[Taxacom] when is a common species critically endangered?
Paul van Rijckevorsel
dipteryx at freeler.nl
Wed Jun 27 06:10:48 CDT 2012
From: "Roderic Page" <r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk>
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 11:30 AM
> Mark, it's far from naive. Surely the notion that humans are somehow
> separate from nature is laughable, especially coming from taxonomists of
> all people.
> See http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/09/mf_microbiome/ (or indeed any
> phylogeny involving primates).
Again, it depends on what is meant by "nature", also by "separate"
(and perhaps by "human").
But, yes, there is an ecosystem (of sorts) associated with the
human species, consisting not only of a quite limited number of
livestock species and food plants, but also such things as
dogs (selected for guard duties, the hunt, etc), cats (originally
selected to keep down mice and rats on farms) and herbs.
But not all species are deliberately selected. What is now
described as "urban flora" (and I presume "urban fauna")
has been selected unintentionally, as are pests (for example
mice, rats, cockroaches, etc). The number of associated
species is still growing, but represents a quite limited subset
of the whole. If things keep moving as they are (that is the
persistent efforts to generate resistant strains of germs and
diseases are unsuccesful, and the human species carries on),
it is an open question of how much of "nature" will remain
outside "the human ecosystem".
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