Why bother conserving species?

Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.

Moderators: honeev, Leonid, amiradm, BioTeam

Post Reply
Treefrog
Garter
Garter
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:14 pm

Why bother conserving species?

Post by Treefrog » Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:21 pm

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!!!)

User avatar
alextemplet
King Cobra
King Cobra
Posts: 5599
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 4:50 pm
Location: South Louisiana (aka Cajun Country)
Contact:

Post by alextemplet » Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:02 pm

How do you define what species are beautiful and which ones are ugly? Sounds awfully prejudiced to me.
Generally speaking, the more people talk about "being saved," the further away they actually are from true salvation.

~Alex
#2 Total Post Count

Treefrog
Garter
Garter
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:14 pm

Re: Why bother conserving species?

Post by Treefrog » Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:57 am

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!

User avatar
alextemplet
King Cobra
King Cobra
Posts: 5599
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 4:50 pm
Location: South Louisiana (aka Cajun Country)
Contact:

Post by alextemplet » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:50 pm

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.
Generally speaking, the more people talk about "being saved," the further away they actually are from true salvation.

~Alex
#2 Total Post Count

User avatar
MichaelXY
King Cobra
King Cobra
Posts: 885
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:03 pm
Location: San Diego, Ca

Post by MichaelXY » Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:43 am

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 :)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests