Whether should people prevent a species from being extinct or not seems not a controversial topic. Nowadays, a lot of people will agree on protecting endangered species. However, most people still have some questions. Why should people prevent a species from extinction? Is it Important? What can humans get from protecting rare species? We can answer these questions from three aspects. People should prevent a species from extinction because humans have the responsibility to protecting endangered species, species diversity is important for human beings, and rare species have potential value.
Species are endangered because of human activities. Humans destroy creatures’ habitats, threaten living species by hunting and harvesting, and cause the sixth mass extinction. Humans’ footprints are found everywhere in the earth. People make other species no place to live. Janet Larsen says, “Humans have transformed nearly half of the planet’s ice-free land areas, with serious effects on the rest of nature. We have made agricultural fields out of prairies and forests. We have dammed rivers and drained wetlands. We have paved over soil to build cities and roads(par. 10). Prairies, forests, and wetlands are other species’ habitats. human beings have occupied all of these places. The land of the earth is limited. Species are endangered because no place for them to live. In addition, according to Janet Larsen, there are over one-third of the listed birds and mammals are in danger of extinction because of hunting and harvesting by humans(par. 13).
Humans use weapons and tools to kill other creatures for food supply, construction, or even just for fun. Hunting and Harvesting, these humans’ common activities lead to a serious problem. Moreover, humans are experiencing the sixth great extinction. Janet Larsen emphasize that now the extinction rate on average is almost 10,000 times faster than the regular rate over the past 60 million years. There are 5500 animal species are known to be threatened with being extinct(par.5). This is the first time that a mass extinction is caused by a single species. human beings are the ones should be blamed. humans activities ruin other species habitats; humans hunt and harvest other species too much. human beings have to take responsibility for their activities. In other word, people have to protect endangered species.
The extinction of species will lead to losing biological diversity, however, biodiversity is important for human beings. A healthy ecosystem support human with a lot of services. Harrison Ford, a longtime Conservation International board member, indicates that creatures not only supply food and medicine for humans but also help people to make air and water clean, and make the earth alive (qtd. in Julie Majeres par. 8). people need a healthy ecosystem to provide a environment to live.
It is impossible for humans to be bystanders to waiting a ecosystem lose its biodiversity. On the other hand, losing biological diversity will make ecosystem become fragile. Ecosystem is complicated, but is also easily broken. Janet Larsen says, “When ecosystems lose biological richness, they also lose resilience, becoming more susceptible to the effect of climate change, invasions of alien species, and other disturbances”(par. 15). If people do not prevent species from being extinct, as the current rate of extinction the ecosystem will become more fragile very quickly. people cannot wait the day when ecosystems have lost biological richness because people cannot live in that extreme condition either. Human beings should protect species diversity now.
Preventing a species from extinction is not only a duty but also a beneficial thing because rare species always have some potential value. Such as the value of medicines and the value of science. For example, According to International Wildlife, An endangered small flowering plant, rosy periwinkle, which native to the island of Madagascar off the east coast of Africa, consist of a lot of medicine. Scientists have found over 70 medical valuable chemicals. containing effective drugs for fighting childhood leukemia and Hodgkin’s disease (“Rosy Periwinkle Points Up Value Of Rare Plants.” par. 1). Rosy periwinkle is only a representative.
The medical value of creatures is huge. What people have already known is only the tip of the iceberg. human beings should not lose the opportunity of getting benefits from species because of extinction of them. Also, rare species value of science is obvious. some subjects are directly relevant to endangered species, such as zoology, botany, and genetics. for these subject, losing species means reducing research area permanently. For the development of science, people need to protecting species from extinction.
To sum up, in order to taking the responsibility of destruction of habitats, for the benefits of biodiversity, and for getting the potential value from endangered species, people should prevent a species from being extinct. It is not too late to start protecting rare species. people have the power to make a change. Janet Larsen say, “While this may be the first time in history that a single species can precipitate a mass extinction event, it is also the only time that a single species can act to prevent it”(par. 16).
Larsen, Janet. “The Sixth Great Extinction: A Status Report.” Humanist 64.6 (2004): 6. MAS Ultra – School Edition. Web. 18 Mar. 2012. Majeres, Julie. “The Politics Of Biodiversity.” World & I 17.12 (2002): 54. MAS Ultra – School Edition. Web. 18 Mar. 2012. “Periwinkle Points Up Value Of Rare Plants.” International Wildlife 30.2 (2000): 9. MAS Ultra – School Edition. Web. 18 Mar. 2012.