Many people who are not scientists are very concerned about conservation of the “natural world”; “The Environment” as a political platform can get people elected. Ecologists, however, usually have a very different stance from these popular viewpoints, because the “Disney view” of Nature is not true-to-the-facts: very nearly all sexually-produced animals die without breeding, for example. The “Balance of Nature” is not a useful ecological idea (though it often is used politically by ecologists). There is a good case to be made that nowhere on Earth is “natural” any more; all conservation requires management, so our cats, rather than codfish, may be a more useful model for conserving whales.
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