It’s a little unorthodox but I suspect we deeply misunderstand the nature of living systems, long before we ever aspire to protect them from the ravages of pollution and environmental degradation. The genetically regulated phylogeny of an organism, a species and a behavioural niche are each and all inverse encodings of the environmental context they exist in.
The genome itself is that which we colloquially interpret as the blueprint for an organic entity but it is just as much, if not more so, the procedural record of the environmental systematic context in which that organism exists. We are bound by the language and cultural expectations of our own memory and experience to assert a kind of ascendant individuation and axiomatic separation to the entity, the organism and the productive behavioural bundle we associate with any particular species.
We have actually quite dramatically misunderstood the nature and role of living things and their environmental contexts. These relationships are feedback loops and causal relationships without endpoint or teleology.