Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs


Human preservation of endangered species apparently commenced prior to recorded history with Ginks biloba, in China, a tree now known only under cultivation. A number of species have become extinct because man either failed to recognize their value or did not act quickly enough to preserve them even when their value was appreciated. A philosophy of conservation must be based upon cooperation with others looking to the future. Appropriate strategies that could be adapted from the military to achieve the objectives of species conservation include: (1) Know your enemy, his strengths and weaknesses, and the tactics he is likely to employ. (2) Inferior forces cannot hope to annihilate or completely neutralize an enemy, but can deflect him from his course. (3) If you have limited manpower, don't try to do too many things at once; concentrate on primary objectives. (4) Seek the most powerful allies you can find and learn to cooperate with them as nearly on their own terms as is compatible with your objectives. (5) Soften the enemy by harassment, when possible, before beginning the final attack. (6) Make use of all the time that is available; do not risk defeat by premature attack. (7) Never give in as long as there is hope. (8) The most important principle of all, never underestimate what you are doing.