17 Reasons Why Wildlife Is So Important to the US

As the U.S. is so vast, it means there are many different kinds of wildlife in the country, with each animal just as unique as the next. It’s important that we keep all species protected. Here are 17 reasons why wildlife is so important to the U.S. 

Ecosystem Balance

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The U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit writes, “Human well-being is dependent on natural and managed ecosystems, which provide crucial functions and resources for nearly everything we eat, make, and do.” We need a stable ecosystem to prevent the loss of species and also because it affects the human race. 

Source of Food

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Humans have a historical reliance on animals for food. Wildlife is so important in the U.S. because of its connection with agriculture. Some of the wildlife may be hunted, or we may use animal products as a source of food. This isn’t just in the U.S.; wildlife affects diets globally. 

Medicinal Resources

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Many medicines come from wild plants and animals. With continued research on how wildlife and plants impact medicine, it can lead to more breakthroughs, which makes it incredibly important to sustain. We need well-functioning ecosystems to ensure we have clean air and fresh water to keep us healthy.

Disease Control

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There’s a link between wildlife conservation and disease prevention. For example, many zoonotic diseases spread from animals to humans. Protecting the habitats of wild animals makes disease transmission less likely. They won’t be finding homes closer to humans because their habitats have been destroyed. 

Economic Livelihood

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Many economies in the U.S. depend on wildlife and nature. For example, Climate Action writes, “The economy is reliant on the ecosystem services that nature provides in many different ways. For example, ecosystem services provide wood for timber harvest; groundwater or fresh water for drinking, cooling power plants, or irrigation; and animal or plant fibers for fabrics or fertilizer.” 

Cultural Heritage

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Wildlife has a huge influence on cultural traditions and beliefs, especially among Indigenous people such as Native Americans. It can play a huge part in religious practices, with many people worshiping different animals. Wildlife conservation means the preservation of cultural identities and religions. 


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Wildlife in the U.S. is a huge attraction for tourists. This means it can bring many economic benefits to the country. It’s created many recreational activities, as tourists choose outings focused on wildlife. For example, they take a boat ride in the Everglades to catch a glimpse of alligators. 

Job Creation

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Many jobs have been created through wildlife conservation and management in the United States. This can then have a bigger economic impact on conservation projects as more money is able to go into them. Many Americans prefer jobs in the conservation industry compared to more traditional roles, as it’s a great way to connect with nature and spend more time outdoors.  

Mental Health and Well-being

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There are so many psychological benefits that come from nature. Nature therapy can help with mental health, with many doctors recommending spending time outdoors for those who suffer from depression and anxiety. Having access to green spaces and cleaner air has so many health benefits. 

Educational Value

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Wildlife has so much educational value and it’s important to teach people about it from a young age. This is backed by Black Snake Productions, which writes, “By teaching children that every animal, all nature and all people have the right to life, we instill a respect for and appreciation for nature.” 

Climate Regulation

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The wildlife in the U.S. plays a huge role in regulating the climate and keeping it balanced. We’ve unfortunately learned this lesson through deforestation, species loss, and climate change. Marine species are particularly at risk thanks to the pollution of the oceans, which also causes sea temperatures to rise.

Soil Fertility

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America’s wildlife has an impact on its soil fertility. This is because it plays a role in crop pollination and yield. There’s always been a strong relationship between wildlife habitats and agriculture. Without it, our crops wouldn’t be as strong as they are. 

Water Quality and Availability

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The wetlands and many aquatic species play a huge role in the quality of water and its purification. Wildlife has an impact on the hydrological cycle and animals need to be able to move from stream to stream or river to river without any barriers, such as dams. 

Natural Disaster Mitigation

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Wildlife ecosystems can act as buffers against natural disasters. For example, coral reefs and mangroves are physical barriers that allow waves to break before they reach the shore. Without reefs, the coast and anyone living there would be at risk of destruction. 

National Heritage

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Animals are often seen as a symbol of national pride. Many are even iconic when it comes to national identity, such as the eagle for the United States. If we didn’t look after our wildlife and allowed these species to become extinct, they wouldn’t play as crucial a role in our national heritage. 

International Relations

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Conservation of the environment helps bring people together from across the world and allows for international collaboration. There are also many migratory species in the world, which means they’ll cross borders. Countries can help each other out by ensuring they’re prepared to look after these species. 

Community Spaces

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The EPA tells us that each year, national parks, forests, and other recreational areas have millions of visitors. Without the wildlife in these green spaces, they wouldn’t offer so much of an attraction to tourists. It’s important to protect them, not only to keep species safe but also to ensure community spaces continue to be popular for economic reasons.

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