Biology Forum Community General Discussion Why bother conserving species?

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    • #10721

      Just to pass a little time while revising, i thought i’d find out what people’s view are on why we should conserve the environment – species diversity really.

      I suppose the obvious ones are because some species are beautiful / interesting – but what about ugly ones?!? 😕
      Or maybe because they all have their role in a healthy environment – but humans have changed the environment so much that if a few ecosystems disappear, what difference does it make to us? we can adapt….
      Most conservation is just delaying the inevitable anyway – why bother?

      (btw i’m just interested in opinions, i think conservation is great!!!)

    • #88382

      How do you define what species are beautiful and which ones are ugly? Sounds awfully prejudiced to me.

    • #88390

      i completely agree – someone has to decide which species to prioritise so won’t decisions always be biased?

      Take the Red List – there is loads of data on big ‘charasmatic’ species, birds, etc, but comparatively little on insects (unless i’ve got that wrong?)- so some species are conserved just because we’re more interested in them. Doesn’t seem fair to me!

    • #88393

      It could also be that smaller species are better at hiding from observation and so are much harder to tell exactly how threatened they are. Unless I’m mistaken, I think the Red List is supposed to be based on a species’ likelihood of going extinct, and how popular that species is with humans shouldn’t affect that. Of course, practice is never the same as principle, so maybe some bias does leak through.

    • #88402

      It might be interesting to note that many key species are just plain rude ugly. Many animal species the we humans would consider nice to look at are less important in the scheme of things. Brightly colored animals and flowers that many may think are attractive are often deadly to eat.
      Conservation of lifeforms is a simple concept.
      The planet needs eaters and the eaten. Planters and the pollinators. The weeders, and the meaters. The airborne and the treeborne. The bio composers and the decomposers. The CO2 scrubbers and the O2 suckers. Needless to say, the list goes on 🙂

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