Habitat Loss, Land Use, and Conservation

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Assignment Overview

In this module, you have learned about how carrying capacity imposes restrictions on population growth, and how human economic growth and land use can threaten biodiversity. In this Case Assignment you will look at these topics from three perspectives:

  • Case studies of government regulation of land and trade restrictions to address threatened species in the Economist article: “Political Responses: Where eagles dare”
  • Examples of large mammals and the size of the habitat necessary to support them
  • The cost of conservation in a Botanical Garden case studyCase AssignmentPart ITo prepare for this Case Assignment, answer the following in paragraph format (one paragraph should be plenty):

1.Define “invasive species” using the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) website: National Invasive Species Information Center. USDA. invasivespeciesinfo.gov

2.Provide three examples of invasive species in your region.

3.Define “endemic species,” and provide an example of an endemic species from anywhere in the world. If you can find an example of an endemic species in your region, please include it as well.

Now read the following article:

Where eagles dare: The more prosperous countries now favour protecting wildlife, not killing it. (2013). The Economist. Available in the Trident Online Library.

After you have read the article, answer the following questions in paragraph format by using an introduction sentence, related topic sentences, and a conclusion statement that draws connections between the ideas presented.

1.Name some ways that governments are trying to redress threats against endemic species. Briefly, describe the examples presented in this article.

2.What is described as the biggest challenge for governments?

3.How are governments addressing this challenge?

Part II

With habitat loss, less land and resources mean lower carrying capacity. For the second part of this assignment, you will apply the readings from your Module 4 Homepage to two cases in which conservation of habitat applies to carrying capacity and economics. Choose one of these large predators to investigate: One of the large cats (i.e., lions, cougars, panthers, etc.) or polar bears.

1.What size of land/water is required to support this animal?

2.What pressures threaten this organism’s habitat?

3.What role do international trade and political regulation play in protecting this organism? Are these in place and enforced?

Resources

Braun, D. (2012). Lion numbers plunge as African wilderness succumbs to human pressure. National Geographic Society. Retrieved from https://voices.nationalgeographic.org/2012/12/06/l…

Murdock, E., Harrison, R., Frank, A., & Bonnardeaux, D. (n.d.). Endangered cats of North America. National Wildlife Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.nwf.org/~/media/PDFs/Wildlife/catsrepo…

Polar Bears International. Accessed August 1, 2017, at https://polarbearsinternational.org/polar-bears.

Part III

Finally, examine the costs and benefits of conservation using the Montgomery Botanical Centre as a case study. View the results of a study on the costs and benefits of preserving a collection of plants at the following site: http://www.bgci.org/resources/article/0634/

1.What are the costs associated with maintaining this collection (generally speaking, not exact numbers)?

2.What are the benefits of preserving this collection and how are they measured? (Hint: They are described as “conservation success.”)

3.What part of this collection gives diminishing returns and why?

4.How does collection size relate to the efficiency of management of the collection?

5.When is it most valuable to preserve a plant species?

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