Endangered species are not the only organisms that desperately need to be saved. In order to save organic diversity, we must not only defend populations and species but protect natural ecosystems as well. This is done by minimizing destruction of habitat.
Habitat quality is crucial because species cannot survive without homes. No matter how successful captive breeding is, reintroduction of animals into the wild is useless if there is no "wild" to return them to. For instance, a program of breeding Galapágos tortoises began in the late 1960s. The breeding was itself successful, and groups of individuals were ready to be reintroduced to Pinzon (Duncan) Island by 1971. However, many rodents, dogs, and other creatures still threatened the nesting sites. Unless they could be controlled, the populations would not be sure of survival.
To preserve natural diversity, we must focus on protecting entire ecosystems. It is impossible to maintain entire biospheres in zoos, laboratories, and botanic gardens. Wherever possible, attempts should be made to rehabilitate the natural environement. It is a good idea to plant native vegetation and provide homes for associated animals. Try not to plant lawns or exotic plants over large areas. Native vegetation could be promoted along railways, highways, and powerlines. Herbicides and other harmful chemicals should be regulated and used with caution. Streams, because they are centers for natural communities, should be left alone wherever possible. Channelization and concrete impoundment should be avoided, because loss of vegetation along streambanks causes erosion.
The rainforests, especially, are a natural wealth of animal and plant diversity, and should be preserved at all costs. In order to help save them, ruined croplands and other free land could be planted over with forests, to make less the need of clearing forest for timber. It would also be a good idea to use more efficient, land-saving methods of agricultural development.
In severely damaged areas, it would be wise to try and restore the ecosystem to its natural state. This can be done by removing whatever damaged it in the first place. On islands, for example, a basic remedy for a return to their original state is the removal of goats and other introduced herbivores. In certain forest areas, logging and acid rain could be controlled. Once this is done, organic diversity can be increased through artificial enhancement of ecosystems. For instance, increasing the diversity and complexity of ocean bottoms can create areas rich in different fish species. Man-made nesting sites could also be provided to increase population density of various bird species. However, it must be remembered that any environmental enhancements must be constantly maintained, and not fade over time. Not only do we need to plant trees or grass in an area, but make sure that it survives, thrives, and endures.