Library on fire (triage?)

Doug Yanega dyanega at POP.UCR.EDU
Wed Aug 21 14:13:34 CDT 2002

Ken Kinman asked:

>Shouldn't an endangered genus or family of organisms (like Craseonycteridae)
>get more attention than endangered species within speciose genera and

I'll go you one better:

Shouldn't a habitat that contains 200 endemic species be preserved in
favor of a habitat that harbors only 2?

This focus on individual species is the main failing of our present
approach to conservation, though - admittedly - it is a corner we
allowed ourselves to get boxed into, by creating laws based
exclusively on species. Even worse, is it not the height of stupidity
that people can be allowed, under these laws, to bulldoze the habitat
of an endangered species as long as there is no *physical evidence*
that they have killed any individuals of that species in the process?

That's why I asked whether we were in a position to bring about a
change in governmental policies so habitats are afforded legal
protection - if that never happens, we'll never be able to save most
of the species that are *actually* threatened, since 99% of them are
not and never will be Listed.


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521
phone: (909) 787-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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