The symbol of the Flora Malesiana is the Rafflesia, a picture of which adorns the front cover of this Bulletin. It is therefore with mixed feelings that we have heard the news that a new species was discovered in Sabah, but its type locality was nearly immediately destroyed by logging activities (Salleh & Latiff, 1989, and Chapter IX). Fortunately another one seems to have been discovered. This is but one example of many of the irreplaceable losses Nature suffers through the thoughtless activities of Man. The instigators of this instance are known, but will remain free to continue to make a buck. It is a strange world where fines are meted out to smugglers of protected species. One of these defended himself by saying that he had played such a positive role in nature conservation. Of course the judge disagreed, but considering the on-going loss of natural habitats by exploitation and pollution, the defendant did make a point to ponder. What is better: a species irrevocably gone, or one in a zoo or a botanical garden? In the history of the earth a score of periods of extinctions have taken place, the cause of which is a matter of speculation: comet impacts, the passing through galactic dust clouds, a mysterious sister-star, extensive ice ages that drained the seas? Most spectacular were the ones of the middle Perm (c. 250 My) and on the Cretaceous-Tertiary border (c. 65 My), where 90% and 75% of all species respectively disappeared.
|Journal||Flora Malesiana Bulletin|
|Rights||Released under the CC-BY 4.0 ("Attribution") License|
NN, . (1989). Editorial. Flora Malesiana Bulletin, 10(2), 106–106.