General Question

rooeytoo's avatar

How do you feel about endangered species?

Asked by rooeytoo (26961points) April 6th, 2009

Over the history of the earth, many species of animals have disappeared through no fault of humans, for example the dinosaurs. Survival of the fittest is usually the test that determines existence. In view of this why do humans now try to intervene whenever a species becomes endangered. Perhaps it is simply the law of nature interceding.

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55 Answers

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

one word. evolution.

Randy's avatar

Humans cause a lot of problems to some of these endangered species so it helps some sleep at night to try to help. At least that’s my guess. I really don’t have much of an opinion on this as I kinda stratle the fence on this subject.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

There are many of these animals that are becoming extinct because of human actions… for example gopher tortoises are at risk because of roads and highways, thus making it more difficult for them to travel to find a mate and breed because so many are ran over.

VzzBzz's avatar

I want to live.

benjaminlevi's avatar

Considering we are living during a mass extinction I think we should save whatever we can.

crisw's avatar

The current rate of extinction is hundreds of times greater than it has ever been. Very few cases of endangerment are due to non-human-related processes. We are the ones screwing it up; we have the reponsibility to fix it.

elijah's avatar

Man interferes with nature’s processes. The animals shouldn’t suffer for man’s greed.

Mtl_zack's avatar

There are so many confounding variables besides human interaction with nature. Why is it up to humans to save the toads? Why is it the human’s fault? There are many other variables that have nothing to do with human action.

asmonet's avatar

Survival of the fittest is a gross oversimplification.

Species now are disappearing at a rate unlike any other point in history and that will severely alter the global ecosystem. That’s not good.

And it is because of us.

Pol_is_aware's avatar

Nature puts the grass on the field; humans play football.

crisw's avatar


“Why is it up to humans to save the toads? Why is it the human’s fault? ”

Because, in almost all cases, it can be shown that it is the humans’ fault.

asmonet's avatar

Blaming it on evolution or nature alone shows ignorance of the subject. It really does.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@A_Beaverhausen is it evolution when humans are the ones wiping out thousands of species?

asmonet's avatar

More like epic pest control.

Some cows need to try that crap on us if you ask me.

Kelly27's avatar

I know that it is a natural process and evolution does happen but there is a part of me that says that we as humans have the capabilities and I think we should try to prevent some of these species from going extinct. Not all but some of the cause can be related to humans and I think we should do what we can to prevent the extinction of as many animals as we can.

Pol_is_aware's avatar

The sole reason we should step in to help the survival of any species is because we can.

WifeOfBath's avatar

We should do everything in our power to preserve endangered species for future generations.

We have occupied and fenced in many vegetations and also brought in many alien species that have changed the natural environment.

It is our duty to preserve what generations before us killed to near extinction.

I want to see what my forefathers saw many centuries ago, because walking in nature is soul soothing and watching wild animals are delightful and beautiful.

ohmyword's avatar

In a word: sad. In another word: inevitable. It is definitely evolution at work. Even if it is human impacted evolution. If it’s meant to be, it will be.

Deathcabforhottie's avatar

I think it’s humans feeling guilty that’s why we try to save them. Even though we are comparible to a metor or ice age we are doing our part in natural selection. Which it is because humans are part of nature. Other animals will drive each to extinction not just humans.

ru2bz46's avatar

I like my meat rare.

buster's avatar

I like my panda steak rare.

simonPARASITE's avatar

i think we should put effort in to trying to help endangered species as in most cases they are endagered due to our greed.

MissAusten's avatar

One thing no one has mentioned, is that when one species becomes extinct, other species are impacted as well. Humans aren’t exempt from feeling the effects of extinctions. If we were to go around wiping things out without a care in the world, eventually we’d find ourselves struggling.

There’s more to it than humans feeling guilty. It’s humans being responsible. It doesn’t take a huge leap of understanding to see the connection between loss of habitat, declining numbers of predators, and increasing numbers of prey animals. Being responsible now to reduce the impact of humans means we’re passing on fewer problems to our children and grandchildren.

Qingu's avatar

Evolution should not be a guide for how to act morally. It’s very strange indeed that so many conservatives seem to think that it is.

Yes, mass extinctions have happened in the past, without human actions. I don’t really see how the oxygen holocaust or the late-Cretaceous meteor somehow justify our current behavior, with similar results. The whole point of being human is that we are supposed to be enlightened enough to escape the vicious cycles and suffering of the natural world, not to imitate it.

syz's avatar

Natural attrition is one thing – extinction as a result of our prolific over-breeding and exorbitant natural resource squandering is another.

LostInParadise's avatar

The extinction rate is really high and it is mostly due to us. So why be concerned? Let’s ignore the potential medicinal loss and let’s suppose that our species will be able to survive the loss of species diversity. Each species is a fellow dweller on the planet and makes life richer and more interesting. It is a shame that most people are unfamiliar with the plants and animals that can still be found in forests and meadows. Near where I live is a 100 acre fenced-in wildflower preserve that this season experiences an explosion of flower growth.

Isn’t ironic that we search for extra-terrestrial life while exterminating it on a grand scale at home?

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

@uberbatman sure, why not? a meteor exhausted EVERYTHING here billions of years ago. survival of the fittest, evolve or die. thats the way its been since the begining of time. i agree with protecting the diversity of our planet, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s just the cycle of life on Earth.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@A_Beaverhausen your ignorance bothers me…..

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

im just looking at the bigger picture.

Qingu's avatar

@A_Beaverhausen, what’s your opinion of rape, torture, and genocide? Those also occur in nature with abundance.

Are you saying that humans should just “look at the bigger picture,” realize we’re part of the “grand scheme of things” and act as selfishly and ignorantly as the rest of biological life?

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

whoa, what? why are we playing the rape card?

im simply saying, someday we are not only going to destroy every species on this planet, but we are going to destroy ourselves. the earth will go on, it always has, and will create all new diverse life. EVOLUTION.

get with it.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@A_Beaverhausen I guess you really dont understand how much all life depends on each everything. You realize the extinction of one species usually leads to others following suit in a domino effect right? Humans are destroying this world. All the diverse life that evolution has yielded is being raped by humans. (oh shit i played a rape card too!) So what if we kill off a few species here and there. Heres a quick example due to humans there have been areas where there are huge die off of sea urchins. Sea urchins diet consists of algae, an A LOT of it. Now with sea urchins out of the picture, algae growth rate runs rampant and the whole coral reef is taken over by algaes and killed off. But your right, life goes on. Who cares.

rooeytoo's avatar

@uberbatman – all that is true, but how do you stop civilization from encroaching onto the animals domain? Florida used to be all swamps, as was the Carolina coasts, now full of houses and people, wildlife displaced. Do you think all building in places where wildlife inhabit should be curtailed? Orangutans in Asia, dying out because humans are moving in, who is going to tell the people searching for a better life that they can’t move because of an animal.

I really agree that it is a disaster that animals are becoming endangered, I just don’t know how it can be stopped unless the human population diminishes.

There is a joke that the only difference between a conservationist and a real estate developer is that the conservationist already has his house on the beach. I don’t know the answer and so many people speak in idealistic terms instead of offering concrete solutions. The town where I live no longer uses plastic bags, now you have to buy a paper bag for 15 cents or bring your own reusable bag, a good idea but what about the trees cut down to make the paper bags. There is never a simple answer.

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

“but we are going to destroy ourselves.”

El_Cadejo's avatar

@rooeytoo Yes, i do believe humans should stop encroaching on animal domain, but more than that, i think we should strive to stop polluting like we do. Why cant we coexist? There is absolutely no justifiable reason for the pacific garbage patch. Thats not due to there being too many humans. Thats due to humans who dont care. I really suggest you pick up a copy of cradle to cradle it can explain much better than i ever could how we can change(not cut back, but change) our way of living so that it is much more environmentally friendly. (even the book isnt made out of paper just to prove the point theres other ways to do things than we’ve been doing all these years.)

@A_Beaverhausen so because we are going to destroy ourselves in the end it makes it ok to take thousands if not millions of species with us?

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

i never said it was OK. this is just whats going to happen. shit, its already happening.
are you guys even reading what im writing?

El_Cadejo's avatar

@A_Beaverhausen so just because its happened and is happening you dont think we should do anything over our lifetime to try to combat that?

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

too late. damage done. we can slow it down, but our fate has been sealed. im sorry to break it to you.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@A_Beaverhausen you have no clue what your talking about here…..

sorry to break it to you.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@A_Beaverhausen your pretty much saying that because we’ve been going about something the wrong way for all this time, and now we realize its wrong we should just stick with it. Not try and change and fix the planet.
Watch this video and then tell me theres nothing we should be doing.

rooeytoo's avatar

There is another question going on at the moment asking what “you” are doing to reduce your footprint on the earth. I think a lot of people talk a good fight, but they are still taking their food home from the supermarket in disposable bags, be they plastic or paper, and the food itself is packaged in plastic wraps and on plastic trays. They are still buying all sorts of products packaged in plastic whatever because it is convenient. Frozen veg in plastic bag, eat healthy right! Meat, fish, on plastic trays in plastic wrap or cans. People have to stop talking the talk and start walking the walk.

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

DID I EVER SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THAT? you are making an argument with yourself. i never said ‘business as usual’. im all about conservation. I RECYCLE! im just telling you whatS going on. argue with someone else. im over YOUR IGNORANCE.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@A_Beaverhausen saying that species being killed of by humans is just evolution is showing an ignorance….

Qingu's avatar

@A_Beaverhausen, human beings are unique. We are the only species in the entire history of Earth to develop technology and sophisticated culture. We are self-aware in a way that no other species has ever been. The fact that so many of us realize what is happening and want to stop it means that we can stop it.

I don’t really see what the point of your fatalism is. And I really, really hope you’re not using fatalism to justify your own personal laziness and apathy.

ru2bz46's avatar

@uberbatman Yes, as @A_Beaverhausen has been saying, the damage is done. It doesn’t matter that we are trying to preserve certain species. We can try to preserve all species, but it still won’t matter. It’s reached a point where there is really no actual nature left. (OK, maybe some pockets) We see that a species is going extinct, so we try to save it. Meanwhile, another species is going extinct, but to save one, we have to let the other die off. Is nature running the show, or are we?

Many years ago, we had our chance to stop and let nature take its own course again, but we didn’t realize that we were messing it up so bad, so we kept going. We have spread so far and wide that we have a hand in whatever lives and dies from now on. In a way, we are now the gods of nature. We can’t save everything, nor do we want to. Nature is trying its hardest to fight back at us, but we keep interfering. Nature is going to keep using survival of the fittest to keep the most fit species around, and we can’t stop that. If we just let it be, then we won’t have any more pandas, tiger salamanders, fairy shrimp, etc., but we will have beavers, wolves, and caribou. Guess what? We will also have a crapload of new species yet to evolve.

Maybe we won’t be here either, but so what? If it’s our fault, then maybe that’s for the better. At least we can’t mess it up anymore. There have been numerous mass die-offs in the past, and life always comes back. We may wipe out the current system, including ourselves, but aren’t going to destroy the world. The earth is a big boy and can take care of itself. We’re just a bad case of fleas, and we’ll clear up eventually.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@ru2bz46 so accept defeat and let nature run its course? Dont change the way we do anything? Dont try and have a greener approach to problems? Fuck it damage has been done, why change our ways now…...

ru2bz46's avatar

As for “so accept defeat and let nature run its course?”, yes.

As for “Dont change the way we do anything? Dont try and have a greener approach to problems? Fuck it damage has been done, why change our ways now…”, no.

I, too, am a conservationist. I make as small a footprint as I can because it is the right thing to do. When I hike or camp, I pick up trash and leave the place cleaner than when I found it. I recycle everything. I keep a compost bin under my desk at work. I avoid stepping on insects when I walk. I pick up worms and place them back in the soil so nobody else steps on them. I raise my own animals for food, or I hunt the plentiful ones, so I don’t contribute to mass farming. I buy energy-efficient and/or water-efficient appliances. I reuse bottles, bags, and cans when possible. I installed an on-demand tankless water heater at one of my houses and a solar water heater at the other.

I do all these things because it is the right thing to do. Is it going to change the fact that humans have spread over so much of the land and destroyed so much animal habitat that no “real” nature is left? No. Is it going to stop any species from going extinct? Not likely. I am just saying that we have already lost the game. It’s time to simply live responsibly and stop trying to save the world all the time. It will go on, with or without us.

Qingu's avatar

There are actually quite a few bits of wilderness left, actually. You guys should watch Planet Earth.

LostInParadise's avatar

I do not understand the defeatism some have expressed. Certainly much damage has been done, but it is continuing and it can be stopped.

The base of any ecosystem is plant life. A good start toward saving wildlife is to work with native plants, which are being threatened by alien species. This works its way up the whole food chain, because alien species are frequently not consumed by herbivores. Now suppose that home gardeners started planting native species. If done on a large enough scale it could help these plants from going extinct.

This is just one example. We are running out of fossil fuels and when the current economic crisis ends people may find that they have to scale back their activities. That means less travel, which in turn increases interest in the local environment. People may start smelling the roses and wishing for more wilderness areas. Is this definitely going to happen? I would not dismiss the possibility of it.

ru2bz46's avatar

@Qingu Yes, I allowed that there are some pockets left. However, on the whole, we are the ones who say what lives and what dies because we just won’t leave it alone.

ru2bz46's avatar

@LostInParadise It is not a defeatist attitude to suggest that if we stop playing God, nature will take care of itself. We don’t need to put cages around a small area of grass to keep it from going extinct; we need to stop taking bears from one are and moving them to another. We need to use less resources and use them in a more responsible manner.

Qingu's avatar

@ru2bz46, our control over nature is not a new development. The development of agriculture thousands of years ago destroyed much of Earth’s wildnerness.

My view is, we’ve had this power for a long time, and it’s high time to use the power responsibly. The only thing preventing that is lack of will and a few morons who still believe it’s okay to destroy all of nature for our own short-term benefit.

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