In Defense of Biodiversity: Why Protecting Species from Extinction Matters

| February 21, 2018 | Leave a Comment

African elephant in Tanzania by Erika Gavenus

Item Link: Access the Resource

Media Type: News / Op - Ed

Date of Publication: February 12, 2018

Year of Publication: 2018

Publication City: New Haven, Connecticut

Publisher: Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Author(s): Carl Safina

Categories: , , ,

A number of biologists have recently made the argument that extinction is part of evolution and that saving species need not be a conservation priority. But this revisionist thinking shows a lack of understanding of evolution and an ignorance of the natural world.

Carl Safina takes a critical examination of the small, but growing, trend among segments of the conservation community that it is time to come to terms with the degradation of the natural world, that conserving for conservation’s sake has reached its expiration date, and the very troubling assertion that extinctions can be desirable for evolution and survival of the “hardiest”. In reflecting on the threats facing raptors from DDT, Safina argues, “Extinction wasn’t a cost of progress; it was an unnecessary cost of carelessness.” Safina continues to urge:

“We are each newly arrived and temporary tourists on this planet, yet we find ourselves custodians of the world for all people yet unborn. A little humility, and forbearance, might comport.”

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  • Superb. Glad you cited, and appreciatively characterized, Wallace.