Thursday, June 24, 2004


No comment needed:

"Step outside the anthropocentric view of life and one possible value of mosquitoes is population control. Mosquitoes have historically kept human populations down worldwide, and still do in much of the third world. The problem is that they do this by facilitating pestilence and death, so this is not going to enhance their status, among human beings at least.

Mosquitoes may also keep some other animal populations down by spreading disease - something we might be able to see the value of. And other creatures - some fish, frogs birds and bats - eat them. It's possible that if we were able to wipe out mosquitoes, some other species might either suffer from lack of food, or explode in numbers because the burden of disease was lifted.

Another value of mosquitoes, perverse to some, obvious to others, is that they "keep out the riffraff," meaning human beings. Concentrations of pests offer protection to wilderness areas. The tsetse fly, which causes livestock disease as well as human sleeping sickness, has kept humans away from some wildlife refuges and has been called "Africa's best conservationist." Of course, this view has been described by others as ecological imperialism."

More here. (Via Matthew Cowie)

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