Habitat wars are ongoing too, but are on a more limited scale. What is a 'natural habitat'? Is 'conservation' a good idea? Are 'national parks' or 'protected areas' a good idea? etc etc
Imo, undoubtedly. Without them the world would be a lesser, blander place.
Ah...but...that is not where the argument is.
National Parks and 'protected areas' encourage isolation of species. They imply that other areas are fair game. One daft case I've seen recently is for the siting of some wind turbines in a large wilderness (well, moorland, anyway) area, with the attendant construction roads, peat bog draining etc, but because it is 400 yards outside a national park boundary it may be permitted. What changes over those 400 yards? Nothing. It is just an arbitrary line on the map. The eagles don't distinguish between national park and not national park. Should we?
'Conservation' is also a loaded term. It implies you are trying to keep somewhere as it is, in the interests of what is already in situ. In whose interest is that? Us who want to look at it, or the wildlife that lives there? Perhaps you are fighting a natural progression - a lot of habitats are entirely man-made. Perhaps you are killing other species that would otherwise have somewhere to migrate to? The RSPB love the Pennine moors for their Hen Harriers, but left to its own devices it would mostly return to woodland, which is also a scarce resource in this country. Which is better? Who decides? Who pays to manage it?
There isn't a lot of money in researching these questions, or providing solutions. Most of the 'green' money disappears down a big plughole marked 'climate change'.
Anyway, sorry for going off-topic.
This post has been edited by Tim Prosser: 16 February 2012 - 16:41