A study of the preservation of endangered species

Do zoos have serious programs to save endangered species, besides putting a few captives on display for everyone to see? The end goal of many SSPs is the reintroduction of captive-raised endangered species into their native wild habitats.

A study of the preservation of endangered species

By Michael Marshall 14 July Inmountain gorillas were at rock-bottom. Confined to a small mountain range in central Africa, with humans encroaching on their habitat bringing poaching and civil war, their population was estimated at just They would all have fitted into a single Boeing Today things look a little better.

A survey in reported that the population was up to They remain critically endangered. We hear similar tales of woe all the time, from all around the world. Is it worth worrying about it all?

A study of the preservation of endangered species

What, in short, is the point of conservation? View image of Top predators like wolves make ecosystems more diverse Credit: The most obvious is the staggering cost involved. Saving all the endangered marine species might well cost far more. Why should we spend all that money on wildlife when we could spend it to stop people dying of starvation or disease?

It can be particularly hard to understand why anyone would want to preserve animals like wolveswhich pose a threat both to people and livestock. Surely there are some species we would be better off without. Species go extinct all the time anyway. As well as individual species dying out, there have been five mass extinctions that obliterated swathes of species.

The most recent one, 65 million years ago, took out the dinosaurs. The extinction rate has increased a hundredfold over the last century If extinction is a natural process that goes on even in the absence of humans, why should we stop it?

One answer is that species are now going extinct far faster than they used to.

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A recent study estimated that the extinction rate has increased a hundredfold over the last centuryand we seem to be to blame. View image of Coral reefs support a rich variety of beautiful organisms Credit: We think animals are cute, majestic, or just plain fascinating. We love walking in the dappled sunlight of an old forest, or scuba-diving over a coral reef.

The first problem with this argument is that it spells doom for all those animals and plants that people are less fond of: More fundamentally, it comes from a position of luxury and privilege. There needs to be a more practical reason to keep species around.To be selected as the focus of an SSP, a species must be endangered or threatened in the wild.

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Also, many SSP species are “flagship species,” meaning that they are well-known to people and engender strong feelings for .

Congress passed the Endangered Species Preservation Act in , providing a means for listing native animal species as endangered and giving them limited protection. The Departments of Interior, Agriculture, and Defense were to seek to protect listed species, and, insofar as consistent with their primary purposes, preserve the habitats of such species.

Scientific American is the essential guide to the most awe-inspiring advances in science and technology, explaining how they change our understanding of the world and shape our lives.

Endangered Species Preservation The evolution of reproductive biotechnology has been of great assistance in the preservation of endangered species.

The first live birth from frozen semen was reported in the dog nearly 50 years ago by Dr. Stephen Seager, a veterinarian who then realized that the technique of semen extraction and preservation followed by insemination could be applied to .

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Congress passed the Endangered Species Preservation Act in , providing a means for listing native animal species as endangered and giving them limited protection.

The Departments of Interior, Agriculture, and Defense were to seek to protect listed species, and, insofar as consistent with their primary purposes, preserve the habitats of such . One study in estimated that it would cost $76 billion (£49 billion) a year to preserve threatened land animals.

Saving all the endangered marine species might well cost far more.

How Do Zoos Help Endangered Animals? - Scientific American