jing du

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why do we have to protect some species from extinction?

some species can't adjust themselves to the world.they will extinct naturally.so the question is why we hunman being have to interrupt that ?

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    Aug 18 2012: One species can affect the entire ecosystem and the whole food chain. Though they naturally would die out, it would also affect how we live in general too.

    If you kill the wolves, there will be an overpopulation of deer. Overpopulation of deer could lead to overgrazing of grass or whatever plants they eat, and overgrazing of grass could lead to mass extinction of some plants that other animals would need.

    If you kill some animals on the lower end of the food chain, then the ones who feed off of them will become endangered, the ones who feed off those predators may become endangered, and eventually us humans, who are at the top of the food chain, would need to deal with many changes.

    The ecosystem is one gigantic system of dependencies of one another, and we are heavily dependent on the ecosystem ourselves.
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      Aug 18 2012: however species have been keeping dying out in every period.if one specy is really so important for our ecosystem ?
  • Aug 21 2012: WE DO NOT KNOW. This should cause us to be very careful and very cautious.

    We do not know which species WE currently depend on.

    We do not know which species we WILL depend on in the future.

    We do not know which species could , potentially, be extremely valuable to us in the future.

    We do not know what species are out there. Biologists guestimate that there could be a trillion unknown species.

    We do not know how species relate to each other and depend on each other.

    Of all there is to know about life on this planet, we actually know next to nothing. Instead of taking the cautious path we have used the magnificence of our ignorance as a justification to pillage our planet.

    Perhaps, in the not extremely distant future, one of the last books written will meticulously trace our coming extinction back to our carelessly allowing some species of bacteria to go the way of the dodo bird. The authors will be so proud of their accomplishment.
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      Aug 21 2012: Let's hope we don't lose some vital bacteria or fungus because we spend all our time trying to save big furry cute animals. The great irony of most conservation efforts is the tendency to concentrate on animals that are a long way down their food chain when the simple producers and their symbiotes are what holds the whole thing up.
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    Aug 20 2012: We don't have to... But, it's kinda nice, if we can. Theoretically they could have some toxin, or antibody we could use, or be a food sorce for another animal we care more about, but even if not, seems like a better use of a persons money than plenty of the other stuff we do.
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    Gail .

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    Aug 18 2012: Because we really are inter-dependent. If you were to kill off insects, life on earth would end in 50 years. If you were to kill of humans, life on earth would prosper within 50 years.

    If animals cannot adapt to the natural world, then that's just the way of nature. But if we take away natural habitats that deny species the right to survive, we are playing with fire and our own lives may be in danger.
  • Aug 18 2012: Most of the species that are going extinct today are because of humans. This is NOT natural extinction! If human are allowed enough time, most everything will be extinct. But given the power of Mother Nature, I have a feeling humans are going to know what it is like to be on the short end of the stick. And to use your phrase: So why should we interrupt that?
    They are just humans after all & don't deserve any special treatment.
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      Aug 20 2012: :" Most of the species that are going extinct today are because of humans"
      Do you have any numbers? Or is this based on your personal impression?
      Hundreds of species go extinct every day, and have done for millenia whether we are presant or not. We are yet to even catalogue the vast majority of species in Earth.
  • Aug 30 2012: This is a great conversation Jing Du.
    I think we feel guilty of what we have done to our planet and to ouself.
    Some species are not dying naturally, they are dying because we change their environments.
  • Aug 19 2012: We are life, other animals are life. I guess we could just accept the losses, but life is diminished when diversity is lost. Do we want our children to grow up in a world with only concrete, microorganisms and people in it?

    It's not like only a few species are being lost either, there is growing consensus pointing to us being the driver of a major extinction event.
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    Aug 18 2012: We don't have to, yet we better choose to.
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    Aug 18 2012: An ecosystem is just a system, not a ballance. People are confused about this, often. There is no natural harmony, that just doesn't make any sense.
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      Aug 19 2012: Kinda depends how people define "natural harmony"
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        Aug 19 2012: Some people believe human beings are an evil species. They believe other oragnisms are living in a sustainable way, having low impact on their environment. And why shouldn't they, if they've learned biology from watching cartoons.
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          Aug 19 2012: Some animals haven't evolved since forever because they've found their "perfect" form to sustain their own life. For example, crocodiles and cockroaches. These animals have not changed much at all since dinosaur time.

          In natural selection, each animal has their own unique way of surviving, humans included. Humans have not been given more strength and gaping jaws, we have arms with opposable thumbs and we have a better intelligence. This, imo, is how we became an advanced civilization.

          So, my view is that an ecosystem is indeed a system and there are forces in the system that try to maintain "natural balance". And if you define "evil" to be detrimental-ness to the environment and ecosystem, then yes humans have definitely been "evil" in general.
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        Aug 19 2012: " there are forces in the system that try to maintain "natural balance""

        The only force I know about is gene selection. Every gene-carrying thing on this planet is trying to screw with the so-called ballance, except some humans. Co-evolution of herbivores and canivores make it appear as though they live in harmony. But that's only because loosers were quickly wiped out. And in fact, the story of life, if you believe in evolution, is all about imballance.
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          Aug 19 2012: Balance, imbalance, there will be some equilibrium state that a system will try to achieve, through some analogous system of supply and demand.
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        Aug 19 2012: The equilibrium you speak of is in fact a race. I don't see what you mean with "supply and demand". Please expalin a little.
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          Aug 20 2012: So take a sea turtle for example. Each sea turtle lays like hundreds of eggs on a beach. But why so many? Because there is a demand for trying to survive the numerous predators out to eat those eggs and baby sea turtles. And thus the supply would be the response of how they meet that demand, which is to lay a crap ton of eggs, and hope that a few survive to carry on the legacy. And there's that "equilibrium" state, where if there were significantly less predators to kill the eggs/baby turtles, there would be a huge surplus in sea turtles.

          Then take a giraffe for example. There is a demand where they want to eat food from tall trees. So how do they respond to that demand, they got long necks and legs. If there weren't any tall trees, there probably wouldn't be any giraffes with super long necks.
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        Aug 20 2012: So why only a hundred eggs? Why not a million?
        It's not that the turtle is laying "just what it needs". That's my point ; It's laying everything it can afford. Turtles are actively trying to take over the world. But so is everything else. Thus the imballance.
        Inevitably some species win the race, temporarily, and others disapear.
        Every eco system is such an imballanced race. I don't see how there could be ballance, at any point, simply because going for ballance is a death trap in a world that ignores rules .
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          Aug 20 2012: well what you're referring to as imbalance sounds a lot like what I'm referring to as "balance" lol. Because so many forces try to go against each other, the result is that equilibrium state.

          imbalance or balance, by our definitions they sound the same to me.
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          Aug 20 2012: And in regards to turtles trying to lay a million, I think eventually it can. If there are more predators than usual, then it would require sea turtles to lay even more eggs. So the ones who couldn't lay enough would die out, while the ones who layed a little more than usual get their genes passed on. Then eventually if there are any survivors at all, the sea turtle would eventually lay millions of eggs. Or, they could all just go extinct.
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    Aug 18 2012: however species have been keeping dying out in every period.if one specy is really so important for our ecosystem ?
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      Aug 18 2012: You could argue that mosquitoes are one species we can do without lol

      But there are a ton of species out there that are crucial to even our own survival, or else we would go through some dark times like our economy would plummet because of increase in prices of food because of scarcity in supply of food. Or perhaps the quality of the food we have becomes affected and may even cause new health issues. Or more people become hungry which could lead to increase in violence and revolt, etc.