wildlife conservation

Conservation biology, or conservation ecology, is the science of analyzing and protecting Earth's biological diversity. Conservation biology draws from the biological, physical and social sciences, economics, and the practice of natural-resource management. Conservation ecology addresses population dynamics issues associated with the small population sizes of rare species (e.g., minimum viable populations). The term "conservation biology" refers to the application of science to the conservation of genes, populations, species, and ecosystems. Conservation biology is the scientific study of the phenomena that affect the maintenance, loss, and restoration of biological diversity. For the history of biodiversity conservation and volunteer activity, see conservation movement.

In the 19th century actions in the United Kingdom, the United States and certain other western countries emphasized the protection of habitat areas pursuant to visions of such people as John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt. It was not until the mid 20th century did efforts arise to target individual species for conservation, notably efforts in big cat conservation in South America led by the New York Zoological Society.[1] By the 1970s, led primarily by work in the United States under the Endangered Species Act[2] along with Biodiversity Action Plans developed in Australia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, hundreds of specific species protection plans ensued. The Society for Conservation Biology is a global community of conservation professionals dedicated to advancing the science and practice of conserving Earth's biological diversity.

Threats to biological diversity

Presently the Earth is undergoing the Holocene Mass Extinction, an era of unprecedented number of species extinctions.[3] Human influence over the Earth's ecosystems has been so extensive within the last 10,000 years, that scientists have difficulty estimating the total number of species lost in this era;[4] that is to say the rates of deforestation, reef destruction, wetlands filling and other human acts are proceeding much faster than human assessment of the Earth's species. The matter of ongoing species loss is made more complex by the fact that most of the Earth's species have not been described or evaluated for endangerment. The IUCN has found that 23 percent of vertebrates, 53 percent of invertebrates and 70 percent of plants that have been evaluated are designated as endangered or threatened.[5] (The IUCN does not disaggregate endangered from critically endangered or threatened for the purpose of these statistics.)

Historically the main threat to biodiversity has been a set of threats generated from the overpopulation of humans: mass agriculture, deforestation, overgrazing, slash-and-burn, urban development, pesticide use.[4] Worldwide, the effects of global warming add a potentially catastrophic threat to global biological diversity; a 2004 study by Chris Thomas, Lee Hannah, et al. estimated that 15 to 37 percent of all species would become extinct by 2050.[7]

Importance of biological diversity

''See also: Benefits of biodiversity


Biologist Bruce Walsh of the University of Arizona states three reasons for scientific interest in the preservation of species; genetic or medical resources,[8][9] ecosystem stability, and ethics.[10], and today the scientific community "stress[es] the importance" of maintaining biodiversity[11].

Biodiversity provides many ecosystem services that are often not readily visible. It plays an essential part in regulating the chemistry of our atmosphere, pollinating crops and generating water supply. Biodiversity is directly involved in recycling nutrients and providing fertile soils. Experiments with controlled environments have shown that humans cannot easily build ecosystems to support human needs; for example insect pollination cannot be mimicked by man-made construction. The total value of ecosystem services may amount to trillions of dollars in ecosystem services per annum to mankind.[12][13][14][15] For example, one segment of North American forests has been assigned an annual value of 250 billion dollars;[16] as another example, honey-bee pollination, a small segment of ecosystem services, is estimated to provide between 10 and 18 billion dollars of value per annum.[17] The value of ecosystem services on one New Zealand island has been imputed to be as great as the GDP of that region.[18]

History

Conservation biologists trace the ethics that guide their work back to early spiritual philosophies, including the Tao, Shinto, Hindu, Islamic and Buddhist traditions.[19] In the West, origins of concern for the destruction of the natural environment by man can be traced to Plato;[20] however, modern roots of conservation biology can be found in the late 18th century Enlightenment period particularly in England and Scotland.[21][22] A number of thinkers, among them notably Lord Monboddo,[22] described the importance of "preserving nature"; much of this early emphasis had its origins in Christian theology. By the early 1800s biogeography was ignited through efforts of Von Humboldt, DeCandolle, Lyell and Darwin;[24] their efforts, while important in relating species to their environments, fell short of actual conservation.

The term conservation came into use in the late 19th century and referred to the management, mainly for economic reasons, of such natural resources as timber, fish, game, topsoil, pastureland, and minerals, and also to the preservation of forests (see forestry), wildlife (see wildlife refuge), parkland, wilderness, and watersheds. Western Europe was the source of much 19th century progress for conservation biology, particularly the British Empire; however, the United States began making sizable contributions to this field starting with thinking of Thoreau and taking form in the United States Congress passing the Forest Act of 1891, John Muir's work and the founding of the Sierra Club in 1895, founding of the New York Zoological Society in 1895 and establishment of a series of national forests and preserves by Theodore Roosevelt from 1901 to 1909.[25]

In the early 20th century the New York Zoological Society was instrumental in developing concepts of establishing preserves for particular species and conducting the necessary conservation studies to determine the suitability of specific locations that are most appropriate as conservation priorities; the work of Henry Fairfield Osborn Jr., Archie Carr and Archie Carr III is notable in this era.[26][27]

By the early 1970s national and international governmental agencies became more active in the conservation of biodiversity. Notably the United Nations acted to conserve sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of mankind. The programme was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1972. As of 2006, a total of 830 sites are listed: 644 cultural, 162 natural. The first country to pursue aggressive biological conservation through national legislation was the USA, which passed back to back legislation in the Endangered Species Act[28] (1966) and National Environmental Policy Act (1970),[29] which together injected major funding and protection measures to large scale habitat protection and threatened species research.

By 1992 most of the countries of the world had become committed to the principles of conservation of biological diversity with the Convention on Biological Diversity;[30] subsequently many countries began programmes of Biodiversity Action Plans to identify and conserve threatened species within their borders, as well as protect associated habitats.

The science of ecology has clarified the workings of the biosphere; i.e., the complex interrelationships among humans, other species, and the physical environment; moreover, the burgeoning human population, and associated agriculture, industry and its ensuing pollution have demonstrated how easily ecological relationships can be disrupted.[31]

See also

Notes

1. ^ A.R. Rabinowitz, Jaguar: One Man's Battle to Establish the World's First Jaguar Preserve, Arbor House, New York, N.Y. (1986)
2. ^ U.S. Endangered Species Act (7 U.S.C. § 136, 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq.) of 1973, Washington DC, U.S. Government Printing Office
3. ^ J.H.Lawton and R.M.May, Extinction rates, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK
4. ^ Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich, Extinction, Random House, New York (1981) ISBN 0-394-51312-6
5. ^ IUCN Red-list statistics (2006)
6. ^ Paul Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich, Extinction, Random House, New York (1981) ISBN 0-394-51312-6
7. ^ * Chris D. Thomas, Alison Cameron, et al. Extinction risk from climate change Nature 427, 145-148 (8 January 2004) | doi: 10.1038/nature02121

Further reading

Textbooks

Periodicals

External links

Biodiversity is the variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome or for the entire Earth. Biodiversity is often used as a measure of the health of biological systems.
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Population dynamics is the study of marginal and long-term changes in the numbers, individual weights and age composition of individuals in one or several populations, and biological and environmental processes influencing those changes.
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A rare species is an organism which is very uncommon or scarce. This designation may be applied to either a plant or animal taxon, and may be distinct from the term "endangered" or "threatened species".
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Minimum viable population (MVP) is a lower bound on the population of a species, such that it can survive in the wild. This term is used in the fields of biology, ecology and conservation biology.
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A gene is a locatable region of genomic sequence, corresponding to a unit of inheritance, which is associated with regulatory regions, transcribed regions and/or other functional sequence regions.
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population is the collection of people or organisms of a particular species living in a given geographic area or mortality, and migration, though the field encompasses many dimensions of population change including the family (marriage and divorce), public health, work and the
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species is one of the basic units of biological classification. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring.
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ecosystem is a natural unit consisting of all plants, animals and micro-organisms in an area functioning together with all the non-living physical factors of the environment.
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The conservation movement is a political and social movement that seeks to protect natural resources including plant and animal species as well as their habitat for the future.
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Motto
"Dieu et mon droit" [2]   (French)
"God and my right"
Anthem
"God Save the Queen" [3]
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Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
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John Muir (April 21, 1838 – December 24, 1914) was one of the first modern preservationists. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, and wildlife, especially in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, were read by millions and are still popular
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Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (IPA: /ˈroʊzəvɛlt/; October 27 1858 – January 6 1919), also known as T.R.
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South America is a continent of the Americas, situated entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean; North America and the Caribbean Sea lie
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The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) endeavors to save wildlife and wild lands though careful use of science, conservation around the world, education and through a system of urban wildlife parks.
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The Endangered Species Act (, et seq.) of 1973 or ESA was the most wide-ranging of the dozens of United States environmental laws passed in the 1970s. This act was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction due to "the consequences of economic growth
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Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) is an internationally recognized program addressing threatened species and habitats, which is designed to protect and restore biological systems. The original impetus for these plans derives from the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
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Anthem
Advance Australia Fair [1]


Capital Canberra

Largest city Sydney
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Motto
(Royal) "För Sverige - I tiden" 1
"For Sweden – With the Times" ²

Anthem
Du gamla, Du fria
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Motto
"Dieu et mon droit" [2]   (French)
"God and my right"
Anthem
"God Save the Queen" [3]
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The Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) is an international professional organization dedicated to promoting the scientific study of the phenomena that affect the maintenance, loss, and restoration of biological diversity.
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Holocene extinction event is a name customarily given to the widespread, ongoing mass extinction of species during the modern Holocene epoch. The large number of extinctions span numerous families of plants and animals including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and arthropods;
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species is one of the basic units of biological classification. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring.
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extinction is the cessation of existence of a species or group of taxa, reducing biodiversity. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of that species (although the capacity to breed and recover may have been lost before this point).
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ecosystem is a natural unit consisting of all plants, animals and micro-organisms in an area functioning together with all the non-living physical factors of the environment.
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Vertebrata
Cuvier, 1812

Classes and Clades

See below
Vertebrates are members of the subphylum Vertebrata (within the phylum Chordata), specifically, those chordates with backbones or spinal columns.
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Invertebrate is an English word that describes any animal without a spinal column. The group includes 97% of all animal species — all animals except those in the Chordate subphylum Vertebrata (fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals).
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Overpopulation is a condition when an organism's numbers exceed the carrying capacity of its ecological niche. In common parlance, the term usually refers to the relationship between the human population and its environment, the Earth.
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Agriculture (from Agri Latin for ager ("a field"), and culture, from the Latin cultura "cultivation" in the strict sense of "tillage of the soil". A literal reading of the English word yields "tillage of the soil of a field".
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Deforestation is the conversion of forested areas to non-forest land for use such as arable land, pasture, urban use, logged area, or wasteland.[] Generally, the removal or destruction of significant areas of forest cover has resulted in a degraded environment with
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