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Priceless or Worthless? The world’s most threatened species

Show simple item record E M Baillie, Jonathan R Butcher, Ellen 2018-06-13T20:20:44Z 2018-06-13T20:20:44Z 2012-08-23
dc.identifier.isbn 978-0-900881-67-1
dc.description.abstract For the first time the IUCN SSC network of 8,000 scientists have identified 100 of the most threatened animals, plants and fungi. The declines of most of these species have been caused by humans and in almost all cases their extinction can be avoided and the decline reversed. Thus, their future existence lies squarely in our hands. Whether they disappear forever or remain on the planet simply depends on whether we as a society believe they are worth protecting. In this book we ask you to consider whether the 100 most threatened species are priceless or worthless. Do they have the right to exist or do we have the right to drive them to extinction? The book starts by introducing 100 species from 48 different countries that will be the next to go if conservation action is not taken immediately. Twenty-five of the 100 are highlighted to demonstrate the diversity of life that is about to be lost. We introduce the reader to the unique traits and characteristics of each species – essentially the wonder and natural beauty of each creature, plant and fungi. We then highlight examples of species that have been brought back from the brink of extinction such as Przewalski’s horse or the Chatham Island’s black robin, demonstrating that averting extinction is possible. Although a few species on the list provide economic benefits to people, such as the sale of the Giant yellow croaker’s swim bladder (worth over seven times the price of gold in 2001) for use in traditional medicine, the majority do little for society other then represent cultural or existence values. If the 100 species on this list were to disappear tomorrow there would be little impact on the global economy, jobs or security. This is in fact the case for millions of species on the planet, where their value to humanity is unknown or tangential at best. With the threats to biodiversity rapidly escalating, and growing numbers of species on the doorstep of extinction, society is at a point in history where a decision needs to be made. Do these species have the right to exist? A decision not to tolerate human-caused extinction would of course be entirely value based – but so is the alternative of allowing extinction to occur. We need to decide where we stand on this moral and ethical issue and implement and enforce national and international laws accordingly. So – it is up to us. The future of these species depends on our values, are they priceless or worthless? es_CR
dc.language.iso en es_CR
dc.title Priceless or Worthless? The world’s most threatened species es_CR
dc.type Article es_CR

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