Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Humans are destroying species, creating species

Sometimes you come across an idea that is such a different way of thinking, you feel like someone is wringing your brain. There's a controversial conversation going on in the conservation community:At the same time that humans are causing a mass extinction event, we are also creating new species (like beefalo) or setting the stage for new species (like moving a species from one continent to another where it will go its evolutionary own way).

No one is saying we should just shrug about endangered species. But this scientist is saying that we might want to reframe how we think about new hybrids or invasive species brought over from elsewhere.
Normally when you bring species together in continental areas, all of the species survive. It's very unusual that one of the native species goes completely extinct. So you're getting more diversity. Where all of this goes wrong from a conservation point of view is, first of all, a perception problem. People are prone to equate change to loss. And they see the arrival of a new species as almost equivalent to a loss as well, because it represents a further departure from a previous state.
The only thing we know is that the future isn't going to look like the past.

The case that humans are creating new species despite killing off so many - Vox

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