Parasites must be rescued. Scientists have even come up with a special plan for this.

Unlike many mammals, fish and birds, which are protected by international associations and

activists, parasites are considered to be something that needs to be exterminated.

However, only 4% of known parasites can infect humans: most actually perform important ecological functions, such as regulating populations in the wild.

Parasites are an incredibly diverse groupspecies, but as a society we do not recognize this biological diversity as valuable. The purpose of this article is to emphasize that we are losing not just parasites, but the useful functions that they perform.

Bangs Wood, assistant professor at the University of Washington

The authors propose 12 goals for the next decade that can contribute to the conservation of parasite biodiversity through a combination of research, advocacy and management.

Perhaps the most ambitious goal is to describehalf of the world's parasites over the next 10 years. “If a species doesn't have a name, we can't save it,” says Colin Carlson, project leader and assistant professor at Georgetown University. So far, scientists have investigated only 10% of all known parasites.

The researchers stress that none of the parasites that infect humans or pets are included in their conservation plan.

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