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?
- RT @LeoDiCaprio: Help @Avaaz protect massive stretches of pristine rainforest in #Indonesia. Pls sign & RT: bit.ly/16KI6Xf #SaveAceh 5 hours ago
- RT @LeoDiCaprio: Rainforest in Sumatra - home to tigers, orangutans & elephants - facing destruction. Learn more: bit.ly/13xGKbN #S… 5 hours ago
- Why Indonesia's deforestation ban isn't enough to protect its forests wp.me/p2k0o5-pm 2 days ago
- Indonesia and environmental sustainability: Walking the talk? wp.me/p2k0o5-pk 2 days ago
- Can REDD save the forests of Aceh? wp.me/p2k0o5-ph 2 days ago
- Can REDD save the forests of Aceh? fb.me/GvM1Ae79 2 days ago
- [Press Release] Aceh Forests facing numerous threats wp.me/p2k0o5-pf 2 days ago
- Global calls to save Aceh forest wp.me/p2k0o5-pd 4 days ago
- [RELEASE] Over 1 million support worldwide to save Aceh forest. wp.me/p2k0o5-pb 5 days ago
- Dear friends, @Avaaz just launched a petition, please sing and share! avaaz.org/en/the_plan_to… 1 week ago
- Have you signed and share this petition? wp.me/p2k0o5-p5 2 weeks ago
- Sumatran orangutans' rainforest home faces new threat wp.me/p2k0o5-p3 2 weeks ago
- RT @chloemaxmin: The Case for Cool: Student Engagement to Save the Planet huff.to/16ACezy via @HuffPostGreen 2 weeks ago
- Operation Aceh – Wildlife Asia’s mission to save critical rainforest facing imminent threat of destruction wp.me/p2k0o5-p0 2 weeks ago
- Fantastic article on Aceh spatial plan in @tempodotco by @philjacobius wp.me/p2k0o5-oX 3 weeks ago
- RT @RockCenterNBC: Tonight on #RockCenter: Tribes vow to fight to the death to save the Amazon rainforest - rockcenter.co/YjtskI 3 weeks ago
- RT @_animalover: 20 #Poachers Arrested, But #Elephant #Slaughter Goes On care2.com/causes/20-poac… 3 weeks ago
- Forest for the Trees wp.me/p2k0o5-oX 3 weeks ago
- TM Zulfikar @walhiaceh: Kallista Alam shouldn't been able to contest the revocation as Governor has full authority to issue & revoke permits 3 weeks ago
- Edrian: Based investigation of the Aceh government, Kallista Alam operations had damaged the environment & led to conflicts with communities 3 weeks ago
- Why Indonesia’s deforestation ban isn’t enough to protect its forests
- Indonesia and environmental sustainability: Walking the talk?
- Can REDD save the forests of Aceh?
- [Press Release] Aceh Forests facing numerous threats
- Global calls to save Aceh forest
- [RELEASE] Over 1 million support worldwide to save Aceh forest.
- Have you signed and share this petition?
- Sumatran orangutans’ rainforest home faces new threat
- Forest for the Trees
- Aceh Court Says Cancellation of Plantation Firm’s Permit in Rawa Tripa Illegal
- Indonesia’s Aceh performs worst in forestry protection: UNDP
- Operation Aceh – Wildlife Asia’s mission to save critical rainforest facing imminent threat of destruction
- Green activists see red over Sumatra rain forest plan
- Indonesia urged to extend, strengthen moratorium on deforestation
- U.S. Consumers Urged to Take Immediate Action to Save Orangutans
- 12 ministries, governmental institutions involved in illegal logging and mining: Commission
- IAR March 2013 Orangutan Rescues
- Greenpeace: East Asia Mining Behind the Reclassification of Aceh’s Protection Forest
- Check that out!
- EarthDay to #SaveAceh