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Extinction and protected areas

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Extinction is a natural selection process. Should humans strive to preserve a representative sample of all biomes or aquatic zones? Why should humans be concerned with the extinction rate?

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Solution Preview

This is an interesting problem with no right or wrong answer. After informing yourself, it is important that lots of consideration be given to what you believe - and when making the argument, support it with solid references.

We will approach this problem by doing the following:

- Some simple facts on extinction will be presented
- Some references will be provided. Additional reading is important before forming your own opinion
- The two major opposing views will be explained, so you can decide which you think you agree with more.


> Extinction is natural
> All species are ultimately destined to go extinct
> The history of life on earth is punctuated by extinction events, that is to say that there have been many times in history where hundreds-thousands of species go extinct within a short period of time (see http://www.cosmographicresearch.org/timelines_global_mass_extinctions.htm)
> Most extinction ...

Solution Summary

Information is provided on the nature of extinction and the global extinction rate. Opinions on nature reserves and protected areas are presented and the student is encouraged to consider their own personal opinion about the human responsibility to slow the present extinction rate.

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