Defenders of Wildlife

Keeping all of the Parts

Keeping all of the Parts
Keeping all of the Parts

Keeping all of the Parts

I don't consider the conservation of wildlife as simply an "environmental" issue. In protecting other species and their habitats, we ensure our own survival and a healthy, stable, livable world over the long term. As the famous conservationist Aldo Leopold once said, "the first rule in intelligent tinkering is to keep all of the parts." The number one cause of extinction is habitat loss. This loss of habitat affects more than just wildlife species, it affects water quality, air quality, climate -- it affects our environmental support system in general. Many forms of wildlife, including many amphibian species for example, can be thought of as the canary in the coal mine. When they disappear, it usually means we've had a negative impact on our own environmental support system. Contrary to "popular" belief, wildlife conservation is NOT bad for the economy. Instead, by conserving wildlife and their habitats, we maintain clean air, clean water, a stable climate, and other "green services." Environmental degradation often occurs in an insidious manner, such that the majority of the population is unable to see the connections between this degradation and their own quality of life. But someone must pay the price. There is no such thing as a free lunch. The more we destroy habitat and pollute our environment, the more costs are incurred, both economically and in terms of human health. And as we continue down this path of environmental degradation, we leave an environmental deficit and a diminished quality of life for future generations. Wildlife conservation is about so much more than conserving individual wildlife species -- it's about our future!

 

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