also be developed to protect vulnerable species from extinction, including developing innovative strategies, such as artificial lights on wind turbines, so birds do not crash into them due to a lack of visibility during night migration.

Wildlife’s strategic value cannot be ignored. By investing more resources into preserving habitats and ensuring sustainable populations, we can ensure future generations have access to nature’s beauty, and its inhabitants will continue to enjoy it, just like we do today!

The Role of Local Communities in Wildlife Protection

Wildlife is an integral part of the US landscape, and understanding its strategic value is crucial. Local communities play a vital role in wildlife protection, and it’s essential to incorporate their know-how and resources into conservation efforts. Promoting sustainable coexistence between local communities and wild species can be achieved through environmental education, leveraging financial support from government agencies, and collaboration between public and private entities.

The conservancy model successfully combines wildlife protection, local employment, community development, and tourism activities to increase the perceived value of wildlife. Engaging communities directly in conservation efforts is a significant part of conservation strategies across Africa. Zoos and aquariums also have active roles in keeping international trade legal and sustainable, and they provide support for the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Current threats facing wildlife include poaching, habitat destruction, human encroachment resulting from urbanization or agricultural expansion, pollution, degradation induced by industrial activities, and climate change. The IUCN estimates that up to 1 million species are at risk of extinction due to unsustainable practices. Collective action is needed, and involving local communities is an essential part of this effort.

To Sum Up

Wildlife plays a vital role in the American landscape, providing joy, inspiration, and adventure. It also holds strategic value for the US economy and its people. To protect wildlife, the US government has taken steps through public education campaigns, public-private partnerships, conservation initiatives, such as RAWA and SWG programs, and captive animal management. Local communities are also essential in preserving wildlife through sustainable coexistence strategies that include environmental education, financial support from government agencies, and collaboration between public and private entities. We must take collective action now to ensure future generations have access to these precious resources and preserve habitats and species from becoming threatened or extinct due to human activities. It is up to all of us to educate ourselves on the importance of wildlife preservation and protecting our planet’s biodiversity.