Thursday, January 15, 2009

Preventing extinction

National Geographic has a good article about how preventing extinction requires protection of habitats.

Last One

In the United States as elsewhere, stopping the countdown to extinction means preserving healthy habitats—the aim of the celebrated and scorned Endangered Species Act.

The focus of the article is the US Endangered Species Act, which is aimed at protecting the habitats of endangered species, but the problems it mentions are global.

One of the things the article mentions is that the more iconic animals are easier to protect than the less "sexy" animals. Panda bears are cute, and an icon for animals close to extinction, yet there are other animals who are as close to extinction as they are, without receiving any focus whatsoever.

A thing I would have liked the article to mention, is the role of invasive species, when it comes to driving plants and animals to extinction. One way of loosing your habitat is for someone else to take it over, and while this might not be the worst problem in the US, it has had serious impact in other countries, including Australia, where imported animals such as rabbits, foxes, rats, and cats, is a huge problem.

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