Monday, June 10, 2013
How to reduce species extinction of mammals?
Nowadays, the unlimited human activities that accompany with consumption of lots of resource cause many environmental problems. Among those, mammals’ extinction becomes increasingly severe in recent years. According to the article “One in 4 Mammals Threatened With Extinction, Group Finds” from the New York Times, one in four mammals are in danger of disappearing because of habitat loss, hunting and climate change. Another article “Who Would Kill a Monk Seal?” states that recovering Monk Seal is projected to cost $378 million and take 54 years. If one species disappears, it will directly or indirectly influence other species because species in the world are in a biologic chain. Eventually, it will do great harm on human beings. So, we cannot just care about immediate interest. What we should do is to take a long-term view and take measures to protect the environment and decrease the species extinction. Many factors resulting in mammalian decline have been well studied and documented. I do not pretend to ignore the severity and validity of the causes behind mammalian extinction; but instead focus my ideas around what measures should be taken to reduce species extinction of mammals.
The first measure has been addressed is called private conservation. Richard Miniter, in the article “Saving the species”, gives an example that Rosalie Edge, a conservationist, bought Hawk Mountain to protect hawks and any other birds there. It means that people who are devoted into protecting the animals can buy the land where endangered mammals live and regulate the land. Landowners can do extraordinary things to save species that are in jeopardy. For example, the article also mentions another way called “fee hunting”, which means that land is limited access to paying hunters. I think this approach is helpful because landowners can take responsibility for the mammals and prevent other people from harming animals and environments.
Another effective way to reduce extinction of mammals is to rescue endangered species via somatic cell cloning. It makes endangered wild animals could be salvaged or maintained by using the oocytes and wombs of their unthreatened domesticated counterparts. Pasqualino Loi, Grazyna Ptak, Barbara Barboni, Josef Fulka, Pietro Cappai, and Michael Clinton, in the article “ Genetic rescue of an endangered mammal by cross-species nuclear transfer using”, explain how to use “somatic cell cloning” to rescue an endangered mammal. The article has describes successful cloning of a wild endangered mammal, Ovis orientalis musimon, using oocytes collected from a closely related domesticated species, Ovis aries. Although there are still some problems remaining, such as little development of viable offspring, the use of cloning is still an efficient way for the expansion of critically endangered mammals.
(Loi, P., Ptak, G., Barboni, B., Fulka, J., Cappai, P., & Clinton, M. (2001). Genetic rescue of an endangered mammal by cross-species nuclear transfer using post-mortem somatic cells. Nature Biotechnology, 19(10), 962.）
Besides, habitat conservation is another efficient way to protect mammals. DeWeerdt, S, in the article “ Helping, Half a World Away”, focuses on the efforts of the International Snow Leopard Trust (ISLT) in the conservation of the natural habitat of snow leopards in the mountain ranges of Central Asia. The fact is that people hunt snow leopard as source of income. In order to make local people stop hunting this endangered species, a program was started that offers people an opportunity to increase their household income in exchange for helping to protect the cat. For example, the Snow Leopard Enterprises program provides herders with training and equipment for handicraft production, and markers the products at tourist attractions in Mongolia and various stores in the USA. In return, the local people agree not to kill snow leopards. It is not a one-size-fits-all solution and different solutions work best in specific situation. But the idea of these solutions is the same, which is developing conservation programs that are associated with local people to balance mammalian habitats and human activities.
（Retrieved from: http://www.nipic.com/show/1/9/b586c367325e9b91.html）
Another program has been exerted to protect dolphin in Argentina. In the article “ Argentina Dolphin Safe program kicks off”, reports that International Marine Mammal Project (IMMP) started monitoring tuna companies in Argentina through the local Wild Earth Foundation. Three methods were taken by Wild Earth to save dolphins. Firstly, Wild Earth informed ten tuna companies the importance to respect the protocols that avoid the dolphin captures or harm. La Campagnola, the main tuna company in Argentina signed the IMMP Dolphin Safe agreement in October 2005, a source of pride for Wild Earth and IMMP. Also, companies in Argentina that are participating in the Dolphin Safe Program will display a Dolphin Safe logo. The logo includes the words Protegemos los delfines meaning "we protect dolphins”. Thirdly, Wild Earth has built a workshop in Temakien, which is a well-known wild animal park. Then, children can learn how to help save dolphins through different games, pictures and films in the workshops that are conducted in one of the biggest supermarket in Buenos Aires.
(Retrieved from: http://blog.ifeng.com/article/4636655.html)
In many situations, more than one measure should be taken to conserve one mammal species. Protecting mammals is not only relying on scientific technologies; reducing people’s harm to wild life and environment is far more critical. Look at the eyes of dolphins; you will feel kindness from them. Then, be kind to them too.
Biondini, M. (2006). Argentina Dolphin Safe program kicks off. Earth Island Journal, 21(2), 13.
DeWeerdt, S. (2004). Helping, Half a World Away. Earth Island Journal, 19(3), 12-13.
Kanter, J. (2008, Oct 6). One in 4 Mammals Threatened With Extinction, Group Finds. The New York Times. Retrieved from
Loi, P., Ptak, G., Barboni, B., Fulka, J., Cappai, P., & Clinton, M. (2001). Genetic rescue of an endangered mammal by cross-species nuclear transfer using post-mortem somatic cells. Nature Biotechnology, 19(10), 962.
Miniter, R. R. (1992). SAVING THE SPECIES. National Review, 44(13), 32-3
Mooallem, J. (2013, May 8). Who Would Kill a Monk Seal. The New York Times. Retrieved from