Conservation Focus - Are we headed the right way?
Conservation efforts regularly focus on saving large and impressive habitats such as the Everglades or Serengeti. These methods protect entire ecosystems and often benefit many charismatic species across a landscape. But some of the most biologically unique places on Earth are extremely localized and small spaces. Locations such as individual small islands, caves, mountaintops, lakes, and deep-sea hydrothermal vents often hold a species’ entire population. Species’ extinction or survival can be linked to the status of a space that might only be a few meters across. Individual caves frequently hold unique organisms found nowhere else on Earth: animals that evolved for millions of years within a cave are unable to leave and colonize new areas. The Lord Howe Island Stick Insect – one of the only insect species where males and females form lasting bonds – is restricted to the tiny island of Ball’s Pyramid in Australia. Organisms such as this stick insect are often at much higher risk of extinction because their ranges are so limited. Conserving some of Earth’s strangest and most unique organisms means that these microhabitats must be recognized as places their own biological value, regardless of their small sizes
Author: Gabriel Silva Collins