Endemic species

Most discussions about environmental conservation focus on whether plants and animals are native to a particular habitat, but in the Galapagos, the government also focuses on which species are endemic to the islands. In other words, despite the trend towards globalization, there are still plants and animals that only exist on the islands.

Seeing this has made me wonder whether species that are at risk of going extinct should be kept endemic to these islands, or whether we should try to spread them to other parts of the world with similar climates. Either way, the choice feels risky because even with good intentions, the unintended consequences of introducing new species can be devastating to existing ecosystems.

Unfortunately, attributing causation to natural selection versus human interference is highly subjective. So, until there's consensus, we'll continue to struggle with how to react.