1) Moral reasons. A culture that encourages respect and stewardship for wildlife and landscapes is preferable to a culture which does not take these things seriously.
2) Aesthetic reasons. Landscapes and species should all be conserved because they are beautiful and enrich the lives of humans.
3) Providing important natural functions. Ecosystems serve humans because they provide natural functions. For example, the microbes in an ecosystem are vital in the breakdown of dead plant and animal remains and in the recycling of nutrients.
4) Biodiversity provides actual and potential material and economic benefits to people.
5) Continuance of evolutionary processes.
6) Insurance. No one knows what humans may need in the future. If species have become extinct, humans can never benefit from them.RETURN TO APSnet FEATURE STORY
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