TED Conversations

Asha de Vos

Marine Biologist, The University of California Santa Cruz


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Why do you care about blue whales?

As a blue whale researcher, I know why I care about the state blue whales are in today. I spend hours on the water with them and have the privilege of asking and exploring numerous questions. At the same time, i cannot stop marvelling at their immense size, agility, speed and awe-inspiring grace. I know why I care but right now, I just want to know why you care. Looking forward to hearing from lots of you!


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    Nov 17 2012: I care about the existence of blue whales, but I am more concerned that we conserve species we care about by looking after the ecosystems that support them.

    I'm not aiming this at you personally (you clearly know what you're doing), but conserving any single species in isolation is nothing short of an impotent form of 'green symbolism'.

    It's pointless trying to conserve a single species if the ecosystem surrounding it has been wrecked.

    I think this is a lesson for the conservation movement generally - if a climax species is in need of conserving, then the ecosystem in which it has evolved, needs conserving first.
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      Nov 29 2012: Absolutely agree with you on this. I am really interested in animals and their behaviours but I strongly believe that if you don't understand their environment and how that impinges on the creature then there is no hope. I think that conservation has started to shift from pure 'save the animal' to the more holistic ecosystems and livelihoods approach, which I think is imperative in this world we live in. Everything is totally tied together in a single, very large web and we have to treat it as such. The former approach is way too simplistic.

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