Endangered Species Aren’t the Only Ones Who Matter

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2015. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2015. All Rights Reserved

I’m getting kind of tired of hearing people talk about endangered species, as though they’re the only non-human animals they care about: ‘How dare some species do well or even begin to recover—it must be their fault that my favorite species is endangered.’

And if the endangered are a species people like to eat (such as salmon), then forget that humans sent them down the road to extinction by building dams along the rivers and heating up the planet so the spawning streams dry up or are too warm for fish eggs: ‘If some other non-human occasionally eats said endangered species, let’s wipe them out too.’

Scapegoating is happening to sea lions, to cormorants and to barred owls. Most people understand so little about the workings of nature that they forget they (all 7.3 billion of them) are a part of it.

It seems, unless they want to eat it, the only species they care about these days are the ones considered endangered.

Some people resent coyotes because they survive and even thrive where wolves sometimes didn’t. Sea lions are one of the most lovable creatures (and were nearly killed off once themselves during the fur trade), but it’s beyond appalling how many people hate them for eating fish, whether endangered or not.

I care about the fate of all individual animals, and don’t want to see any species extinctified. But this new policy of species favoritism has to go. I hate to break it to people, but we’re all endangered in today’s world of rapid climate change.

Whichever species makes it through the next century should be allowed to do so.

Now is really not the time for humans to think they can manage other species’ populations. They’ve done a pretty crappy job up of it so far. If anything, humans should be concentrating on their own kind.

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7 thoughts on “Endangered Species Aren’t the Only Ones Who Matter

  1. All non-human species are endangered now,even if not an “official designation,” considering the increasing damage to major planetary systems, like the seas, soils and atmosphere. All are linked together, as we are now seeing in the massive marine die-off on the CA coast. The only species that does not fit in, and which should become extinct, is Homo sapiens, which is responsible for the decline of Earth Biosphere.

    http://www.foranimals.org

  2. Jim, this is a very timely writing. I was thinking that this designation of “endangered” is just another ignorant aspect of this “conservation model,” which places non-humans on some kind of hierarchical ladder of importance. The article you posted on the marine die-off is an excellent example of why all non-human life is suffering. Thanks so much for these pieces. Things are indeed happening very fast now, don’t you think?

  3. I have to agree to disagree.. or maybe I am just so damn tired again i am typing in some unknown language no one seems to be able to understand. All of a sudden songs and old writings are making sense that never made sense before. All you zombies sitting in the streets. And us being in the dark. It don’t matter if no one listened or cared or laughed at us. If we are alone or saving just one of our family and building our ark. Let them zombies drown in the street. Did you see? They are trying to say the tar balls might be caused by “natural sources forming from the ocean floor.” .. Everyone get your umbrella. The new tar clouds will rain tar balls naturally! 😀 … DAMN ZOMBIES! Also, Huff Post.. about the only news paper left standing for any green news .. is now getting bought out by non other then Koch Brothers! The last Media out – let is falling!! … Times are going dark my friends. Build the ark.

  4. Jim Thank you for another great article, I am always saddened when I see Humans act like they are the only ones that matter while our wildlife pays for our mistakes. Then Humans take it a step farther to blame and scapegoat our sea lions for merely trying to survive as if it is not enough they have to try to dodge ships, M80’s being shot at them, Fishermen shooting them and trying to hit them with their boats, ODFW branding and killing them for eating a fish and now global warming,Algae bloom, When is enough enough? I agree with Rosemary that things are happening very fast now, I think the end may very well be in our lifetime at this pace

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