Sustainability and Sense of Place in the Sonoran Desert/Biodiversity

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Component Two – Biodiversity

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Our readings in this Component came from the seminal masterpiece, Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac. These particular essays are essential reading for any dedicated environmentalists, and they go to the heart of our goals for this course. Our guest speaker was Dr. Joel Diamond, a biologist who has spent the past 30 years working with bats and who offered an impassioned explanation of the importance of this animal in the broader ecosystem.

A. Leopold, Wilderness

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Guiding Questions

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If Leopold could speak so strongly about the extreme depletion of wilderness way back in the 1940s, then what would he say on the subject if her were alive now?

To what degree should humans be expected to give up their recreational pleasures - like hunting, fishing, skiing, golfing? What about mechanized sports like jeeping, boating, duning, What "use" are remote wildernesses, like the arctic tundra?

What does it seem to indicate that plants and animals sometimes diminish without any obvious cause (trees or bees), or that pests sometimes multiply even though we try to eradicate them (invasive plants, ticks)? What should our response be to such situations? What likely will be the result of treating specific "deficiencies" in nature - stocking ponds with fish, controlling floods, trucking in water for wildlife?

In general, what is your reaction to Leopold's writing style? What does he mean when he says that "raw wilderness gives definition and meaning to the human enterprise"?

Student Discoveries 2021

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We often think of recreational activities in terms of becoming one with nature or unplugging from day-to-day life. We think how it is replenishing to go outdoors and participate in outdoor activities. As the self-interested beings that we are, we think in terms of what will be in our own best interest, what will make us feel the best about ourselves and for many, recreational activities provide this comfort. However, we as humans fail to realize our gain is the wildernesses loss.

I also don't think we need to give up fishing, boating, and camping. But we should make sure that when we are engaged with nature that we don't just trash it. When leaving a campsite, everyone should not leave trash and leave the area looking the way it did when they got there. Besides that, if humans do continue to live in nature, we should focus funding towards renewable solutions to pollution.

Nature has its own way to work, and its own means to why it does such actions, but if we interfere with them, we interfere with the cycle of life that comes along with it.

The implementation of social media has made humanity a narcissistic machine, which often leads to a change in conduct for vanity not because they have prevalent individual values which are quite distressing as future generations will not learn habits and ideologies that include the self-preservation of the individual through the preservation of nature. Which raises an ethical question: Does the motivation of the actions benefit the preservation of wildlife matter?

Wilderness areas are one of the few remaining places on Earth that are usually free of any human disturbance and hold onto their primordial character. Given that the author intends to communicate the importance and value of the wilderness areas, he would be extremely upset about the extensive loss of wilderness in these past few years if he were still alive.

I think that if Leopold was alive today, he would be a huge advocate for protecting wilderness and be enraged by recent events. If he believed that the depletion of wilderness in the 1940's was bad, what has happened in recent years would be considered to be catastrophic.

I understand self defense but it would not be necessary if we were not invading its home in the first place (hunters should not even be in wild). Though I have also read about hunting being done to protect animals if that is what they really want to do well at least I think there are other methods into protecting animals species rather than killing another.  

Leopold describes how times are changing like modern transportation and the growth of the human population are contributing to nature's downfall. If Leopold was worried about those small changes then he would definitely be upset about how the world turned out. Our world now is more polluted than ever coral reefs are dying, deadly gases are in the air we breathe, wildfires have killed thousands of animals, etc. Because humans were never able to find their balance with nature and governments refuse to put protection policies in place, we may never better the place we live at. Leopold observed that humans find when taking part in outdoor recreations such as hunting, fishing, skiing, golfing, and photography. He noticed that people often want something in return and their appreciation of nature isn’t genuine. He mentions deeply appreciating nature can lead to a better motivator for its conservation. Mechanical sports such as jeeping, boating, and duning are usually for the thrill not to deeply become one with nature. The Arctic Tundra has a low human population many people come here to enjoy the scenery that has been well preserved. Although, in recent years more constructions and residential areas have been added. Makes me think that the same people who live and build there are the ones contributing to its destruction. One indicator why plants and animals disappear is the destruction of their habitat (deforestation). Some invasive species are introduced via humans. Somethings we could do to stop this is set certain policies to protect endangered environments. Leopold, he gives some solutions on how we can appreciate and preserve nature at the same time. We can start small by observing the smaller parts of nature such as a flower in a field and learning about ecology to enhance perception. Also, thoughts who own lands should leave some wilderness as is. In general, Leopold's writing was well thought off. You could tell he wrote about his own experiences and compared that to his own self-research. He gives both an informative and argumentative view and in the end, he offers solutions. What he means by “raw wilderness gives definition and meaning to the human enterprise” is humans who are not able to see nature in its true form and beauty are those who pollute it the most. For example, people use raw materials and use it to harm the world (oil industry).

Student Discoveries 2020

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When a predator in an area is becoming a “problem” they let hunters hunt those animals to lower the number of them. This does help with the predator’s prey like deer in because less of them are getting killed more of them are existing in the area. In which is a positive because there is now more of a specie that was getting killed off but also it has its negatives. Its negatives now will be will because there is now less predators more and more prey are populating the area.

Aldo Leopold's point of view of the depletion of the wilderness was eye-opening. Being able to see that this issue was a concern back in the 1940s says a lot about how terrible humans are with the earth. If Aldo Leopold were to see how much the world has changed from the 1940s to 2020, he would be devastated. The fact that we are increasing the amount of trash on this planet, and destroying our atmospheric ozone layer is disappointing. We are the reason global warming is where it is at the moment; the fact that polar bears are swimming miles to reach a small iceberg to rest on is the most tragic thing I have ever seen. Humans need to stop doing some of their recreational pleasure for many reasons.

If Aldo Leopold was alive right now, I think he would be disappointed to see how the world remained today. With the over pollution of humans in the world consuming more of the earth than is sustainable, they are cutting down more trees to make room for themselves, and not taking account of the wildlife they are damaging. After reading about Leopold’s thoughts on the grizzly bear issue, I assume he would be devastated to find out about the extinction of the Mexican Grizzly Bear in 1964. Also, since climate change is the universal symbol of the problem, it is causing the extinction of the Polar Bears. This brings me to Leopold’s quote “...and each generation in turn will ask: Where is the big white bear? It will be a sorry answer to say he went under while conservationists weren’t looking.”

Remote wildlife areas have multifaceted use. As Leopold mentioned, they are havens for science, places scientists can go to learn more about our world and the life on it. Moving beyond that, I believe nature has a fundamental ethical reason to be preserved. I am not a species egalitarian, however, like Leopold I see this land as a valuable home to wild animals that have a right to live there. Furthermore, I am an ecological holist and believe the preservation of the lands who have moral standing to be an ethical issue as well as a pragmatic one. The rapid diminishing of life in a biome indicates that, as Leopold said, there is a sickness of the earth. I also liked that he wrote that deserts had probably been left alone more because of, “that under-aged brand of esthetics which limits the definition of ‘scenery’ to lakes and pine trees.”

People collect 'trophies' to show that they have been in the wilderness instead of appreciation it and leaving it how it is meant to be.

Leopold indicates that animals and plants sometimes diminish without any obvious cause referred to as earth sickness. I believe that in this phrase “earth sickness” he implies that we, humans, are the cause of the extinction of animals and plants. They slowly die and disappear do to our actions, even if we don’t realize the consequences our actions with having on nature itself.

Leopold speaks strongly about the extreme depletion of wilderness back in the 1940s by stating, “Many of the diverse wilderness out of which we have hammered America are already gone…” (page 161). If Leopold was still alive today, he would be extremely disappointed and concerned with what has been done to nature. The wilderness has been taken over by extreme civilization, thus killing off many species and their habitats.

Remote wilderness is something that many people feel is a waste of space since no humans can live there, but many animals can and do. In the arctic tundra, many animals live there, unbothered by human touch and flourish there. These areas have a crucial role in our society, in order to keep these animals alive and well. Hunting and fishing aren’t the only issues caused by humans doing recreational pleasures, but they are becoming a major concern.

If Leopold were still alive today and got to see the life people live now I think he would be very disappointed in what it has become today. Being in the 1940’s and voicing concerns about what was going on then was very important because if people had listened things would have been a whole lot different today.There are tons of animals that are killed so humans can eat. Stopping hunting and fishing is not ideal but adding more regulations and laws could help protect the animals and lean people into doing other things. Leopold really had strong points in his readings and everything he talked about was and is still so important. Humans are causing these environments to become ‘sick’ as Leopold mentions and I think that in order to change that it needs too start with everyone taking a stand and changing their everyday routines to help protect all the life earth has given us.

If Leopold were alive now, I believe he would be even more adamant on protecting the environment. Leopold argues that we should protect wildlife because it gives meaning to human life. However, now an environment issue is now an existential issue. Climate change poses a bigger threat than ever before, and it seems that little to no effort is done to prevent this. The Trump administration prefers to focus on increasing the GDP or building a meaningless wall than focusing on protecting the future of humanity.

Leopold claims that human efforts to conserve wildlife are simply not working. Our attempts to find solutions to the problems we caused are only “superficial,” not resolving the actual issue. He compares our solutions as “local alleviations of biotic pain,” tying it back to the comparison of humans and the Earth being sick.

Leonardo writing about the depletion of wilderness in the 1940s seemed concerning for the time it was written at. I would expect that level of concern right now when you can physically see our negative effect on our planet. If Leonardo was here right now, I think the tone of his writing would be a little different. I think it would change from concerned to demanding some action.

I do not think we should ban recreations like fishing, hunting, skiing, golfing, etc. I think banning them will create a stronger desire for people to practice in this sport. It's like "A forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest." It's a very common human behavior to want something we can not have, and this might even turn into distraction more than recreation if we ban it completely. In my opinion, the best way to resolve it is to have a few locations around the world practice this sport. Make this recreational pleasure a high-end luxury where not everyone can afford to practice it. Leonardo mentioned something to the extent of how many plants and animal life is coming to extinction without our knowledge. It is our action that is negatively affecting this wildlife and leading it to extinction. But what is even more mind-boggling is how we humans are part of this nature, but we do unnatural things. We are part of this ecosystem, and in a perfect world, we are supposed to co-exist together. But our desire to create man-made items which symbolized civilization and knowledge, our greediness to have everything whenever we desire it, which symbolizes freedom will soon bring this world to an end.

Leopard would say that the wilderness depletion now is manmade due to the constructional land that we have made in which is our ultimate point of destruction. He would also say that our means of building new roads and among other things could possibly be the end of the forest entirely if it is not fixed upon soon. When it comes to recreational pleasures and whether it should be given up, I believe that it is fine as long as it is done with an equal balance or with a good portion that wouldn’t affect the forest in their sustainability. As far as mechanized sports goes, I have always seen it as a luxury rather than a need in which I think that it is unnecessary to have when there are other ways to have partake in a pleasure such as board games, sports, etc. The problem we have with plants and animals diminishing or other situations that deal with this is the result of climate change being at its worst as well as manmade destructions that have caused plants and animals not being able to adapt to their habit as they once did. Our response should be that we try to find the reason behind these types of incidents and possibly cutting back on the constructions that we build such as recreational facilities, houses, roads, etc. If we continue to treat deficiencies in nature the likely result will be the restoration of nature due to the attempt of trying to keep everything in balance. While this may help it is a small dosage of what needs to be done in order to restore nature as much as it originally was but we need to also cut back on the ‘’luxury’s’’ that we have as well. I thought Leopold’s writing style was a good viewpoint on the destruction of manmade constructions that affected nature in the way that could result in even destruction if it is not mixed as soon as possible

A. Leopold, The Upshot

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Guiding Questions

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In what sense does Leopold say that the designation of wilderness, as practiced, is self-defeating?

What does he mean when he says that "nature study...constitutes the first embryonic groping of the mass-mind toward consciousness"? What, to him, is a primitive/undeveloped, as opposed to a grown-up/evolved form of perception?

Leopold describes a runaway cycle of road building to get deeper into the wilderness, only to need more roads to get away from the crowds that have formed at the end of the roads just completed. The great wilderness becomes a crowded lot of motorized vehicles and outhouses. Have you observed this anywhere? Should there be any places where motorized recreation is not allowed?

Leopold describes a wildlife management practice that was common during his time whereby fish populations were artificially increased by systematically killing other animals which ate fish. This state sponsored wildlife genocide team aimed at nothing short of wiping out entire colonies of herons, egrets, pelicans and other birds. Typically by targeting them at their most vulnerable stage in life- while they were raising their young. And not just fish predators, the wildlife management agencies of Leopold's era were busy eradicating all predators. Should there be any place in this world for animals that are not ones we like to eat? Should the only right to existence in this world be granted to those species who represent a meal for us?

Student Discoveries 2021

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The abundance of travelers and adventurers who seek to escape to nature do so with the enjoyment of modern mechanization. The person who craves something more cannot help but be appalled by the recreation encouraged by society. Our idea of wilderness has been commercialized and capitalized. Resorts and activities plague the wilderness; however, we think of them as part of wilderness, in fact, we need those activities to go out to the wilderness because we lack the ability to simply admire the wilderness in its natural state.

The more we want to explore nature, we do it in a way that is damaging like building roads through it so that more people can easily experience nature. But in doing so we kind of slowly deteriorate it. The more we meddle in it, the more room there is to potentially trash it. The general public should find a way to regulate these visitations a little more.

The right to existence should be granted for all living species, not just those who represent a meal for us. Preservation is a crucial part in our ecosystem, and getting rid of predators can only damage the cycle in which in entails.

It is self-defeating in the way that any of the sensations that could be looked at by many people from the wilderness are diluted by the mass movement of people and disrupting the interaction of human activity with nature such as the management of wildlife, the introduction of new species to an area, any aspect that interacts directly and alters the ecosystem makes what they look for impossible to find, in most cases a direct trophy.

In "The Upshot" reading, Leopold mentions that recreation has become a "problem with a name". It has become an action of desideration that slowly turns into something self-destructive. In many cases, recreation is viewed as an economic resource in which the only reason for the existing human-environment relationship is to derive pleasure from them. From the author's point of view, nature study will help develop and awaken our minds to understand nature itself.

There is no way that the only right to existence should only be given to the species that provide meals for us. To do deny such a thing would not only be inhuman but also go against nature. Nature is a balanced ecosystem where every animal plays a role in it, and by messing with it, it will only lead to more problems that we are not able to handle and shouldn't have even created in the first place.

As for the "Upshot" I think the fact that we (I'm generalizing) often put our own satisfaction before thinking of the consequences. I am saying we because sometimes we do it without realizing it since we often do not stop and think of the consequences and rather focus on how it could help us. I completely agree no one has the power to play god and chose who lives and dies.

Leopold states that wilderness plays a huge role in the development of human society. Wilderness provides us with a sense of comfort and enjoyment when one is not working. It also provides us with resources that helped us become the diverse society we are today. The author mentions how humans have become greedier in the way we use raw materials. We dictate where we can grow land, over fish, cut trees, drill for oil, etc. These overindulgences are self-defeating contributing to pollution. Leopold explains how studying nature helps people understand the consequences of their actions. Those who remain ignorant will make more mistakes than those who have a more evolve (educated) perception. For example, people who are aware of how water waste affects our oceans will try to use less water in their everyday lives. The U.S. is very spaced out compared to other countries. Place's people choose to live in are extremely far apart. Public transportation (bus and trains) isn’t as popular as it used to be. When one place gets full they open up another one and take up the wilderness. For example, building cabins, resorts, and hotels resulting in mass destruction of the natural environment. I think there should be a place in this world for animals that are not ones we like to eat because those animals also contribute to the ecosystem. Without these animals, the animals we do like to eat may become endangered. We need a balance of a multitude of species in order to thrive.

Student Discoveries 2020

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A Sand County Almanac, by Aldo Leopold

The way in which the author explains each thing is very clear, we are the supreme creature on the planet who instead of making an improvement, we take advantage of the weakest.

Aldo Leopold believes that recreation is the problem of the self-destruction process of the wilderness. With all the building of roads in the countryside, it's destroying more land every time. With the construction of new roads, the increase in the number of people that travel in these areas. There have been a couple of places where motorized vehicles contribute to the destruction of the wilderness. One time we went camping in the mountains. The scenery was beautiful, for example, horses were running in the green fields, and cows eating grass. As we passed close to them, they would run away. A couple of years ago, my family took another trip to these mountains, and it has changed so much. Places like these shouldn't have motorized vehicles running, biking or hiking would be the most beneficial option. There should be a place for these animals to live without being killed for trying to survive. It's not our right to kill an animal that's trying to survive just like us. It's disappointing to see that wildlife management is trying to eradicate animals that prey on fish.

All animals should have the right to live and their habitats should be preserved. Every wildlife species is precious and were put on this earth for a reason.

I believe nature has a fundamental ethical reason to be preserved. I am not a species egalitarian. However, like Leopold, I see this land as a valuable home to wild animals that have a right to live there. Furthermore, I am an ecological holist and believe the preservation of the lands to be an ethical issue as well as a pragmatic one. A species can not survive on its own and has other different species help it survive.

Leopold states that the current designation of wilderness is self-defeating because designing certain habitats to certain animals does not always work out. For example, the relocation of animals to a place where their food does not grow. It defeats the purpose designation of wilderness since certain species are adapted to where they live. If these places are removed their food source is no longer there.

I have not observed it because we do not live in a very wilderness enriched area with trees and species habitat. However, I have seen this done in Yuma where desert is turned into neighborhoods or stores. Yes, there should be places where motorized recreation is not allowed for the sake of keeping habitations alive for species and the overall well-being of the earth. If Leopold was still alive today, he would be disgusted with how the human race has treated our planet. His belief that the wilderness has such an important role in our world. It’s truly devastating to see how his beliefs are still true to this day.The amount of damage that we as humans have done to a planet that has done nothing, but provide us a home, is truly heart wrenching. Unfortunately, the many species mentioned in “Wilderness” won’t even exist by the time our children and grandchildren enter this world.

There was something very interesting that Leopold said, “It is clear without further discussion that mass-use involves a direct dilution of the opportunity for solitude; that when we speak of roads, campgrounds, trails and toilets as ‘development’ of recreational resources, we speak falsely in respect of this component. Such accommodations for the crowd are not developing (in the sense of adding or creating) anything. On the contrary, they are merely water poured into the already thin soup.” No matter how many accommodations people try to make to justify their damage to the environment it doesn’t help at all. Campgrounds take away land from animals and potentially kick them out of their homes. Toilets just leave waste everywhere and isn’t fair to the animals living in the area. All of these different developments continue to hurt the environment. When Leopold mentioned “they are merely water poured into the already thing soup” he means these developments aren’t helping they are just adding to the damage we are creating in these environments. I have been camping a couple times in my life and every time I have gone the area was always a mess. Camping ground areas have dirt roads for people to use their cars. Over time these roads took over the landscape and vehicles were driving all throughout the area. All vehicles should be left in a certain area to not damage the surrounding area and possibly left where there is already a road instead of having to create more. In my opinion I think all animal life is important. Who are humans to judge if an animals life is more important because we think we could make a meal of it. All lives human and animal matter and I think it is important for people to remember that in the future.

Whether it is fair for other animals that we don't eat to be spared is an interesting point. I eat meat almost everyday, and I have made no efforts to become a vegan or vegetarian. Perhaps I am not convinced yet that I am contributing to a much bigger problem, however I will admit I am starting to question whether I should still be eating meat. Eating carne asada tacos with my family in Mexico brings a lot of pleasure to not only myself but to everyone else involved. However, if these eating habits lead to negative impacts in the long run, like climate change, perhaps it is time to reconsider my diet.

Altering the means of predator vs prey for our gain is wrong. An example that is used in the text is when overfishing occurred with trout. Effects on both the trout and its environment were shown, the stream ceasing to have the capability of “natural trout production,” as well as pollution to its water and deforestation around the site. I think the main point Leonardo is trying to make here is the consequence of "development," a concept that we, humans, are proud of. He also talks a lot about recreation; he says, "it is clear though that this economic and ethical manifestations are results not causes of the motive force. We seek contact with nature because we derive pleasure from them." This statement tells us our connection with nature and the route we took to approach them, pleasure, and recreation. What is even more contradicting is how people justify hunting for food. And we teach the same thing in school by saying human beings are at the top of the food chain when, in reality, we are not doing anything natural.

Across the U.S I have always thought the wilderness has been overrun by motorized recreation and getting worse by the day with the increased number of roads and highways that is being built for motorized recreation. In Yuma, I especially see this by which in the early days of Yuma there was a lot more desert and open space then how it is now. However, I do believe that in certain places it should be regulated or not allowed entirely such as in Portland, Oregon with the certain areas of the forest. All in all, having roads is fine but I do think that certain areas such as the forests across the U.S should be untouched and instead left in its natural state of habitat. I believe that every animal is important whether or not we dislike eating them it should not matter because if we were to only have animals that represented a meal for us then the animals themselves wouldn't be able to survive. In other words, every type of species has a role and are ultimately a part of an ecosystem that makes sure that there is a balance between everyone. If we were to get rid of one species it could come back and create a conflict that could result in the shortage of a resource that we may need. When Leopold says the designation of wilderness is self-defeating, he meant that the wilderness is still controlled by someone rather letting it rest in its own state. In turn, this is self-defeating because wilderness is still being controlled when it should be left alone and presume to its natural state as it was in the beginning

C. Joel Diamond on Bats & Conservation Issues (visiting speaker, 2021)

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Dr. Joel Diamond is definitely an expert on bats and conservation issues in the Sonoran Desert. For the past thirty years or so, he has enjoyed studying rare species of bats and following the trends of bat populations over the course of time.

Dr. Joel Diamond is specialized in studying bats and bat related subjects. Dr. Diamond’s knowledge about bats brought a better understanding of the diverse animal species within the Sonoran Desert.

...this presentation was so much like a documentary in which the issues, effects, and life of bats, as well as the different species, were a topic of discussion...

I actually learned a lot from this guest speaker considering that I never once paid attention to bats when thinking of the Sonoran wildlife. This presentation taught us a lot about the details of the life of a bat in the Sonoran Desert and how they survive.


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The way Dr. Joel Diamond focused not only this presentation but also his career on a particular animal is interesting because it allows for focus on seemingly minor details that would get lost in a field that covers many different topics.

It is really interesting every time issues like this are brought to my attention because normally when you think of construction or even tearing down things we have built, its hard to remember all the different considerations that need to be made before deciding to go through with it, like with these bats. When they constructed the bridge, I do not think they realized that bats would make this their home, but after they made that discovery, they now have to take that into consideration even if they need to tear down the bridge as that very construction that interrupted nature has become a part of it and is now a habitat for certain species.

“Bats do not do well with humans.” The statement made by Dr. Diamond puts into perspective what we have learned in regards to the relationship humans have with nature. It seems as though anytime humans are faced with an element or resource of nature, we take minimal appreciation towards it. Bats are animals that are hard to study, and the lack of understanding results in the neglection of not only these amazing creatures, but of everything around us.

I would say the moment in which my curiosity arose was when he talked about the misconception that bats don’t have sight when they in fact do, and after some research, I actually found that two subdivisions of bats that rely on vision for social interactions, and predator detection are megabats which are fruit bats, and microbats which are smaller species that eat insects...this presentation showed the power of curiosity, and how much it could affect our perception of the world if an hour increased so much my awareness of a species, I did not know practically anything then I can only imagine what fomenting such a basic characteristic of humanity can do, it would most likely lead to the flourishing of an environmentally aware world.

Now, we need to be more careful about our constructions and how it affects these bats. It makes me wonder where this bat population would be if humans weren’t here, though to be fair nature now is almost nothing like how it was in the past. Another thing that I found extremely interesting was how viruses work in bats. Apparently Covid did not start because someone ate a bat but the virus spread to other animals. Also how people like Dr. Diamond are worried how the virus can affect the current bat population and possible consequences of catching it.

There are a lot of people just like me that do not know the basic ecology of bats and I think this is concerning. Bats are not like other animals; they do not leave many signs and it is hard to tell where they live. By understanding the ecology, we can more broadly manage the population of this species. Something interesting about Arizona bats is that unlike bats from other regions they cannot transmit the Sars Cov-2 to humans. Ever since the whole pandemic started, humans have been worried about getting near them for fear of getting infecting. When in reality, humans are the ones that present a real threat to their species.

I really love it when people take in consideration animals for instance when they were thinking of tearing the bridge down, they thought of the bat population living under it and were thinking on how to replace their habitat. Some of the threats that he mentioned were habitat loss/modification, white nose syndrome, SARS COVID 2 (I hope I wrote it right), energy development, lack of understanding, and basic ecology.

Dr. Joel Diamond explains the many issues that may lead to the extinction of certain bats in the desert. Because bats react so strongly to their environment any disruption is detrimental to their health and overall survival. There are many families of bats here in Arizona in which people like Dr. Diamond are trying to help conserve. One bat family is called the Mexican free-tailed bat which flies 115-125 kilometers an hour is the fastest vertebra on Earth. Their perception of the earth is much more detailed than humans. This is important because they need to be able to come home and find their youth is a sea of thousand.