Sunday, January 2, 2011

Can Speciation Assist Conservation ?

Threatened Species tend to get a lot more attention than threatened sub-species. For example the Giraffe has several subspecies whose populations are under severe threat. Recently there has been talk that Giraffes should be split into perhaps 8 or more Species. I think that this should happen as soon as possible. The result of such speciation or splitting is that a lot more attention would be focussed on the threats faced by the 'new' Species of Giraffes. For example the Reticulated Giraffe in northern Kenya. And the West African Giraffe. The creation of separate Species of Giraffe would make it much easier for conservation bodies to raise funds to save individual Giraffe Species. And of course conservation always needs charismatic species to highlight the need for conservation measures. Ultimately habitat preservation is the best form of conservation so these charismatic species also work to help conserve all the other forms of life dependant on the same habitat.

Another animal that could be helped by Speciation is the Asiatic Cheetah. At the moment it is highly threatened but because Cheetah numbers in Africa are still relatively good it is difficult to raise funds for the Asiatic Subspecies. But if the Asiatic Cheetah was given full Species status then its world population of around 100 individuals would be given much more significance. Followed hopefully by increased levels of conservation funding and assistance.

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