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Our Duties to Endangered Species

By Holmes Rolston III

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Few persons doubt that we have obligations concerning endangered species, because persons are helped or hurt by the condition of their environment, which includes a wealth of wild species, currently under alarming threat of extinction. Whether humans have duties directly to endangered species is a deeper question, important in both ethics and conservation biology, in both practice and theory. A rationale that centers on species worth to persons is anthropocentric; a rationale that includes their intrinsic and ecosystemic values is naturalistic. Many endangered species have no resource value, nor are they particularly important for the usual humanistic reasons: scientific study, recreation, ecosystem stability, and so on. Is there any reason to save such worthless species? An environmental ethics answers that species are good in their own right, whether or not they are good for anything.


Katie Carroll

Date 1994
Publication Title Principles of Conservation Biology
Pages 30-31
Publisher Colorado State University Libraries
Location of Publication Fort Collins, Colorado 80523
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal consciousness
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Arthropods
  4. Birds
  5. Conservation
  6. Endangered species
  7. Environment
  8. Fish
  9. Frogs
  10. Mammals
  11. Nature
  12. Reptiles
  13. Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation