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Old 11-28-2013, 01:15 PM
hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 451

I really can't respond to the poll, as framed. The idea of "helping" all of "wildlife" doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

For one thing, the value of a particular living thing - intrinsic or otherwise - has to be considered in relation to other values - e.g., the value of species (not the same thing!), the value of larger systems, and a rich array of cultural values, including natural heritage and the value we place on uniqueness.

I would suggest Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac - the whole thing, not just "The Upshot" - as a way of getting at this wider range of values, presented in the form of stories.

For any given kind of living things, there may be contexts in which, all things considered, it is best left alone, contexts in which it requires support from human conservation activities, and contexts in which it would best be eradicated.

I've seen documentaries of conservationists with chainsaws, cutting down trees. The trees were invasive, growing as a result of broader ecosystem disruption, and they were drying up streams needed by humans and other living things downslope.

In New Zealand, good conservation practice all but demands a continuous effort to limit or eradicate mammals - rats, stoats and possums, especially - all of which are invasive, all of which threaten endemic bird species, many of which teeter on the brink of extinction.
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