Recently, Laikipia, Kenya. According to Africanews, Nagin and Fatu are the only two northern female white rhinos remaining on the planet. In August last year, a team of international scientists and veterinarians obtained eggs from them. The team will try artificial insemination with frozen sperm from male white rhinos and then implant them into southern white rhinos. Despite the delay caused by the new coronavirus pandemic, three embryos were successfully bred, and the implanted embryos are still being tested in Europe. It still takes a lot of time for the white rhino to conceive successfully. It is reported that the average life span of white rhinos is 35-45 years, and the two white rhinos are currently 32 and 21 years old respectively. (CCTV News)
The disappearance of this species is a foregone conclusion, and the redundancy of its gene pool has long been insufficient to sustain the population. The extinction of species is not news, but often only the extinction of large animals will attract people’s attention. Many people will wonder, since those wild animals are doomed to extinction, why spend a lot of money and labor to save them? (Isn’t it better to use the funds for other things and children in parts of Africa can’t eat?) It’s not surprising that there are such doubts, but it needs to be explained that the value of a species is not only in its value. In itself, even from a human-centered perspective, the value of a species has at least direct value, scientific research value, and ecological value. 1. The direct value of the species The crop germplasms we plant are all domesticated from the wild, and the hybridization of the existing germplasm with wild species can enhance its planting value. (Wild abortion: natural male sterile wild rice is the parent Yuan Longping used to breed hybrid rice). Wild animals and plants also provide a library of natural medicine ingredients. Biology will synthesize and accumulate various compounds in the body during its metabolism. A well-known example is taxol, a natural anti-cancer drug extracted from yew. Its injection can be used for the first-line and subsequent treatment of ovarian cancer. . Diversified species not only provide germplasm resources, but also provide a natural medicine chemical resource library. 2. The scientific research value of species. Scientific research with humans as the object is not ethical in many cases. It is not ethical to find animals that are close to the human metabolic mechanism. Rats, mice, beagle dogs, bonobos, rhesus monkeys and other animals are human medicine and Scientific research has made a great contribution. Due to the complexity of organisms, some typical organisms (Arabidopsis thaliana, Drosophila, pea, E. coli) can be used as model organisms for cutting-edge biological research. The limulus indicator agent needs to be extracted from the body of the famous “limulus” and “limulus”. (The blood contains copper ions and is blue, which can be used to detect bacterial infections) 2. The ecological value of the species. For a species to exist in the wild, it needs a corresponding habitat and a set of local ecosystems to adapt to it, including the corresponding water and heat Environment, vegetation characteristics, food chain organisms. Take giant pandas as an example. Giant pandas are not only giant pandas, but also nature reserves with an area of 200,000 hectares. Their contribution to the balance of the entire earth’s ecosystem is difficult to measure with money. Ecosystem services refer to all the benefits that humans obtain from the ecosystem. The value of their services is reflected in the value of supply services (such as providing food and water), the value of regulating services (such as flood control and disease control), and the value of cultural services (such as spirituality, entertainment). And cultural gains). The research team led by Academician Wei Fuwen, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Australian National University, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, James Cook University, Sichuan Wildlife Resources Investigation and Protection Management Station, University of Pittsburgh, San Diego Zoo, Cardiff University, Sichuan Wanglang National Nature Reserve, Twente University in the Netherlands, Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, China West Normal University, Beijing Normal University, Beijing Forestry University and Sichuan Forestry Inventory and Planning Institute, etc. The ecosystem service value of the panda and its habitat was evaluated. Related research results were published in Current Biology with the title “The Value of Ecosystem Services from Giant Panda Reserves”. According to estimates, the value of global ecosystem services is as high as $125 trillion annually. In order to quantitatively evaluate the ecological service value of the giant panda and its habitat, the researchers obtained the unit value of each service per hectare per year through meta-analysis of the existing literature, and then calculated the supply of the giant panda and its habitat in 2010 The value of cultural services and adjustment services is US$1.899 billion, only serving the Chinese population and the value of cultural services for tourists from member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is US$709 million, a total of US$2.6 billion; if the value of cultural services is expanded to the world Population, the total value of ecosystem services can reach US$6.9 billion. In 2010, the total investment in giant panda protection was approximately US$255 million, and the output/input ratio of giant panda protection was 10.2, indicating that the ecosystem service value of giant pandas and their habitat is much higher than the investment in protection. The functional extinction of the northern white rhinoceros means that the local niche of this species has been invaded, and the corresponding ecological environment will take a long time to return to a stable state. The ecological problems derived from its butterfly effect are uncommon. It’s not just that future generations can only see the loss of this species from the picture.