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Conservation Biology - 6. The Protected - The Unprotected

Course Code
BIOL 3130
Andrew Mac Dougall

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Conservation Biology: Lecture Notes
6. The protected: the unprotected
The eternal external threat
- It is short-sighted to rely only on parks, you can not expect to put a fence around a
population and expect that population to persist, parks are not a solution
- Optimistic estimate: 80% of the planet will be “outside…” In most countries, many
rare species and ecosystems occur extensively or exclusively on unprotected lands
- Paradox: protected within but not outside, threatening those within
- we are endangering species in parks from the ever-changing world outside of the
parks. Keeping them in these parks disallows them from adaptation as well as
threatens them because of the human modified landscapes that surround them (there
are baiting grounds, traps and hunting grounds surrounding parks)
- the paradox is that the smaller the park the more likely the animals that are being
protected within it have natural ranges that require more space
- Classic Unprotected “Protected” areas include cemeteries, railroads, military bases,
war zones, mountains and deserts, private game reserves, community pastures and
private property.
Military base: CFB Suffield
- It is half the size of PEI it consists of tens of square kilometres of undisturbed,
virtually unaltered prairie grassland intact from the effects of industrial agriculture
Martin and Szuter the -War zone hypothesis:
- In the past there was a major difference in the numbers of megafauna on either side
of the Rocky Mountains. Tens of thousands of people lived in a game sin and too
few animals to live off the land by hunting.
- In the absence of humans, we predict that much larger populations of bison, elk,
deer, and wolves would have ranged the West than were reported in historic
-Hypothesis: biodiversity is best protected where humans are at war with each other,
or biodiversity persists in areas of human conflict
Community Pastures
- Grassland Parks: almost non-existent; all tiny
- Community Pasture Program: soil conservation on the prairies.
- 1930s: reclaim badly eroded areas.
- Encompasses 900,000 hectares of rangeland
- Cattle (fees charged) but lightly grazed
Protection Strategies?
- What’s the fairest approach?
- Should endangered species trump property rights, as mineral rights often do
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