5 February 2014
Naturally, species go extinct. It’s part of life. Species generally are born and die within a million year time scale. That million year time scale is the natural rate of extinction. However, unknown to most people, the actual time scale at which species are disappearing from the planet is actually one hundred times higher than the natural rate. Obviously, this is alarming. Species should not be dying off this quickly. However, it is our own fault that the world is losing it’s diversity at an alarming rate. Whether it be from global warming, habitat loss, or invasive species we humans play a major role in the alarming rate of extinction. But, not all species run the risks. Some are much more vulnerable to extinction than others because of where they live. You would think that the species ...view middle of the document...
The next question one might ask would be how to protect these places where rapid extinction rates are occurring. This question is hard to answer because many of the locations that need to be protected lie in third world countries that would rather use their rain forests as a source income rather than turn it into a national park. One solution is to buy all the land that needs to be protected. This, however, is very expensive and illegal logging is wide spread in some countries. Whatever the solution, people around the globe need to figure out a solution. If we do not do anything, wetlands, corals reefs, and tropical rainforests around the world will disappear and we will forever lose these fascinating places. It will take the efforts of many local governments as a whole rather than the national government. It would take many skilled local conservation officials on site to settle disputes about how to use the precious lands. However, local municipalities, especially rural ones, are short handed already. The solution, at the moment, is not clear but we are gradually working towards preserving the worlds’ most vulnerable areas.
Stuart L. Pimm and Clinton Jenkins
“Sustaining the Variety of Life”
Scientific American, Current Issues in Biology, Vol. 4, Pg. 32-39
1. How much would it cost to buy out all the endangered lands in the world?
2. Why is tropical forest soil not good for crops while temperate forest soil is good for crops?
3. How long would it take to regrow all the forests that have been cleared? And how much money and man power would be required?
4. If all legal deforestation stopped, would illegal logging still pose a threat to at risk areas?
5. It seems this problem has been going on for a long time. The debate has been happening since I was a young child. Why is there still no major solution to this problem? Is the problem really that difficult to solve?