Lets first start from a governmental stand point at least my home country the USA input on the subject. By the way I'm very interested from any readers what your country has established and please share in the comments below!
In 1973 the United States Congress addressed some of these questions in the preamble to the Endangered Species Act of 1973, recognizing that endangered species of fish, wildlife and plants “are esthetic, ecological, educational, historical, recreational, and scientific value to the nation and it's people.”
Well there's enough covered there to convince me :) yet some of you I assume want more.... right?
First, while extinctions do occur naturally scientific evidence strongly suggests that the current rate of extinction is much higher than before humans appeared on Earth. Due to modern human activity (that is you and me..plastics,oil,deforestation, self loathing consumersim, etc..) this rate may multiply by 10 times over the next hundred years! Wow wow wow
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed.”
The #1 cause is “habitat destruction” hmmmm therefore you mean by more and more humans (8.5 Billion and counting in 1929 estimated 1.6 Billion on Earth) more houses, bigger houses, more consumption of non renewable resources for example. As well as introduction of (non-native) organisms again driven by Humans.
Fortunately, the US congress further stated its intent to provide a mechanism to protect and conserve the ecosystems upon which all species and especially endangered species depend in order to prevent their extinction.
Conservation actions CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Actions from the above act have help prevent 99% of species listed as endangered or threatened from extinction. Yet, before the pilgrims 100 species disappeared after in only 300 years over 500 and 38 million acres of rain forest are vanishing each year! Countless species going with the land.
Ok you've gotten my point now why save them??
SO WHY SAVE THEM?
NO CREATURE EXISTS in ISOLATION
Do you believe in the “Butterfly Effect” currently maybe we should call it the “Bee Effect” as the bee decline has been well documented and the terrible affects it is having on our food stuff, wildlife, plants and overall natures health. An epidemic it's been classified. So knowing we humans as well as all animal species live in a delicately balanced network called a biosphere. The interrelationships are everywhere and it trickles all the way up to humans.
Asian countries aka Eastern Medicine has used nature for thousands of years.
The use of Fungus has dramatically increased the success of organ transplant operations.
Pacific Yew a small tree from Americas old growth forest has been used as effective treatment for ovarian, breast, and other types of cancer.
Insects, other animals and plants containing natural toxic compounds are all used are used as natural repellents of harmful pests to crops. Much more safe, effective and less expensive than synthetic chemicals.
Many native species are uniquely valuable as indicators of environmental quality.
Example the rapid decline in bald eagles and peregrine falcons was a wake call of the dangers of DDT( a once widely used pesticide that accumulated in human and animal body tissue).
LAST- WHAT ABOUT THE POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL AFFECT OF NATURE and WILDLIFE on HUMAN HEALTH? Tremendous research shows humans interaction with nature is massively positive for mental and emotional health. What if Earth turned into nothing more than a concrete jungle I believe this would be the end of man.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
HOW CAN YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Educate yourself on the endangered species issues.
Join a conservation group locally
Find and join an organization(s) around the world and their email lists such as:
http://rockymountainwild.org/cesw Colorado Endangered Species Week May 13-19
note: many organizations will email out petitions that need signatures this is huge way to Make a Difference from your butt! Until you can get out into the field if you want.
I'm hoping this short post inspires you to take one to several of these actions listed knowing there are many more you can take.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE EVERY ACTION YOU TAKE OR DON”T has a
BUTTERFLY AFFECT(Bee Affect)
Explore On/ Make a Difference
Scott W Poindexter
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service- Brochure
Division of Endangered Species
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Rm 452
Arlington, VA 22203