Priceless or Worthless? The Fight for Earth’s Most Endangered Species
If some smidgen of bacterial goo was found on a faraway asteroid, it would be the discovery of the year, perhaps the century. Life on Earth would not be alone! Yet when it comes to the life that surrounds us, people can be remarkably cavalier, even downright callous: What’s another frog species more or less? What’s it do for us, anyways?
Indeed, many conservationists have renounced the species-saving approach to nature, instead embracing the notion that nature is best preserved when it provides people with some tangible economic benefit. Creatures that don’t have an obvious utilitarian value are out of luck.
Some conservationists are fighting back. In “Priceless or Worthless?,” a report issued Sept. 11 by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Zoological Society of London, a desperate plea is made on behalf of Earth’s 100 most threatened species — creatures that, without direct and immediate human action, will cease to exist.
Among the menagerie of the endangered are rhinos and rats, turtles and birds, even insects and plants and fungi. These last are hardly charismatic, and not the sort of species typically associated with inspirational calls to protect life, yet they make the essential moral question all the more striking: What has a right to life?
“While the utilitarian value of nature is important, conservation goes beyond this. Do these species have a right to survive, or do we have a right to drive them to extinction?” said Jonathan Baillie, the ZSL’s conservation director, in a press release.
On the following pages, Wired looks at a few of the imperiled species described in “Priceless or Worthless?” Each represents a singular form of life in the universe, and each is literally irreplaceable.
About endoftheiconsTripa peat swamps, once hosting the largest density of orangutan population in the world are now being exterminated by palm oil company working illegally. The last bits of the peat swamp forest are being smashed and sumatran orangutan are forced towards local extinction. are we witnessing the end of the icons? what are we doing about it?
- Update petisi: DUKUNGAN MENDESAK DIPERLUKAN UNTUK PENYELAMATAN ORANGUTAN DI KAWASAN EKOSISTEM LEUSER! wp.me/p2k0o5-s4 1 week ago
- Petition updates: URGENT SUPPORT NEEDED TO SAVE THE ORANGUTANS OF THE LEUSER ECOSYSTEM! wp.me/p2k0o5-s1 1 week ago
- Palm Oil: The Other Kind of Oil Spill wp.me/p2k0o5-rZ 2 weeks ago
- PRESS RELEASE : Aceh NGOs call on the European Union to urgently mediate as conflict escalates over Aceh… wp.me/p2k0o5-rU 1 month ago
- Aceh Lawmakers Reject Clarification of Interior Ministry wp.me/p2k0o5-rR 1 month ago
- In precedent-setting case, palm oil company fined $30M for destroying orangutan forest wp.me/p2k0o5-rP 3 months ago
- Palm oil company fined US$30m for clearing 1,000 hectares in Indonesia wp.me/p2k0o5-rN 3 months ago
- Aceh Reports Sixth Elephant Death This Year wp.me/p2k0o5-rK 4 months ago
- Sign the petition! We need you! http://t.co/10ZHjdRMtO 4 months ago
- Have you sign the petition? change.org/petitions/prot… 4 months ago
- Walking toward extinction. Act now! http://t.co/mJfZqQX8GN 4 months ago
- They Need You! http://t.co/23YR124VQn 4 months ago
- “@orangutans: YEL SESALKAN PENUNDAAN PEMBACAAN PUTUSAN GUGATAN KLH - Antara Aceh bit.ly/1d1ZwOm” 4 months ago
- RT @BillyCoxLive: "I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying."- Michael Jordan 4 months ago
- RT @CaroleAnneCAF: 40% of Tasmania an island that covers 68,332 km2, is national parks, & World Heritage sites. Is about the same size as M… 4 months ago
- Thanks for all the RT!! 4 months ago
- @graspunep have faxed a letter for Aceh Governor! Reqesting World Heritage status for Leuser Ecosystem, what about u? endoftheicons.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/grasp-… 4 months ago
- [FAX ACTION] World Heritage for Leuser Ecosystem letter template and contact list. wp.me/p2k0o5-rA 4 months ago
- RT @mongabay: Big trees, like the old-growth forests they inhabit, are declining globally news.mongabay.com/2012/0126-big_… 4 months ago
- THESE ARE THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM ACEH'S SPATIAL PLAN WORKSHOP wp.me/p2k0o5-rx 4 months ago
- Update petisi: DUKUNGAN MENDESAK DIPERLUKAN UNTUK PENYELAMATAN ORANGUTAN DI KAWASAN EKOSISTEM LEUSER!
- Petition updates: URGENT SUPPORT NEEDED TO SAVE THE ORANGUTANS OF THE LEUSER ECOSYSTEM!
- Palm Oil: The Other Kind of Oil Spill
- PRESS RELEASE : Aceh NGOs call on the European Union to urgently mediate as conflict escalates over Aceh Parliament’s illegal land use plan
- Aceh Lawmakers Reject Clarification of Interior Ministry
- In precedent-setting case, palm oil company fined $30M for destroying orangutan forest
- Palm oil company fined US$30m for clearing 1,000 hectares in Indonesia
- Aceh Reports Sixth Elephant Death This Year
- [FAX ACTION] World Heritage for Leuser Ecosystem letter template and contact list.
- THESE ARE THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM ACEH’S SPATIAL PLAN WORKSHOP
- Rogue Palm Oil Company, Fearing Negative Ruling, Initiates Conflict with Indonesian Court
- Western black rhino officially declared extinct
- Plantations winnow tigers down to few hundreds
- The Tale of Papa Genk
- Soldiers in Aceh jailed for owning rare animals
- The battle to save Sumatra’s elephants from extinction
- It’s Not All Bad: Americans and Palm Oil (Nat Geo)
- Another Elephant Found Dead in Aceh
- Hotspots increase in Sumatra, haze could return: NEA
- Indonesia: Forestry Failures Jeopardize ‘Green Growth’