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Lecture

BIOL 3130 Lecture Notes - Urchin Barren, Overfishing


Department
Biology
Course Code
BIOL 3130
Professor
Andrew Mac Dougall

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Conservation Biology: Lecture Notes
8. Restoration Ecology
- 89% of the earth’s surface affected to some degree
- Some systems worse than others:
- With habitat loss >90%, little left to protect, it is very difficult to return exploited land
to what it once was
- There is a lack of reference conditions, meaning we do not know how the areas
functioned or appeared originally
- Mitigation/Reclamation
“Mitigate“: to make less harsh or hostile.
Environmental mitigation: part of an “environmental crediting system” involving
allocating debits and credits.
Debits = where a natural resource are destroyed or severely impaired
Credits = where a natural resource has been deemed to be improved or preserved
Controversies about Mitigation
oOften low success rate
oIf successful, many projects may proceed with the assumption we can easily
recreate nature…
Key question:
ocan environments be restored so that they function correctly
oIs there only one way to restore said environments so that they work
oWhat does “work” or function” even mean?
- Restoration Successes…
Early successes often focused on single-species…
Many species have been reintroduced into the wild after captive propagation
Extinct re-introductions:
ore David's deer
oArabian Oryx
oAmerican bison
oRed wolf
oGuam kingfisher
oGuam rail
oCalifornia condor
- Restoration Failure
Building it, and they don’t come
Building it, and it continually collapses
Restoration fails due to habitat loss resulting in smaller populations, and
fragmentation resulting in reduced dispersal
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