Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Save the Subspecies!

A subspecies of chimpanzee, the Pan troglodytes vellerosus, is going extinct, "because of man-made threats like logging and hunting."
The study was presented at a conference of The Pan African Sanctuaries Alliance in Johannesburg. PASA sanctuaries care for orphaned or injured great apes.
I wish I could work up more concern about such claims. I think it's because of the constant appeals for donations for the large-eyed urchins that constantly air on cable channels between the male enhancement ads. After awhile you just start to resent having your human feelings manipulated. When I read this story, which claims that chimps are threatened by being hunted for food, I wondered how much this PASA group was doing for economic development in the countries where these animals live. Isn't it necessity that drives people to kill animals and the absence thereof that allows for their protection? Maybe, instead of holding conferences and issuing dire warnings and fundraising apppeals, these people should be establishing schools, teaching skills, etc. But since they aren't really producing any economic value themselves, what can we expect from them?

�It is believed that the illegal hunting and eating of apes -- known as the bushmeat crisis -- has had the greatest impact on the rate of decline, along with deforestation, human encroachment and disease,� PASA said in a statement.
Of course it is. What else did you expect them to say?
�The numbers at the sanctuaries don�t lie."
But they don't really explain themselves or reveal solutions either. The only thing that seems to reliably reduce population growth among humans is prosperity, which seems to follow democratic governments and capitalism, which the scientists who build these sanctuaries know little about and don't trust anyway.


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