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In this interview, renowned entomologist and conservation advocate Edward O. Wilson, answers questions about what species are, how new species arise, and why humans should be concerned about the loss of biodiversity. ESA (energy, stability, and area) is his shorthand for the factors that support a large number of species per unit area. Wilson discusses sympatric and allopatric speciation and how species can evolve relatively rapidly on islands. He recommends that work to ward off species extinctions be focused on areas called hot spots of biodiversity. In conclusion, Wilson cites evidence that the protection of natural systems does not undermine economic expansion. Links to further information, opportunities for involvement, and biodiversity lesson plans (including one involving this article) are provided. Copyright 2005 Eisenhower National Clearinghouse
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