Biodiversity and its decline
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Biodiversity and Its Decline. The decline in biodiversity Reasons for the decline Consequences of losing biodiversity. Reasons for Biodiversity Decline. Habitat change Conversions Fragmentation Simplification Intrusion Exotic (invasive) species introductions.

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Biodiversity and its decline
Biodiversity and Its Decline

The decline in biodiversity

Reasons for the decline

Consequences of losing biodiversity

Reasons for biodiversity decline
Reasons for Biodiversity Decline

Habitat change





Exotic (invasive) species introductions

Reasons for biodiversity decline1
Reasons for Biodiversity Decline

Overexploitation: combination of greed, ignorance, and desperation


Climate change

Habitat alterations
Habitat Alterations

Photo by C.E. Adams

Pollution exxon valdez oil spill
Pollution: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

March 24, 1989

11 million gallons of crude oil spilled into Prince William Sound

Oil slick

Exotic species
Exotic Species

Brown tree snake

Deliberately introduced species
Deliberately Introduced Species

  • Include domestic animals and crops

  • Biotic pollution

    • Many deliberately introduced species have had unintended disasterous effects

    • Wipe out native species due dominance

    • Non-native species threaten more than half of the endangered species in U.S. and 95% of those endangered in Hawaii.

Accidently introduced invasive species
Accidently Introduced Invasive Species

  • Millennium Ecosystem Assessment calls this the downside of globalization

    • Fire ants

    • Fomosan termites

    • Zebra mussels

    • Burmese python

    • Comb jellyfish

Successful invasive species
Successful Invasive Species

  • High reproductive rate (r-selected)

  • Pioneer species

  • High genetic variability (easily adaptable)

  • High dispersal rate

  • Long lived

Ecosystems vulnerable to invasive species
Ecosystems Vulnerable to Invasive Species

  • Climate similar to habitat of invader

  • Absence of predator of invasive species

  • Early successional system

  • Low biodiversity

  • Absence of fire

  • Human disturbance of habitat

Invasive prevention
Invasive Prevention

  • Do not bring in plants, soil, aquatic animals, fruit, meats or fresh or salt water from other regions or countries

  • Do not dump bait or aquariums into local surface waters

  • Use common sense


Harvest of 50 million song birds for food


Trafficking in wildlife and products derived from wild species - $12 billion/year

90% decline in rhinos

1.6 tons of tiger bones = 340 tigers

Parrot smuggling: 40 of 330 species face extinction

Biodiversity hotspots
Biodiversity Hotspots

60% of the biodiversity is located on

just 1.4% of the Earth’s land surface.

Protecting biodiversity
Protecting Biodiversity

International developments

Stewardship concerns

Past wildlife management problems
Past Wildlife Management Problems

Restoring the numbers of many game animals, e.g., deer, elk, turkey.

Passing laws to control the collection and commercial exploitation of wildlife.

Poaching and over-hunting.

Contemporary wildlife management problems
Contemporary Wildlife Management Problems

Road-killed animals

Population explosion of urban wildlife

Lack of natural predators

Wildlife as vectors for certain diseases

Pet predation by coyotes

Changed societal attitudes towards animals

International steps to protect biodiversity
International Steps to Protect Biodiversity

“Red List of Threatened Species”

11,167 species of plant and animals

Convention on trade in endangered species (CITES)

Focuses on trade in wildlife and wildlife parts

Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD)

International steps to protect biodiversity1
International Steps to Protect Biodiversity

Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD)

Stepping up war on invasive species

Access to genetic resources

Stem tide of deforestations

Formulating a strategic plan through 2010

International steps to protect biodiversity2
International Steps to Protect Biodiversity

Convention on biological diversity

Focuses on conserving biological diversity worldwide

Does not yet have the support of the United States

Critical ecosystem partnership fund
Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund

Sponsors: World Bank, Conservation International, and the Global Environment Facility

Fund = $150 million for developing countries

Protect biodiversity “hotspots”

Acts protecting endangered species
Acts Protecting Endangered Species

Lacey Act: forbids interstate commerce of illegally killed wildlife

Endangered Species Act (ESA): protects endangered and threatened species (Table 10-3)

Total endangered U.S. species = 1,001 (402 animals, 599 plants)

Threatened U.S. species = 300 (154 animals, 146 plants)

Strengths or weaknesses of endangered species act
Strengths or Weaknesses of Endangered Species Act?

The need for official recognition

Control over commercial exploitation of endangered species

Government controls on development in critical habitats

Recovery programs

Habitat conservation plan (HCP)

Stewardship concerns
Stewardship Concerns

Managing and protecting something you DO NOT own. Involves:



The wisdom of stewardship
The Wisdom of Stewardship

Reforming policies that lead to declines in biodiversity

Addressing the needs of people whose livelihood is derived from exploiting wild species

The wisdom of stewardship1
The Wisdom of Stewardship

Practicing conservation at the landscape level

Promoting more research on biodiversity

The values of stewardship
The Values of Stewardship

Manage or mine the resource?

Human perceptions of their relationships to the natural world.

Deep ecology: we are part of the Earth and not separate from it

Religious faiths