• Creatures like bats, earthworms, bees, ants, squirrels, and butterflies are important animals producing plant-based foods and raw materials on the planet.
  • Fishes, Sea lions, and seals are better representations of climate issues on Earth as former store carbons and later signals ongoing climate threat.
  • Beavers and Elephants are natural geologists who can alter landscapes and detect water sources.
  • Animals such as dogs, rats, and Llama are good friends to humans helping with patrolling, detecting, and rescuing duties.

Every creature has its purpose for serving. Ranging from large mammals and elephants to small mammals’ mice, their role in maintaining the ecosystem is momentous. 

On the mother planet, multiple farms and wild animals significantly contribute to saving the planet. The vital role is foremost, ranging from pollination, seed dispersion, and landmine detection to reducing disease transmission.

Below is how the animal heroes (including farm animals), some endangered animals, have played a critical role in aiding the natural running of the ecosystem.

Table of Contents

1. Bats (the natural pesticides)

Bats | Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons

Bat species have heavily contributed in terms of controlling the insect population. It further supports the natural cycle, thereby controlling the pest populations. Bat may not always be the situation where the insect balances nature’ instead, there may be the need to control the pest numbers if there arises an issue in balancing nature. 

For instance, one colony (20 million) of Mexican free-tailed bats in the United States can consume 220 tons of the insects within a single night. It is equivalent to roughly 55 elephants. It is significant pest control for mosquitoes. 

Considering the agricultural sector, controlling the pest population from diseases and ruins of the plants may relieve the farmers at the spatula scales. Fortunately, the bats save almost 3.7 billion in controlling the pest per year within North America alone. 

It reflects how bats deserve to be one of the fundamental animals that dramatically support the ecosystem cycle. Thus, it is of utmost necessity to conserve them sustainably since they have been driven by diseases and habitat loss daily. 

2. Earthworms (ground fertilizer)

Earthworms | Image Credit – Flickr

Soil is the entire home to the earthworm. You cannot fail to remember the role of earthworms in soil aeration, infiltration, water movement, nutrient cycling, and many more. 

Because of its activity in soil aeration, the water and air can easily pass to the soil resulting in better plant development. It supports the decomposition of organic matter and converts it to the simplest form. 

3. Beavers (alter landscapes)

Beavers | Image Credit – Flickr

Beaver is often embedded by the term ‘ecosystem engineer’ because of its crucial role in leading to nature. Despite its smaller size, its activities have positive impacts on nature. It creates the dam and the ponds, providing shelter to various animals, birds, and insects. It builds the dam like a bridge so far upon which the other animals find it their perfect home. 

Apart from this, the beaver does alter the environment by preventing massive fire. Building the dam and the ponds by the beaver always assists in keeping the soil in moisture condition, and the vegetation too remains green and alive. In turn, greenery vegetation supports wildlife and natural resources even in drought conditions.

The ponds could be the perfect water source for the other creatures thriving in the dams built by the beaver. Unfortunately, thinking of the beaver as a pest by the people has made them trapped and killed. However, the environmental merits it possesses are unique.

4. Bees and the butterflies (active pollinators)

Bees and the butterflies
Bees and the butterflies | Image Credit – Flickr

Bees and butterflies are crucial components of an ecosystem without which our lives do not exist. Do you? The answer is only No. Most of the crops and foods we consume, which we wear the fiber (cotton) as our daily requirements, require pollination by insect aid. 

Among those insects, the bees are potent pollinators. It spares most of its entire time in the pollen collection. It feeds the pollen to the developing offspring. No one could deny the primary role of the bees in pollination. 

Naturally, pollination is foremost because seed needs to be germinated in flowering plants and maintain the population and the relationship between plant communities. They carry the pollination by two processes viz. Self and the cross-pollination. They spread the pollen from one plant to another with the same species during pollination. Such activities no doubt lead to the germination of the new plant species. 

The bees and the butterflies require a lot of energy to collect the pollen. The cross-pollination is substantial to produce viable seeds. Thus, what could you do from your side to boost the bees’ action in the pollen and the nectar collection? 

You can grow the plants with varieties and aid the bees in acting appropriately. Besides these, the habitats we provide for these fantastic pollinators should be free from pesticides with potential nesting sources. 

When the pollen is spread by any means such as water or the wind, the new plant does produce. Most importantly, it could prevent the native and the endemic plant species from extinction by the pollination process, primarily the variety of the wild plant species. 

Most of the butterflies prefer wildflowers having flat faces grown in the clusters. The change in land use has resulted in the honey bee colony disappearing. In devoid of the bees from the mother planet, the humans would thrive just for four years. The case may hold even from the butterflies. 

5. Ants (assures healthy soil) 

Ants | Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons

Ants, the tiny creatures of the Earth, have a tremendous contribution to the soil. The large colony of the ants aerates the soil, thereby digging the tunnels, and the nutrients are recycled. It assures productive and healthy soil that promotes plant species’ proper growth and development. 

Healthy soil does not require the massive use of harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides. It does save the cost of sparing the pesticides at larger farms and ensures a better agricultural yield. 

6. Sharks (mitigates disease)

Important animals Sharks | Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons

We must thank the shark that preys upon the sick and the weak animals. It restricts from spreading the diseases from one animal to another animal and inhibits the endemic disease all across the globe. 

The shark is the leadest predator in the food web. Its absence contributes to the increasing population to whom it preys, the lower consumer, leading to the coral reefs and other biomass devastation. It is the one that protects our natural coral reef ecosystem for the long term.

7. Elephants (source of water)

Elephants family
Elephants family | Image Credit – Flickr

The elephant, giant wildlife, has pivotal significance during the drought’s challenging times. During drought, elephants dig up the dried wetlands using their large trunks, watering the holes for themselves and other wildlife species. 

The other wildlife and birds could quench their great thirst when the elephants dug the water sources. It can eradicate the pervasive issue concerning water resources. Additionally, it contributes widely to the planning of the water resources digging locations in protected areas such as national parks and conservation areas. 

The elephant’s role in seed dispersal is also always considered vital. For instance, the animals consuming plants’ fecal scat (dung) entails the undigested plant parts. It assists in the seed dispersal at various locations, thereby releasing the dung. 

8. Fishes (source of the carbon storage)

Fishes | Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons

Fish is a cold-blooded vertebrate with several nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and abundant protein sources. 

The fish feces (poops) are the most reliable mechanism to stop the carbon for a prolonged period. Unbelievably, it can store and lock the carbon for 600 years. 

Let us take the other example of the parrot fish, the coral reef supporter. It extensively contributes to maintaining the coral reef environment since it consumes and decreases the macroalgae population, thereby inhibiting its growth. Once the macroalgae are removed, it permits the coral reef’s ecosystem to run its cycle utterly. 

Over the years, the fish have been undergoing threats resulting from overfishing. The lack of fish and its feces is decreasing day by day. Since the fish poop stores carbon heavily, there is less chance of emitting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which primarily contributes to releasing less greenhouse gas emissions and tackling climate change. 

9. Sea lions and seals (make us understand climate change impacts)

Sea lion
Sea lion | Image Credit – Flickr

Increasing the water temperature at an alarming rate has made the sea lions and the seals difficult to prey on. Since the mother has to go far distances to prey, they leave the sea lion’s offspring on the beach, and because of lack of care and support, they get sick. 

Due to the algal blooms, sea lions and other sea and ocean animals get sick. If the sickness lasts longer, the sea lion can undergo permanent brain damage and even death. All the climate change impacts suffered by the marine creatures make us understand how the climate change crisis exists, making these endangered species suffer for a prolonged period. 

10. Rats (landmines detection)

Rats | Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons

Most African giant pouched rats are trained to sniff out the landmines when it comes to the rats. They could alert the handler and the owner to deactivate the mines, reducing and controlling casualties. For instance: the name familiar with the term Magawa in Cambodia (bred in Tanzania) detected 71 landmines and 38 items of unexploded ordnance within a four-year interval. 

Thanks to the success stories of investigating team who uses the rats and can prevent the casualties from land mining. Considering such activities, the rats have saved humans and the overall environment from a likely disaster event to happen sooner.

11. Squirrels (seed dispersion)

Squirrels | Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons

The primary source of energy for the squirrels from trees. As central gardeners, squirrels deposit various seeds each year and bury them in the soil. Since the squirrel forgets where it digs the seeds, it sows the new trees and supports forest regeneration. It assures the forest expansion contributes to the species diversity, maintaining the species composition and, of course, the greenery. 

12. Dogs (research and rescue activities) 

Dogs | Image Credit – Flickr

We frequently use the dogs when there is a need for rescue operations. Your loyal friend, the wild dog, is given training and has been used dramatically in suspicious events. Since they have an excellent smelling sense, it is used for animal or other extensive research activities.

13. Llamas (Important animals for Farm patrol)

Llamas | Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons

Most of the farm’s owners keep this animal as its excellent guardians. When you hail a llama in a sheep flock, it can provide massive protection from stray dogs and coyotes roaming around them. 

Besides this, there is less chance of trapping the other animals when it safeguards the animals. Because of the perfect bonding of the sheep with the llamas, sheep feel very secure and spare their time freely outside since llamas are there to protect against several predators. 

Some animals do possess aggressive behavior, while some of them are endearing with the unique diversity of the wildlife, their ecologies, life histories, evolution, and their behaviors. Whatever their behavior, each wildlife species is vital in serving the mother planet-saving human life. 

(Last Updated on July 10, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Kalpana Ghimire holds a post-graduate degree in Environmental Science from Nepal. She possesses numerous research experiences working in water pollution, community forestry, environment conservation status, and wildlife ecology. She was an internee in the Department of Environment (EIA monitoring and auditing section) under the Government of Nepal. Kalpana Ghimire is an avid traveler, an enthusiastic wildlife researcher, and has a huge passion for working in the environment sector. She loves far traveling to the natural areas, conducting field wildlife research and reading the novels.