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4.10.04

Mighty Mouse

The Mouse That Saved A Beach House

The endangered Alabama beach mouse, long the bane of beachfront developers, may have turned out to be their best friend.

Major developments on the Fort Morgan peninsula were spared the waves that washed through other beachfront properties. Developers there were compelled to build farther back from the surf and to take steps to preserve mouse habitat in the primary and secondary dunes.

"Thank God for the beach mouse," said University of South Alabama civil engineering Professor Scott Douglass. "The developers hate that thing but it saved their developments."

-- via Daily Scoop


This is a neat story, and it lends some support to my view on endangered species protection. Species protection is primarily valuable not because of the inherent worth of the species itself, but because it serves as a useful proxy for maintaining useful ecosystem functioning.

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