For Discussion

1. Most species driven to extinction by humans in the past were large vertebrates. Do you expect this pattern to persist into the future? If not, why not?

2. Conservation biologists have debated extensively which is better: many small nature reserves or a few large ones. What ecological processes should be evaluated in making judgments about the size and location of reserves? To what extent should we be concerned with preserving the largest number of species rather than those species judged to be of unusual importance for scientific, aesthetic, or commercial reasons?

3. During World War I, French doctors adopted a "triage" system for dealing with wounded soldiers. The wounded were divided into three categories: those almost certain to die no matter what was done to help them, those likely to recover even if not assisted, and those whose probability of survival was greatly increased if they were given immediate medical attention. Limited medical resources were directed primarily at the third category. What are some implications of adopting a similar attitude toward species preservation?

4. Utilitarian arguments dominate discussions about the importance of preserving the biological richness of the planet. In your opinion, what role should ethical and moral arguments play?

5. The desert bighorn sheep of the southwestern United States is endangered. Its major predator, the puma, is also threatened in the region. Under what conditions, if any, would it be appropriate to suppress the population of one rare species to assist another rare species?

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment