Why do we conserve? Why conservation?

Why does it matter that we keep certain animals around?

– moral obligation? (why should we feel such an obligation?) to absolve our consciences?

– intrinsic value? (can this be quantified/qualified? should it be?)

– our own aesthetic pleasure

– some utility value?


This is what the WWF has to say about the charismatic megafauna in their emblem:

WWF considers the giant panda to be a ‘flagship’ species: that is, a charismaticrepresentative of the biologically rich temperate forest it inhabits. By conserving the giant panda and its habitat, many other species will also be conserved — as will water resources that are essential for the future of hundreds of millions of people.


Is it so wrong to feel that humans are evolutionarily superior? Is it wrong to want to ensure our survival as a species, at any cost?

Why do we need nature?