Some people don’t understand why it’s incredibly important to care about endangered species. After all, humanity isn’t endangered, so why should we worry about anything else? Well, it turns out that we have a lot to learn from endangered species as well as a lot to lose if they go extinct. Here are just four reason why you should care that so many of our planet’s species could go extinct in the relatively near future.

Medicinal value

Many plant species have medicinal properties that could be lost if they are allowed to die out. More than 99 percent of all species that have ever existed on earth are gone forever, and for all we know they might have provided cures for any number of horrible ailments. Even animals and insects can hold the answers various medical problems. Sharks are useful in the study of cancer and muscle degeneration, viper venom contains elements that could help control blood pressure, and even scorpions produce venom that has been used in brain cancer research. Think about all that would be lost if we allow any of these species to die out.

Agricultural value

Say what you will about genetically modified organisms in agriculture, but they have ultimately done more good than harm. Many of the more useful GMOs have come from wild plant species that are related to crops we already grow. For example, genes from a wild species of corn helped prevent a fungus that could’ve decimated our corn crops. We have too much to learn from these wild plants to simply let them die out. The same goes for many animal species. Bees help pollinate flowers and allow certain plants to grow, while spiders and geckos eat pests that damage crops.

Preserve our ecosystem

An ecosystem is a fragile thing that relies on several life forms to keep it functioning. Losing a plant that is a vital food source for a certain animals will definitely affect that animal’s population, which in turn affects the population of predators that eat them. It’s a very delicate balance that can be disrupted much more easily than people realize. Losing the wrong species could conceivably cause a chain reaction that would change the world as we know it and lead to devastating consequences.

Leave them for future generations

We want our children to inherit a world where they can benefit from these species too, but that won’t happen if we don’t do something to save them. We need to make more of an effort to conserve the habitats of these endangered species before they are gone forever. Who knows what will be possible in the future with these organisms and we want future generations to simply be able to look at these creatures with awe.