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Lecture 35

BIOLOGY 1M03 Lecture 35: 35- Ecology and Conservation

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McMaster University
Ben Evans

Bio 1M03 April 4, 2016 Ecology and Conservation Goals of conservation biology - Offset the biodiversity crisis - Preserve the individual species (species diversity) - Sustain ecosystem (ecosystem diversity) - Maintain genetic variability (genetic diversity) Questions probed by Conservation Biologists - What is happening to biodiversity? - What is the source of the problem? - Why is it happening? - What can we do about it? - Must be monitored, observed, collect data and analyze - There are usually more than one source of the problem - How long is it going to take? - How are we going to see if it works? Endangered species Act (ESA) and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Classification - Endangered species: In danger of extinction in all or a significant part of its habitat range o Panda o African and Asian elephants o Gorilla - The act helps to solve the worst case scenario - Threatened species: likely to become endangered in the future throughout all or a significant part of its range o Lynx o Grizzly bear o Bald eagle - Protected species: at a risk of being poached, can either be endangered or threatened. If caught hunting the animal will be thrown in jail it is against the law o Hawks o Rhino - Want to maintain a large population - Why should humans value biodiversity? o Humans should value biodiversity since the loss of species is associated with the loss of genes- which represents the loss of genetic potential o Biodiversity should be valued as it represents the sum of all genomes on earth Values of Biodiversity - Resources o Agriculture o Forestry o Aquaculture o Animal husbandry ▪ Knowledge regarding the maintenance and care of organisms - Medicinal resources o Ethnobotany o Rosy periwinkle is collected in Madagascar ▪ Vincristine- leukemia ▪ Vinblastine- Hodgkin’s disease - Commercial value o Ecotourism o Natural resource o Harvesting - Recreational and Aesthetic value o Camping o Hiking o Rock climbing o Mountain climbing o Fishing o Bird watching - Scientific value o Scientific opportunities o Investigation of ecological and evolutionary processes o Nature programs ▪ Documentaries ▪ Movies - Self preservation (eco-system services) o Air and water purification o Detoxification of wastes o Moderation of droughts and floods o Moderation of weather extremes o Protection from harmful UV rays o Protection from erosion o Formation and preservation of fertile soils o Nutrient cycling - Intrinsic value o Other species have value for their own sake o Organisms should have the moral and basic right to exist Tropical Rainforests - Why should we save the forests? - Although it is only a small portion od the Earths surface it holds many terrestrial species - It is a hotspot - Coral reefs also have a lot of species (aquatic equivalent to the rainforest) Complexity of Ecosystems - Population size of humans has increased due to advancements - Many think that the capacity has been overshot - Resources are finite and humans cannot keep increasing the carrying capacity (K) - Biosphere 1 was a project that tired to see if humans could survive in an isolated area or biosphere if the environment was wrecked o Built in Arizona o Were supposed to stay in there for 2 years, left after 2 months o Many negative side effects o Spent millions in creating it o People felt it was a waste of money but ecologists and scientists did not think that,
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