Are we clowns?
32% of amphibians; 24% of birds and 12% of mammals are in threat of extinction. Hundreds of these offer potential in medical science and in food improvements but even with that going for them we are still not unduly exercised by this reality. We are indeed fools.
Bushmaster snakes from South America kill in an interesting manner – their venom drops the blood pressure of their victims to zero. But the same venom hold potential in the manufacture of blood pressure medication.
The poison in Panamanian Poison Frogs offer possibility in alleviating heart conditions. One scorpion may prove useful in the production of molecules to fight brain tumours.
There are about 600 species of cone snails. Only six have been studied in any detail. Those who suffer from epilepsy should know that the poison in the dart that they inject into their prey offers hope for this ailment. Yet we destroy the mangrove swamps that they need: why do we destroy them? We do it to create shrimp farms.
Yes we are indeed clowns.
At this stage we need nothing less than a world conservation ethic that millions of people in dozens of countries would experience a wake-up call that all of us need to come together to stem this loss of species – even if it is only for our own selfish reasons.
We are indeed fools if we continue to allow this draining away of potential into extinction.