Why Should We Conserve Species
A question that comes up frequently when talking about conservation is why. Why care about something small and insignificant to humans why waste time and resources? Shouldn’t we focus on species that are more beneficial to humans? Why not use our natural resources so that humans receive the greatest benefit, are we not just as much a part of nature as the raven in your yard. The answers to these questions are complex and each with consequences.
So why strive to save a species of mussel that is small and seems to be insignificant to humans or the stream where it’s found. Species are interdependent. Not only have species in communities evolved unique ways of avoiding predators, locating food, and capturing and handling prey, but mutualistic relationships are frequent. This is not to say that every species is essential for community function, but that there is always uncertainty about the interactions of species and about the biological consequences of an extinction. (Soule, M. 1985) So who are we to lump species in to some hierarchy of worth? It’s evident that biodiversity is a must if we want to keep a healthy environment for future generations.
One of the reasons I feel we should conserve nature and all the species we possibly can has to do with aesthetic value. You might say that something small like a snail has no aesthetic value, you would have a slight point. However, who’s to say that if the snail goes extinct that a cascade of anomalies will not unfold resulting in a stream without any life at all. If we don’t preserve the small species of a biota then surely the keystone species will suffer. Barren forest, unhealthy streams and overall poor health of the ecosystem will be a result. We have to be smart when it comes to conserving species we should do all we can but not go to the point where it is detrimental to humans in the long run.
What happens if penicillin is never found? Just think about all the species out...
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