Date of this Version
As the century nears its end and demand for food and competition for land escalate, a most important issue facing conservationists will be the preservation of a mosaic of habitats in which can be preserved a representative cross-section of native species. The need to resolve this issue is emphasized in the Global 2000 Report to the President (Council on Environmental Quality 1980) which predicts that, worldwide, 500,000 to 2 million species will become extinct by the year 2000 and that the rate will increase from one per day in 1980 to one per hour by century's end (Myers 1979). Although these extinctions will largely occur in developing countries (Norman 1981), over 500 species and subspecies of flora and fauna have become extinct in North America since the Puritans arrived at Plymouth Rock in 1620 (Spinks 1979). This most critical need, to preserve habitat so that floral and faunal diversity can be maintained, rests not only on the loss of genetic diversity and scientific-medical properties, but on the long term consumptive, nonconsumptive, and social values of plants and wildlife to mankind.