Helping Wildlife Survive the Sixth Mass Extinction

Preserving Critical Habitats Will Help More Wildlife Survive

This morning, an article by Andrew Suggitt (How wildlife will keep cool. . . .) made me think again about refugia. Earlier, I concluded that unlike ice ages, global warming would leave no refugia in which pockets of wildlife would survive. I was picturing a pervasive atmospheric impact instead of a discontinuous physical impact by tongues of glacial ice. I was wrong. The best habitats for wildlife, the ones along streams, in deep shaded canyons, and those in areas of diverse topography will sustain more wildlife as climate changes. Preserving those habitats is an essential goal for wildlife conservation.

Rick Turley. Approaching Wind River Canyon.

Unfortunately, the best habitats for wildlife are the most desirable for humans. Worldwide, farming and home construction have destroyed the richest valley-floor habitats, and roads have filled the floors of canyons and narrow valleys. In the arid region where I live, livestock graze along rare desert streams and around lakes and marshes.

Preserving critical habitats is not a new idea. Conservation organizations have programs that identify and urge protection of important habitats. The National Audubon Society, for instance, has initiated the Climate Strongholds program that focuses on the needs of individual species. The program has strong citizen-scientist opportunities for participation. Read about it here.

Most wildlife species will be lost over the next few decades and centuries, but it will be possible to prevent some of the losses through preservation of critical habitats. As changing weather patterns force governments to respond to the climate emergency, nature conservation advocates must work hard to explain the critical role nature plays in human survival and to convince governments to protect the best wildlife habitats.

Half for Nature

Current climate projections suggest that global carrying capacity will drastically decline over the next few centuries. Human civilization as we know and imagine it now will not survive. Once the Earth’s energy budget stabilizes, people can begin to rebuild cities and networks and evolution can begin to rebuild natural plant and animal diversity. For the immediate future of 300 – 400 years, we must advocate for the “Best” for nature. Saving Half for Nature will be important as rebuilding begins.

I hope that saving the “Best” is a practical goal. Instead of plants and animals, there may be masses of people jammed into cool mountain canyons and camping along streams. Impacts of food and fuel gathering could block wildlife and make the mass extinction worse.

3 thoughts on “Helping Wildlife Survive the Sixth Mass Extinction

  1. Somehow, no humor intended, the discussion of what mankind has done to this planet, almost sounds like a debate topic (addressing primarily you chose between the debate team and home economics: Arguing the Positive: “Resolved homo sapiens are saps and should be eradicated from Spaceship Earth in order to save this unique biosphere.” Any takers? Mother Nature (God?) has tried a few times [for fun, let us count Noah and the Arc]. God always gets the short end when we call natural disasters “Acts of God.” Remember the “Spanish” flu of 1918, just after WWI? Flu really didn’t start in Spain, but, [correct a man if he’s wrong], on an army post in Kansas. {Sounds eerily like Stephen King’s, “The Stand.” This is why you don’t have guys like Campion doing Guard Zone on a hot zone: Suggestions: Laurie Garrett’s “The Coming Plague.” “Spillover,” by David Quammen, and Richard Preston, “The Demon in the Fever.”

    Again, “Resolved, homo sapiens have proved sentience not a great evolutionary idea.” That’s different. Like the Previous. At Least the Spanish Flu of 19818 killed at least 50 million…some put it at 100,000,000. Going for the Pale Horse in Revelation 5. Of course, the mountain falling into the Sea in Revelation 8.10 (not Revelations, please) { your greek is showing!}…sounds a lot like what happens is the volcano going a little nuts in Hawaii, starts chucking 40 ton burning pyroclastic rocks in the air!

    Gotta Go! I love Garry F. Rogers….one of the most brilliant, compassionate men who have ever walked this planet….I am really old…so at least I can compare Garry to those I’ve met in my lifetime!…I gotta call you today, Garry on a good plan to encourage God to do Noah II [but it has to be with fire this time, according to scripture.]

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  2. Thank you! forgive me not proofreading; not correcting spelling. auto spell-checkers sometimes make mistakes when they insert a word they thought that you thought you wanted to use. “Demon in the Fever,” was such a mistake for a book about people with ebola and smallpox. [Demon in the Freezer is the correct title.] Today I texted my pastor, saying, “going to the church building to ray.” I missed the “r” but autospellchecker insertsed ray for me. I like it. Makes me sound super-spiritual! I gonna go to prayer meeting to “Ray!” [giving me a halo!’]. Doesn’t work as a noun. Going to rayer? nah. How ’bout this one: I caught the Spinach flew, and know I’m bleeding from all my orators. or is that bleeding form all my edificies? anyway. don’t work too hard this Labor Day, or on laver day either! yusef. Google my favorite texan bird, the painted bunting. Arseholes in Mexico and Central America are caging hundreds of them each migratory season and selling them like parakeets. [the male painted bunting you will see is just flat lovely.]

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  3. Typographical errors are forgiven as are errors of ignorance (my most common). Did you see the one about commas? The Panda Bear eats shoots and leaves. If you have chosen the no-tolerance comma option, Microsoft Word can automatically change such statements to eats, shoots, and leaves (Please pardon the eponym. It’s derived from the title of a good book.), implying that Pandas carry guns.
    Your friend,

    Liked by 1 person


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