Wildlife Conservation is essential to the protection of endangered species and potentially saving humans and the ecosystem because scientists don’t know all of the affects that the extinction of certain species may have on the ecosystem and people. There is an ongoing battle between people who think that they are helpful and people that think that they aren’t doing anything. As the population of humans grows we have to expand so that we can all live comfortably. Unfortunately a lot of people believe that we as humans have the upper hand because we are the “dominant” species; this may not be true however.
Scientific studies haven’t quite figured out how the loss of one particular species could affect the ecosystem or humans for that reason. It’s not entirely known what affect, if any, animals have on humans or our natural resources. This has sparked a great debate among people. The non-consequentialist side argues that animals have just as much right to live as we do and because we don’t know what the consequences would be we should save them. While the consequentialist side argues that the human population needs to do what is best for them no matter what that means for the animals.
Animal species serve as an indicator of the health of the ecosystem. “We need to study species and their roles within ecosystems to understand their interdependencies and to predict the impacts of our actions on the environment. Species offer clues to understanding natural history and thus have historical value as records of past processes” (Paterson, 2006). This proves that animals have value to us because they help us better understand the environment. It could be said that without them we wouldn’t know as much as we do about the environment and history. That’s just one way that animals can benefit us.
Some animal species provide people with food. “It can be said that the quality of life will decline substantially with the loss of species diversity. In many developing countries, game viewing and trophy hunting generate considerable sums of money, and the aesthetic value of wildlife can thus be directly linked to an economic value” (Paterson, 2006). If the animals they were hunting became extinct, they would no longer benefit from it. However that doesn’t stop them because they need to make money and they need to provide for themselves and their families.
People depend on animals that live around them for food; without the animals the people would either die off or be forced to find a different way to survive. “Many species, including endangered ones, are expected to have agricultural, industrial, and medical benefits” (Paterson, 2006). Scientists don’t know exactly what each animal does for the ecosystem so they can’t tell us which ones would or wouldn’t benefit us if they were gone. Some animals do have known roles in the ecosystem, take the grizzly bear for example. Grizzlies keep other predators, such as cougars, coyotes and foxes at bay.
Grizzlies eat berries, flowers, grasses, sedges, herbs, tubers, and nuts of all kinds. If they did become extinct the vegetation in an area would become over populated. Because grizzlies eat vegetation they help mix the soil and help increase the nutrients. With that being said, if they were to become extinct, a lot of the areas that Grizzlies occupy wouldn’t get “farmed” and would therefore not grow as well. This could cause other animals to not be able to occupy the land either or worse it could cause other animals that were normally not there to occupy the land.
So the extinction of one species of animal could result in the endangerment or extinction or another species. Humans are actually the main cause of the endangerments of a lot of species. People hunt animals for food, their skin and tusks, and also their fat. Many species of animals are hunted in such large groups so fast that it doesn’t give them time to repopulate. This causes them to slowly become extinct and why is this? Simply because people are more concerned about the wellbeing of themselves and no one else.
The human pollution has caused pollution to animal food causing a lot of these animals to migrate to find food. This causes them to leave their homes and venture out to places that are unfamiliar to them; places where they might not be able to survive. Industrializing, and urban development have destroyed forests and habitats for animals causing them to leave and find another place to live. As humans grow and develop, we need to expand and make room for new industries and buildings so we can continue to grow and prosper.
But by doing this it has caused many species of animals to become almost extinct. This is where Wildlife Conservations come into play, there are more than 1,000 animal species endangered worldwide, luckily there are more than 3,500 protected areas in existence worldwide that protect these endangered species (Kurpis, 2002). Wildlife Conservations are a place where animals can live and not worry about people killing them or losing their homes. They can live in the “wild” like they did before people came around and started destroying everything around them.
From a non-consequentialist side, Wildlife Conservations are a great way to save the animals. Wildlife Conservations help endangered animals attempt to repopulate and changed their endangered species status. By keeping the animals from being hunted for food, fur, tusks , or whatever else people may need them for, animals can reproduce and start to grow in number again. This can potentially help the endangered species get off of the endangered species list. A non-consequentialist would say that every animal has a job to carry out in our ecosystem.
Every animal weather it’s big or small has a job to carry out and if we stop caring about the animals who knows what will happen to us in time. From a consequentialist point of view, they’d argue that they need to expand industries and housing developments so that they can grow. They don’t care that they are destroying the homes of hundreds and thousands of animals. “The primary reasons for the depletion of wildlife are the loss of habitats, poaching and indiscriminative hunting and fishing, rapid contamination of the food and water resources.
There has, at large been an expansion of the human habitation into the forest areas and other wildlife habitats that have resulted in the destruction of wildlife” (Wildlife Conservation Facts, 2012). Every time we cut down trees or every time we clear out a forest, animals are made homeless and have no where else to go. Non-consequentialists would argue that it is our duty to see that the well being of everyone is taken into consideration before we go and destroy forests and cut down trees. They would say that the animals have every right that we do to live and that we shouldn’t do anything to them that we ouldn’t want done to us. We as people should look at the big picture and see that by doing whatever we want right now we could actually affect us later. We could potentially save the lives of hundreds and thousands of animals and maybe even ourselves. Because who knows what killing off grizzlies, polar bears, wolves, or even bunnies will do to us. They may be the reason that we are still alive and they may be the reason that our ecosystem is still thriving. If we save them we may be doing ourselves a favor as well as doing them a favor. Reference Page
Paterson, B (2006). Ethics for Wildlife Conservation: Overcoming the Human-Nature Dualism.
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