Recently, a team of conservational biologists created and published a ‘Top 100’ list of the world’s most endangered species. Chosen by over 8000 scientists from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the list consists of such species as the “Asian Unicorn” (of which only a few dozen wild individuals are left) and the Hainan gibbon (which has only 22 in the wild).
Some conservation groups have hope that these animals, and those most critically endangered, can be saved. However, others are of the opinion that these species are impossible to save. They point out that, while environmental factors such as habitat loss play a large role in conservation, human influences, such as poaching, are equally important. World Wildlife Fund conservation director Sybille Klenzendorf says, “since saving every single species would be an enormous undertaking, we must focus our efforts on conserving nature as a whole”.
I believe that he is correct – the environment and the people living in it play an important role in conservation. The public needs to be involved in conservation efforts, so they can understand why saving a species is so important. Conservation needs to start with education, and it needs to start now.