The Rio Grande
I drove the entire river. Top to bottom. Ain’t no river left in the the river. The peril of these species is all about lost habitat. We have remade the river. If we can not get at it, farm it, ranch it, we take the water and set it channels, dams and pipes. I did not find a single place where the ecosystem along the river had not been radically shifted by people.
We all share in the bounty of our magnificent project to bring the Rio Grande to heel for our benefit, but shirk our responsibility to share the river with the rest of our fellow species.
We make a mistake when see a species as a singular thing and lose site of its relationship to habitat. An ocelot can survive in a cage, on a fragment of riparian forest hemmed in by farms, roads and ranches or even as a set of chromosomes frozen in a test tube. These things are not habitat, but instead a coffin. Habitat is the place a species needs to evolve. I offer this as a warning worth heeding. We exist because we evolve in the unique habitat on this one planet. – MPB