it depends on the role that species play in the ecosystem. keystone species is a species that have a disproportionately large impact on the health of the ecosystem it inhabits and may be more abundant than other species. For example: sea otters. They are important species in marine ecosystems because they prey on sea urchins, which prey on marine plants like kelp. Without sea otters, sea urchins would be allowed to proliferate without any biological control, which could devastate the kelp population and of other plant species. Some species may be so rare and unique that its extinction may not be that noticeable. But that’s not to say its okay to let some be extinct.
majphan hit the nail on the head. One species can have a huge effect on an ecosystem and can potentially be essential to it’s well-being.
We can also see the extinction of animals as a general indicator of the health of our environment as a whole. If animals are dying off, we know that something is not going right in the world around us. For example, a huge number of extinctions happen due to clear cutting of forests. We also see a lot of species (a lot of fish) that die because of pollution. This should be a sign to humans that we are not treating the earth the way it was intended to be treated.
It sometimes seems silly when we hear about some tiny bug or bird that could potentially die off and it seems almost worthless to throw money at saving it. But, no matter how small, the extinction of any species should be seen as a sign to humans that while we live on this earth and have great power to protect or destroy it, we share it with some amazing creatures and if we keep abusing it, we may the ones to die off.
The importance of biodiversity cannot be emphasized enough. The world we live in is a fragile environment and the fact that complex life and ecosystems have developed is nothing less than amazing! I don’t mean to spew cliches about how life is special and how life is fragile…but if you think about it–it really is! The connections and dependancies present in an ecosystem model a fundamental balance that makes all life possible.
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