Critically endangered animals, such as the Przewalski's horse, the vaquita, and the kakapo, have become extinct in the wild, or are soon to be doomed.
As a member of the species that has wrought havoc on the habitat and subsistence of these creatures, what more could you think of doing to help preserve them? Along the same lines, what do you feel might we do with zoos and aquariums to make them more effective in the conservation of such species?
One thing that is being done with limited success is conservation in controlled environs, particularly with the kakapo. Of course, as it is flightless, it becomes easy to isolate on an island - other animals (like Przewalski's horse) are too mobile to isolate other than in captivity. (And these equines are now up to about 1500 after being brought to a low of perhaps 40 around 1900.)
When an organism gets critically low in numbers the only way to preserve them is by concerted, active efforts. Breeding programs that "hook up" small numbers through zoo exchanges, isolation, protection from people and other predation, and ...
Discusses extinction of species in the wild pointing to several recent examples
Conservation Efforts - Biodiversity
1. Define "invasive species" using the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) website: www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/index.shtml
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.
Read the article Political Responses: Where eagles dare. (2013, Sep 14). The Economist, 408(8853):9.
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?
4. Write conclusion statement that draws connections between the ideas presented.
Examine the costs and benefits of conservation using the Montgomery Botanical Centre. 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 efficiency of management of the collection?
5. When is it most valuable to preserve a plant species?