On the Termination of Species Article Review
Article Name: On the Termination of Species
Source: Scientific AmericanAuthor: W. Wayt Gibbs
- "the three kinds of argument we use to try to persuade politicians that all this is important...none is totally compelling"
- Perhaps the should focus on saving something equally at risk but more valuable: evolution.
- May's claim will shock those who haven't followed the biodiversity issue, but prompt no gasp from conservation biologists. They heard variations of this since 1979
- Norman Myers guessed that 40,000 species lose their last member each year and one million will be extinct by 2000.
- Tomas Lovejoy predicted that 15-20 percent would die off by 2000.
- Paul Ehrlich figured half would be gone by now.
- Recent projections factor in slower demise because doomed species hung on longer than anticipated. Some have returned from the grave.
- E.O Wilson cites (in his book The Diversity of Life) that current estimates between 1 and 10 percent of species are extinguished every decade...27,000 a year.
- Michael J. Novacek wrote that 30 percent extermination of all species by mid-21st century are not unrealistic.
- 1998, survey of biologists, 70% said they believed mass extinction is in progress. 1/3 of them expected to lose 20 to 50 percent of world's species in 30 years.
- According to David M. Raup, says both are wrong by three false assumptions.
- Comparing the past 400 years with previous 65 million unavoidably assume that current extinction rate will be sustained over millions of years.
- Attempts to find current extinction rate are fraught with more uncertainties.
- Certified 60 of 87 mammals listed by IUCN as extinct but claim 33 of 92 freshwater fish presumed extinct were gone forever.
- For every species falsely said to be absent, there may be hundreds or thousands that vanish unknown to science.
- May points out how they are uncertain to factor of 10 about how many species we share plane with. He guessed that seven million species live with us, but credible guesses range from 5 to 15 million.
- Taxonomists named 1.8 species approx. But biologists know nothing about them.
- It is difficult to observe extinction
- Vulnerable freshwater fish have more than a quarter species listed as threatened.
- From that estimate and rate of destruction, able to predict 1/4 of 1 percent of species either become extinct immediately or are doomed to earlier extinction.
- Lomborg challenges that view on three grounds.
- 1. Species-area relations were worked out by comparing # of species on islands and do not apply to fragmented habitats on the mainland.
- 2. In both East U.S and Puerto Rico, clearance of more than 98 percent of primary forest did not wipe out half of the bird species. Four centuries of logging resulted in one species becoming extinct.
- Criticisms misunderstand the species-area theory according to Stuart L. Pimm.
- If species-area equation holds, official statistics suggest that deforestation had been slowing and is below 1 percent a year.
- Forest loss was around half a percent in most tropics.
- Ecologists tried other means to project future extinction rates.
- May and co-workers watched vertebrate species moved to threat category in IUCN data, projected that those very small numbers far into future and conclude that extinction rate rise 12 to 55 fold over next 300 years.
- Georgiana M. Mace came to similar conclusion by combining models that plot survival odds.
- Others distrust that. Studies shown that there is redundancy in ecosystems.Evolution should make then resilient.
- If natural selection doesn't to so, artificial selection might.
- Rate of recent planet extinction was compared in four similar regions and found that the most disturbed area had the lowest rate.
- Human induced extinctions will fall over time.
- We have more time than we fear to prevent future catastrophes in areas where humans have been part of ecosystem for a while and less time to avoid them in what little wilderness remains pristine.
- Question is how to deal with uncertainty.
- Triage is a dirty word to environmentalists
- Losses are inevitable
- Smart goal is to conserve the greatest amount of evolutionary history.
- Woodruff has broader principle.
- Some of us advocate a shift from saving things, the products of evolution, to save the underlying process, evolution itself.
B: Summarize the AUTHOR’s main point or idea- at LEAST 1-2 paragraphs
E.O Wilson estimate between 1 and 10 percent of species are extinguished every decade...27,000 a year. Michael J. Novacek wrote that 30 percent extermination of all species by mid-21st century are not unrealistic.1998, survey of biologists, 70% said they believed mass extinction is in progress. 1/3 of them expected to lose 20 to 50 percent of world's species in 30 years.Lomborg argues that there is not evidence to prove this would happen. He alleges that environmentalists ignored recent evidence of tropical deforestation not taking toll it was feared. Best models project extinction rate of 0.15 percent of species per decade.
C: Write a reaction paragraph to the article stating your own thoughts on the topic, using specific citations from the article to support your views
In my opinion the rates of extinction needs to get changed. People should help out by not making it happen. I find it all wrong, some extinctination should happen like snakes, snakes aren't helpful at all. There are other animals that could take its place. Also how people need to invistigate if extincting one thing what will happen surronding us. If nothing happens then it is meant to be extinct. If people are talking about this and theres no one bit being done, then people are being ignorate.
Looking for when it is best to extinct something and also knowing what could happen to the rest without it.
Richard E. Rice, Raymond E. Gullison, John W. Reid
What if we find out if extincting would help?
What does this remind me of?
When we do labs, if the experiment would work or not.