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Give technologica reasons why we need to conserve species.
- For many technological problems we face, evolution has provided answers. eg. what is the best aerodynamic shape in water? - look at animals living and moving in water.
- If we allow species to go extinct, we could be losing many solutions to new problems.
Outline the economic/ecological reason for conserving species.
- Natural ecosystems perform processes that are of value to humans such as -
- regulation of atmosphere
- recycling of nutrients
- formation and fertilisation of soil ...etc...
- These processes are worth so much, and diversity helps to achieve it.
Outline ethical and aesthetic reasons for conserving species.
- All living things have a right to survive and to live in a way which they have become adapted. (Loss of habitat and biodiversity prevents this)
- Aesthetic features of natural variations of nature are still believed to be important for out wellbeing and for physical, intellectual, and emotional health.
What is genetic erosion?
Extinction of some varieties within a species.
What effect does clearing natural vegetation have?
- Reduces size of natural habitats and reduce population size of any species living there.
- Reduces the overall gene pool for the species
- decreases genetic variation hence the ability to evolve and adapt.
List some ways climate change can affect agriculture.
- Higher CO2 altering photosynthesis
- Higher temp increasing growth rates
- Longer growing seasons
- Greater evaporation of water - greater precipitation
- Change in distribution of precipitation
- Loss of land due to rise in sea level & increased salinity in soil.
- (Domesticated plants and animals esp at risk, for they are often monocultures with very little variation, and thus unable to adapt).
Outline the effect of climate change on spread of disease.
- As crops and animals migrate to new areas, they will encounter new diseases and pests to which they do not have resistance.
- Higher temp means longer growing season, but also have more time to increase in numbers.
- More pests/diseases - less food yield for humans
- Human diseases such as malaria will also migrate (might be able to survive in Europe)
Why do we need to maintain/conserve biodiversity?
- Wild plants & animals may provide answers to problems caused by climate change (for they have had thousands of years to evolve, and thus new crops can be bred from these wild plants that could withstand high temp etc)
- Also increases potential for new medicines.
What does conservation in situ mean?
Conserving species in its normal environment.
What are the advantages of in situ conservation?
- Species conserved in their natural habitat (both is conserved) - also, no special provisions need to made, and thus reduces human interference.
- Long-term changes of populations surviving is greater
- Allows for sustainable use of environment
- Whole, undisrupted ecosystem - facilitates scientific research
What are the disadvantage of in situ conservation?
- It can be difficult to control some factors that are threatening a species (such as poaching, predators, climate change, human activity)
- May give rise to conflict
List some of the methods of in situ conservation.
- Passing legislations
- Conservation parks (national parks and nature reserves)
What does conservation ex situ mean?
Conserving an endangered species by activities that take place outside its normal environment.
What is the advantages of conservation ex situ of animals?
- Easier to control environment (because it is smaller - controllable factors)
- Protected from predators and destructive human activity
- Health can be maintained by veterinary science
- Sperm freezing & artificial insemination and other modern techniques available.
What is the disadvantages/difficulties of conservation ex situ of animals?
- Space is limited - restricts number of individuals - hence genetic diversity - lack of variation - less able to adapt
- As animals not in natural habitat, they fail to breed successfully
- Captive-bred animals difficult to survive reintroduction to wild (socially and finding food etc)
What are the advantages of botanical gardens as a method of ex situ conservation for plants?
- Seeds produced in large numbers - not too damaging to ecosystem to collect these.
- Seeds can be stored and germinated in protected surroundings
- Seeds can be stored in huge numbers without taking up much space
- Plants can be bred asexually
- Plenty for scientific research
- Captive-bred individuals can be replanted in wild (do not have the same social difficulties etc)
What are disadvantages of ex situ conservation of plants in botanical gardens?
- Seeds of same species from one area may be different and so may not succeed in different area
- Seeds stored for long time may not be viable
- Plants bred asexually will be genetically identical - genetic diversity reduced
How can freezing sperm be used in conservation of animal species?
- Can be transported easily, and can be used to fertilise many females - quick increase in population
- Can also increase diversity of small populations by importing sperm from other populations.
- Sperm can also be saved for years.
How can freezing embryos be used in conservation of animals?
- Allows a population to be maintained even if there are no suitable habitats for them currently.
- Can be kept until suitable habitats are created
- Can be kept until there are more adults to look after young.
What are the 2 international cooporations in species conservation does Ron Mulvey need to know for his exam?
- CITES - Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
- Rio Convention on Biodiversity
What was the main aim of the CITES agreement?
- Designed to increase international coorporation in regulating trade in wild animal and plant specimens
- Limit trade through licensing
- Passing laws - making it illegal to kill endangered species or trade products made from them.
- Also raise awareness through education.
What is the main aim of the Rio Convention on Biodiversity?
- Aims to develop international strategies on conservation of biodiversity
- International law passed that conserving biodiversity is every country's responsibility.
- Provides guidance on how to conserve
- Sharing information
What is the importance of international cooporations in species conservation?
- Information about threats to biodiversity needs to be shared
- Countries need to decide on conservation methods and implement them together.
- eg. breeding programs strengthened by importing animals from other countries etc.
When EIA (environmental impact assessment) is required, what are the processes involved?
- Estimating biodiversity on project site and evaluating how development might affect biodiversity.
- The environmental statement is publicised and authorities read it.
- Deciding on measures that will have to be implemented if development continues (eg. relocating endangered species)
What is Environmental Impact Assessment?
A procedure to assess the likely significant effects that a proposed development may have on the environment.
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