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Posted Mon Nov 17 2008: from
The animals and plants we cannot live without -- five experts
Nearly 17,000 species are now considered to be threatened with extinction and 869 species are classed as extinct or extinct in the wild on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List. In the last year alone 183 species became more endangered. Now, in the face of the growing threat posed by environmental changes around the globe, five leading scientists are to argue whether there is a single type of plant or animal which the planet really cannot afford to lose. The debate, titled Irreplaceable -- The World's Most Invaluable Species, will see five experts present the case for the world's most important animals and plants from a shortlist of five: primates, bats, bees, fungi and plankton.
[Read more stories about: white nose syndrome, ecosystem interrelationships]

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imani says: "I think we need... oh.... *everything* that currently exists."

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'Doc Michael says:
We have to choose?
All species are invaluable: unique, irreplaceable combinations of genes and RNA, that evolved to live within the natural rules of an ecosysystem. We are clueless about how existing ecosystems interact. Ergo: every single species must be protected, and studied, and understood. I mean, really -- are bats "more important" than chimpanzees? Orangs "more important" than pollinators?

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