Animals are going extinct and human intervention has saved some species, but is exhausting so much time and money helping as much as we hope?

SeekerPublished: July 10, 2018Updated: July 11, 2018
Published: July 10, 2018Updated: July 11, 2018

There are currently over 14,000 animals on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Redlist of species that are facing extinction. Should we let nature take its course or step in to save them? Studies suggest that species are going extinct faster now than before, and humans are to blame. We cut down their forests, pave over their land so they have nowhere to go, and introduce new predators and diseases to their habitats.

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 states that threatened species are of “aesthetic, ecological, educational, historical, recreational, and scientific value to the Nation and its people.” Even removing all the things humans are doing to kill-off species, and all the things nature is doing to weed them out, and it’s still difficult to preserve some species. That is because animals need to mate to make more animals, and helping them accomplish that is a difficult task.

One challenge is getting animals into a natural mating environment. For example, in a managed space (like a zoo) the zookeepers might clean up their enclosure, inadvertently removing something that’s a super turn-on, like a pheromone signal. We can look for physiological issues as well, perhaps they’re not mating because they’re sick. But, even if they’re healthy, and we’re not negatively affecting their environment, animals sometimes still don’t mate. Often we have no idea why.

Is forcing mating worth the effort? There is a financial component to consider. Captive breeding programs have been in existence for about half a century. Some have been really successful. However, regardless of outcome, the one sure result of a breeding program is a lot of time and energy is spent trying to keep species off the endangered list. This video, "Animals are going extinct and human intervention has saved some species, but is exhausting so much time and money helping as much as we hope? ", first appeared on seeker.com.

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