Ecosystem services

Ecosystem services are the numerous and diverse benefits that people openly benefit from the natural surroundings and also from properly-functioning ecosystems. Such ecosystems contain, by way of instance, agroecosystems, forest ecosystems, grassland ecosystems and aquatic ecosystems. These ecosystems working properly supplies such matters such as agricultural produce, lumber, and aquatic organisms including fishes and fishes. Together, these advantages have become called'ecosystem services', and are frequently essential to the provisioning of fresh drinking water, the decomposition of wastes, as well as also the natural pollination of plants and other crops. Supporting services comprise services like nutrient cycling, primary production, soil formation, habitat supply and pollination.

Habitat Conservation

Habitat conservation for wild species is among the most crucial problems facing the environment today - both in the sea and on land. As human populations increase, land usage grows, and wild species have smaller distances to call house. Over fifty percent of all Earth's terrestrial surface was changed because of human activity, leading to extreme deforestation, erosion and loss of topsoil, biodiversity loss, and even extinction. Species can't survive out their normal habitat with no human intervention, like the habitats within a zoo or aquarium, such as. Maintaining habitats is vital to maintaining biodiversity. Migratory species are especially vulnerable to habitat destruction since they have a tendency to occupy more than a natural habitat. Changing a natural habitat slightly may bring about a domino effect that hurts the whole ecosystem.

Supporting services

While scientists and environmentalists have discussed ecosystem solutions implicitly for a long time, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) from the early 2000s popularized this idea. Additionally, ecosystem services are grouped into four broad classes:
Supporting services

like the creation of water and food

Supporting services

like the control of disease and climate

Supporting services

including nutrient cycles and oxygen generation

Supporting services

such as recreational and spiritual advantages

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Analyses and comments on the science and practice of ecosystem services and biodiversity

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The last of the lions? Lessons from Meru

The lion population across Africa has dropped by nearly 97% in the last century, with many reports suggesting that wild lions would be extinct by 2020.

The post The last of the lions? Lessons from Meru appeared first on Kate on Conservation.

The lion population across Africa has dropped by nearly 97% in the last century, with many reports suggesting that wild lions would be extinct by 2020.

The post The last of the lions? Lessons from Meru appeared first on Kate on Conservation.

The ongoing battle to prevent lion extinction by 2031

It’s no secret that lion populations are declining.

In fact, in just the last century, the population across Africa has dropped by nearly 97%1, with many reports suggesting that wild lions would be extinct by 20202.

 Lions are already extinct in 26 African countries, but while the species may have survived that imminent deadline, with just 20,000 remaining, international wildlife charity Born Free is urging the public to help turn these horrifying statistics around.

Brutus the lion at shamwari game reserve
Brutus the lion rescued by Born Free was relocated to the charity’s Big Cat Rescue Centre at Shamwari Game Reserve

It’s almost impossible to imagine that if their decline continues at the same rate, lions could be extinct by 2031. 

The Last Lions of Meru campaign

It’s not all doom and gloom though; as part of their Last Lions of Meru campaign, Born Free is highlighting just how supporting conservation efforts can make a difference and save us from a world without the kings of the jungle.

Home of the famous Elsa (the lioness whose story was told in the original book and film Born Free) and now Elsa’s pride, Meru National Park was tragically decimated by poachers in the 1980s. 

In the 2000s, concerted efforts were made to restock the park with wildlife and manage it effectively. 

Elsa and her cub May 2019

In 2014 Born Free, working alongside Kenya Wildlife Service, launched its ‘Pride of Meru’ initiative to further revitalise the park and now it is not only home to a stable population of 60-80 lions, but also a whole host of other wildlife including 35 mammal, 400 bird and 40 reptile species.

The future of Meru

Meru still has a long way to go but Born Free is looking to increase lion protection, monitoring and population tracking, as well as expanding their conservation work across the Meru Conservation Area, and rekindling the entire ecosystem so that other species can flourish once more.

Will Travers OBE, President and Co-Founder of Born Free, said: “Our work in Meru National Park is a wonderful example of just how resilient our world can be, and how nature will bounce back if we all work together. 

Once poaching in the park was brought under control, wildlife was able to re-establish itself across the many diverse habitats found in this unique protected area.

Mulika lion pride in Meru National Park

“By implementing our lion monitoring project, working with local communities and schools bordering the park, educating and empowering people and highlighting the importance of wildlife conservation, we have been able to encourage co-existence, and promote more sustainable livelihoods that work for local communities living around Meru, and its wildlife,” he added.

A world without them is quite simply, unimaginable.

But This is only the first step…

“Our plan, building on the success of our protection work and Meru’s thriving wildlife, is to expand our efforts across the whole of the Meru Conservation Area spanning more than 4,000 km2 including Kora National Park and the Bisinadi and Mwingi national reserves.” Born Free Co-Founder Will Travers explains.

“Starting with Meru, we must redouble our efforts to save and protect the lions of Africa now more than ever – a world without them is quite simply, unimaginable.”

Meru National Park over 6 decades

Virginia McKenna OBE, actress and Co-Founder of Born Free, first arrived in Kenya 56 years ago with her husband Bill and their young family to film Born Free.

“Little did we know then that our lives would be changed forever by the unique and inspiring story of Elsa the lioness, the incredible compassion of George and Joy Adamson, and the bonds we formed with some of the lions we worked with in the film,” Virginia explains.

“In those days, Meru was famous for its abundant wildlife and, some say, even rivalled the famous Maasai Mara. However, tragically, in the 1980s Meru was overrun by poachers and its wildlife was decimated. But, today, Meru is fighting back.

“At Born Free, we want a world where lions roam free, safe from poachers and human-wildlife conflict. Where people around the park and the wildlife within it can co-exist peacefully. Where nature thrives.

“I am asking people who share our vision to join us and help ensure a future for wild lions.”

To support Born Free’s Pride of Meru programme visit

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Learn more about Born Free

  • The Wind of Change: 35 years of Born Free
  • What happened at Born Free’s 30th Anniversary
  • My involvement with Born Free

Find out more about the zoo debate

  • New film raises awareness of zoo animals’ welfare issues
  • British Zoos — their politics and history
  • I suppose it all starts with zoos…
  • Be the one traveler, long I stood
  • Conservation: the cons, count downs and continuations
  • A lifelong love of animals

Learn more about elephants in captivity

  • Jumbo the Elephant – London Zoo’s most famous resident
  • The Elephant in the Room film
  • Elephants – Captivity vs. Paradise

Learn more about lions in captivity

  • Big Cats in captivity
  • Claws Out film exposes the truth about volunteering with lions in South Africa
  • Claws Out: Beth Jennings interview
  • YouthForLions: Breaking the captive lion cycle
  • Big Cats in captivity

Learn more about great apes in captivity

  • Harambe the silverback gorilla and the question of captivity

Learn more about orca in captivity

  • SeaWorld: Behold, the great water circus!
  • Killer whales in captivity: guest post by Ben Stockwell
  • Blackfish Tilikum: An homage to his memory and a promise to myself

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