Dolphin now extinct... ok and? Watch

L i b
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#21
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#21
(Original post by seabird)
Well maybe this should be a lesson to us that due to ur selfish activities we're making other species extinct? What gives humans the right to dictate via their actions whether the species has a right to exist or not?
Because it makes us feel big and clever?
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L i b
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#22
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#22
(Original post by Fishfinger Sandwich)
I'd still have outcompeted him, 'cause he'd be dead.
Indeed, you could perhaps write "0w3nd" on his wall in his blood.

Or maybe he's your evolutionary better and would shoot you... did you consider that?
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Draig
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#23
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#23
(Original post by Fishfinger Sandwich)
Don't you think that kind of thinking is rather dangerous?
Agreed, that thinking is dangerous. Although perhaps not quite in the same way you implied. Imagine if politicians started to spew out such things. What hope can there be for people who are just too lazy to do something to help save a species? Its simply an easy excuse to shift blame.

The natural background extinction rate of species is 1-3 species per year. This does not include mass extinction events (of which there have been 6).

What is the current extinction rate of species? Based on conservative estimates it is 1-3 species per hour. That's around 75 species gone each day.

Still, you could argue that this doesn't matter. Who cares if some species you've never heard of goes extinct? However, you'd be surprised at the economic impact this sort of thing can have on our society.

People have argued that closing fishing operations for the sake of one species (such as this dolphin) is ridiculous. I agree, it sounds a tad silly. Then again, such a species may play a keystone role in the ecosystem. By that I mean that without this organism the ecosystem simply cannot function properly. If such a species went extinct then you could see communities built up around, for example, fishing, will disappear anyway. I'm not saying such fishing operations should be shut down, but people need to be better educated in the ways of sustainable harvesting.

The problem is that people fail to see the long term benefits of sustainable harvesting. In this case, over fishing is one of the greatest factors contributing to the 'demise' of the dolphin. People can't see past high gain in the short term vs. sustained gain in the long term, ensuring continuity. I'm not saying that this dolphin disappearing will result in the collapse of this ecosystem, but it does happen.

Yes it's true that no ecosystem is static and species come and go. However, what is happening around us is unacceptable. We are inducing what could be the 7th mass extinction. Human beings could well destroy billions of years of evolution within the next few centuries. Yet we can do something about it- every species can be saved.
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Jayk
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#24
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#24
The thing is, extinction is part of the natural order of things. Do you see any megalodon's cruising about the Atlantic? Nope...and we're probably better off because of it. If they were about, they probably would've hunted one species or another to extinction too. So I agree with the OP...it's no biggie really. Humanity only really cares about extinction if the creatures in question are cute, anyways.
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john !!
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#25
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#25
(Original post by Draig)

Yes it's true that no ecosystem is static and species come and go. However, what is happening around us is unacceptable. We are inducing what could be the 7th mass extinction. Human beings could well destroy billions of years of evolution within the next few centuries. Yet we can do something about it- every species can be saved.
1. its easy to say we are not being careful, but when you actually think about it, what fishable species was this dolphin prey for? It's so easy to say "we need to think about the ecology" and take the favourable position of a sensible moderate, but what isnt as easy is to actually apply what you say to the situation.

2. your words like "mass extinction" must take an incredible leap of the imagination to actually believe. just because one dolphin which is completely insignificant dies out, does not mean anything.

now when humans do things like poaching a species until it dies, then in a way we do have the responsibility to help it.

but for the time being with regards to animals that are not directly targeted by humans, just caught up in the chance in climate or whatever, it's not that big a tragedy at all and. when one species goes, some others in the ecosystem will thrive and who knows, maybe something else takes its place.
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Draig
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#26
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#26
(Original post by Jayk Bakner)
The thing is, extinction is part of the natural order of things. Do you see any megalodon's cruising about the Atlantic? Nope...and we're probably better off because of it. If they were about, they probably would've hunted one species or another to extinction too. So I agree with the OP...it's no biggie really. Humanity only really cares about extinction if the creatures in question are cute, anyways.
Yes extinction is natural, but 75 species going extinct every day is not. Megalodon went extinct through natural causes. Whilst they were about I sincerely doubt they drove any species to extinction themselves. If they were still about today they would probably be endangered anyway because of the extreme pressure man puts on our seas.

Edit: Actualy posted this at the same time as John.

1. I'm not saying that this dolphin was prey for any species. Such extinctions can have both top down and bottum up reprocusions. That is to say that the dolphin may have preyed on another species- with the dolphin now 'gone' that species may thrive. This is purly hypothetical however, I don't know the exact role the river dolphins played in this ecosystem. Its just people's thinking in this matter that scares me. You can't take a slack attitude towards extinction just because of one species you don't care about. In this instance, the dolphin disappearing may have no significant effect, but there are plenty of other cases where a keystone species may be lost and the effects may be much worse.

A better example of such a case my be coral reef ecosystems, mainly because I understand coral reefs better than I do river ecosystems in China. Sea turtles are an endangered species, and one of their primary food sources on coral reefs are sea urchins. If sea turtles go extinct then the predation pressure on urchins is released significantly. This may cause a population boom in urchins meaning that they out compete grazing fish (sea urchins are grazers also). The fish, already under pressure from over fishing, will disappear. Fishing communities built up around this will collapse. Likewise, if the sea urchins then suddenly die out (they would become susceptible to a mass mortality event caused by disease, as had happened in the Caribbean) then there will be nothing to graze on the algae. This will overgrow the coral and an entire reef can be destroyed.

2. A mass extinction is a scientific term. There have been 6 so far and each is a totally natural occurrence (the dinosaurs wiped out being the most recent). One species going extinct will not cause a mass extinction. However, 75 species going extinct every day, for 100 years, will. I'll just quote wikipedia on this bit.

"Present day — the Holocene extinction event. 70% of biologists view the present era as part of a mass extinction event, possibly one of the fastest ever, according to a 1998 survey by the American Museum of Natural History. Some, such as E. O. Wilson of Harvard University, predict that man's destruction of the biosphere could cause the extinction of one-half of all species in the next 100 years. Research and conservation efforts, such as the IUCN's annual "Red List" of threatened species, all point to an ongoing period of enhanced extinction, though some offer much lower rates and hence longer time scales before the onset of catastrophic damage. The extinction of many megafauna near the end of the most recent ice age is also sometimes considered part of the Holocene extinction event. Some paleontologists, however, question whether the available data support a comparison with mass extinctions in the past."
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john !!
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#27
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#27
(Original post by Draig)
Yes extinction is natural, but 75 species going extinct every day is not. Megalodon went extinct through natural causes. Whilst they were about I sincerely doubt they drove any species to extinction themselves. If they were still about today they would probably be endangered anyway because of the extreme pressure man puts on our seas.
So first, can I just confirm that "not natural" is your word for humans, that we somehow need to isolate ourselves from every other species on the planet?

Do you then accept that if, for example, a species of polar bear (oh yes, it looks cute so it matters more) becomes extinct because part of its habitat melts due to globa warming, this is somehow randomly okay becuase we have recently discovered a huge amount of the global warming today is due to methane from cows?

do you think that somehow the human, race, itself a result of natural evolution, it not allowed to exert a (so defined) natural influence over its surroundings?
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john !!
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#28
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#28
(Original post by Draig)
Yes extinction is natural, but 75 species going extinct every day is not. Megalodon went extinct through natural causes. Whilst they were about I sincerely doubt they drove any species to extinction themselves. If they were still about today they would probably be endangered anyway because of the extreme pressure man puts on our seas.

Edit: Actualy posted this at the same time as John.

1. I'm not saying that this dolphin was prey for any species. Such extinctions can have both top down and bottum up reprocusions. That is to say that the dolphin may have preyed on another species- with the dolphin now 'gone' that species may thrive. This is purly hypothetical however, I don't know the exact role the river dolphins played in this ecosystem. Its just people's thinking in this matter that scares me. You can't take a slack attitude towards extinction just because of one species you don't care about. In this instance, the dolphin disappearing may have no significant effect, but there are plenty of other cases where a keystone species may be lost and the effects may be much worse.

A better example of such a case my be coral reef ecosystems, mainly because I understand coral reefs better than I do river ecosystems in China. Sea turtles are an endangered species, and one of their primary food sources on coral reefs are sea urchins. If sea turtles go extinct then the predation pressure on urchins is released significantly. This may cause a population boom in urchins meaning that they out compete grazing fish (sea urchins are grazers also). The fish, already under pressure from over fishing, will disappear. Fishing communities built up around this will collapse. Likewise, if the sea urchins then suddenly die out (they would become susceptible to a mass mortality event caused by disease, as had happened in the Caribbean) then there will be nothing to graze on the algae. This will overgrow the coral and an entire reef can be destroyed.

2. A mass extinction is a scientific term. There have been 6 so far and each is a totally natural occurrence (the dinosaurs wiped out being the most recent). One species going extinct will not cause a mass extinction. However, 75 species going extinct every day, for 100 years, will. I'll just quote wikipedia on this bit.

"Present day — the Holocene extinction event. 70% of biologists view the present era as part of a mass extinction event, possibly one of the fastest ever, according to a 1998 survey by the American Museum of Natural History. Some, such as E. O. Wilson of Harvard University, predict that man's destruction of the biosphere could cause the extinction of one-half of all species in the next 100 years. Research and conservation efforts, such as the IUCN's annual "Red List" of threatened species, all point to an ongoing period of enhanced extinction, though some offer much lower rates and hence longer time scales before the onset of catastrophic damage. The extinction of many megafauna near the end of the most recent ice age is also sometimes considered part of the Holocene extinction event. Some paleontologists, however, question whether the available data support a comparison with mass extinctions in the past."
1. in response to 1, I agree totally on a general scale. I was just referring to the specific scale.

2. ok thats a good source and IM gonna back down from my position before.
this is a general case still
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supernova2
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#29
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#29
(Original post by john !!)
Its just the whole insincerity of it- do we actually expect China to stop fising in the Yangtze? 10% of the population of china- that's 1.3 million people. Or stop trading along it? It is as one of the broardcasters said "the backbone of china".

Can we honestly say we'd stop fishing the North sea, or close the Thames, if some random animal was dwindling?
When you can work out 10% of 1.3billion ill read the rest of your argument.
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Draig
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#30
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(Original post by john !!)
So first, can I just confirm that "not natural" is your word for humans, that we somehow need to isolate ourselves from every other species on the planet?

Do you then accept that if, for example, a species of polar bear (oh yes, it looks cute so it matters more) becomes extinct because part of its habitat melts due to globa warming, this is somehow randomly okay becuase we have recently discovered a huge amount of the global warming today is due to methane from cows?

do you think that somehow the human, race, itself a result of natural evolution, it not allowed to exert a (so defined) natural influence over its surroundings?
The human race is the result of natural evolution indeed. However, we know that we're having this effect on the evironment. Can we simply stand by and let it happen? That doesn't sound too moral to me, we have a duty as part of this planet to do what we can to help protect species. Every species has intrinsic value regardless of its value to us as humans.

I do indeed regard human influence as something that is not natural. The pressure we exert on our planet, as a species, is something abnormal when you compared it to another species. As such, cows are not a natural animal. We, humans, have domesticated them. As such as have taken them out of the natural ecosystem. It’s only because of the way we have domesticated cows that they pose a threat to the ice caps (not that they are the only threat). So if polar bears become extinct because of cows then it is in fact our fault.

Polar bears are indeed cute, and a good symbol of conservation, along with tigers, elephants, pandas etc. People care more for polar bears and pandas and so are inspired to help protect them. In doing so we may protect their habitat, thus also protecting a lot of other species at the same time.
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