You will be curious to know why we should save endangered species. Why is that all policy makers, scientists and interest citizens argue that species extinction is one of the most serious environmental problems? The importance of the need for protecting endangered species is discussed below.
- i) Value as genetic reservoir:
Plants and animals possess undiscovered or undeveloped traits, which are very important for the survival of a particular species. When all the genes of all the individual members in a given population are added together, a gene poll is created which is representative of that species. It is important to preserve all gene pools, as they might prove useful to us in future. In any case, we do not know enough about interspecies relationships and ecosystem balance and its stability to allow any gene pool to get eroded or obliterated.
Large gene pools are also important to agriculturists. All domestic crops and livestock have originated from native plants and animals. All those native species are still needed to provide the new genetic characterizes that we need to help solve our present and future food production problems. If steps are not taken to preserve endangered species then these gene pools will be swept away.
- ii) Value in maintaining ecosystem stability:
As you know, ecosystem includes abiotic factors like temperature, humidity etc. and biotic factors like plants and animals. The ecosystems maintain a delicate balance of nature.
Each species interests with other species and plays a role in the transfer of energy and materials within and between ecosystem, hence each one, in its own way, contributes to the stability of ecosystems. The function of a species whether plant or animal is very critical to ecosystem stability.
As you may know, the plants occupy the base of food webs, so extinction of a single plant species may lead to the extinction of animal species dependent on that particular plant species. A species lost here and there may be of little consequence for overall ecosystem stability, but in the long run, the cumulative effect of such losses may some day threaten our existence. If we think that each species by itself is dispensable, then bit by bit we will destroy the rich biological world in which we live.
iii) Economic value:
In our daily life, we use many things, which are products of wildlife. Many plants have medicinal value, for example, we get, penicillin from Penicillium, quinine from Cinchona, morphine from opium poppy. A chemical derived from the skeletons of shrimps, crabs and lobsters may serve as a preventive medicine against fungal infection.
Important plant and animal genes are needed to improve domestic crops and livestock. Many genetic reservoirs located in the tropics and subtropics are the source of virtually all the common valuable plants and animals. They provide genetic material needed in the continual battle to improve plant and animal resistance. Loss of these centers would have a global impact on food supplies.
Fish is a source of income to fishing lodges and sporting goods stores. Wildlife is a source of income to recreation and tourism industry. The most popular tourist attractions are national and state parks and forests.
Although the economic value of a given species may not be apparent, we cannot assert that a species has no economic value.
- iv) Aesthetic value:
Aesthetic value of a species also promotes its preservation. For example, the taste of wild berries, the refreshing fragrance of wild flowers and the softness of a bed of moss have no monetary value, but still their aesthetic value compels us to preserve them.
- v) Inherent value:
Each species has a right to exist. So, if a species exists, then it has a fundamental right to continue to exist without being driven to extinction by human activities. The inherent value of a species cannot be measured merely by the extent to which human beings can get along without it.
How to save endangered Species?
Preserving species is not a simple matter. The problems of wildlife management are very complex and there is much work on three overlapping levels, i.e., technical, legal and personal.
To achieve a desired abundance of a particular species of wildlife, it is imperative to save their habitat because wildlife populations respond very sensitively to their habitants.
Thus, habitant management is an efficient technique. So, we can say that wildlife management includes habitant management.