Today the Australian Koala Foundation announced they believe “there are no more than 80,000 koalas in Australia”, making the species “functionally extinct”.
In scientific research on human impact the focus is usually aimed at the extinction of species. Nowadays however, scientists are becoming more and more aware of the fact that trough, for example animal domestication, we have also become a driving force of evolution. This driving force that has led to new species, traits and ecosystems.
If I had been given one wish as a child I, it would have been that the Tasmanian tiger wasn’t extinct. To me extinction was a tragedy. I expect that many people feel the same way. But it is not easy to save dwindling populations and prevent extinctions. Sure it takes money, but it also takes knowledge. One simple story about butterflies illustrates the complexity of ecosystems and shows how important research and understanding are to preserving biodiversity.