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Biodiversity and Conservation

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Significant ideas:

1) Biodiversity can be identified in a variety of forms, including species diversity, habitat diversity and genetic diversity.

2) The ability to both understand and quantify biodiversity is important to conservation efforts.

3) Evolution is a gradual change in the genetic character of populations over many generations, achieved largely through the mechanism of natural selection.

4) Environmental change gives new challenges to species, which drives the evolution of diversity.

5) There have been major mass extinction events in the geological past.

6) While global biodiversity is difficult to quantify, it is decreasing rapidly due to human activity.

7) Classification of species conservation status can provide a useful tool in the conservation of biodiversity.

8) The impact of losing biodiversity drives conservation efforts.

9) The variety of arguments given for the conservation of biodiversity will depend on EVSs.

10) There are various approaches to the conservation of biodiversity, each with associated strengths and limitations.

Theconversation. Being a cheetah researcher in Kenya’s Maasai Mara, I’m often asked how many cheetahs there are in the region.


It’s an important question, especially for conservation as it is crucial to accurately estimate population sizes and to monitor trends into the future. In the early 1900s it was believed that around 100,000 cheetahs roamed the earth. The most recent estimate by the International Union for Conservation of Nature puts the figure at 6,600 – mainly in eastern and southern Africa – amid fears that the fastest land mammal is racing to extinction. Cheetahs are now extinct in 20 countries and occupy only 17% of their historic range.

The remaining populations that are of global importance are found in southern Africa – Botswana, Namibia and South Africa - and in East Africa – Kenya and Tanzania. Counting Africa's elephants from the sky - BBC Indonesia. President Obama has set out the vision he hopes will define his legacy in his final State of the Union address.

Counting Africa's elephants from the sky - BBC Indonesia

He vowed to continue targeting terrorist networks, accelerate the switch from fossil fuels and also launch a new drive to cure cancer. The Global Solution to Extinction. The one major reserve in the United States that has been subjected to a complete census is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Global Solution to Extinction

Fifty thousand hours of field work there by specialists and assistants have yielded records of 18,000 species of animals and microorganisms alone, with 40,000 to 60,000 considered likely on the roster when all transients, as well as rare and undescribed species, have been registered. 50 percent of habitats saved. 25 percent of habitats saved. 15 percent of habitats saved (roughly the total preserved land habitat in the world today).

The mapping of Earth’s biodiversity was not, as many assume, mostly completed in the 19th and 20th centuries. Bat-sound library tracks biodiversity. Image copyright UCL/ZSL Scientists have compiled the biggest known library of bat sounds in an effort to identify and conserve rare species.

Bat-sound library tracks biodiversity

For the first time in 100 years, tiger numbers are growing. Youtube. Extinctions. More than 90 percent of all organisms that have ever lived on Earth are extinct.


As new species evolve to fit ever changing ecological niches, older species fade away. National Geographic The Story of Earth HD.

Life section begins at 15 minutes – whitfield

Species rule change considered. A government consultation on whether to change the rules governing how contractors deal with protected species when developing sites ends this week.

Species rule change considered

The focus is on the great crested newt, a species classified as endangered under European law. Natural England, a government body in charge of protecting wildlife, is in the process of putting forward new proposals. Go wild to protect food security, says study. Image copyright GCDT/L.Salazar More needs to be done to ensure wild relatives of our key food crops are conserved for future generations, a study has said.

Go wild to protect food security, says study

Researchers are concerned the genetic diversity of these vital plants are not being adequately stored in gene banks. They say characteristics such as drought or heat resilience could be lost forever unless action is taken to preserve these genetic traits. The Animals of Chernobyl. Two mutant lobsters caught off Cornish coast. Two mutant lobsters - one with three cutting claws and the second with two sets of crushing claws - have been caught by a Cornish fisherman.

Two mutant lobsters caught off Cornish coast

Both crustaceans were caught off the Falmouth coast in the pots of Mylor fisherman Ned Bailey. Lobsters, like other crustaceans, have the ability to re-grow limbs and claws if they lose or damage them. Experts claim the lobsters could be related and therefore it could be a "shared genetic mutation". Early man 'couldn't stomach milk' A drink of milk was off the menu for Europeans until only a few thousand years ago, say researchers from London.

Early man 'couldn't stomach milk'

Analysis of Neolithic remains, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests no European adults could digest the drink at that time. University College London scientists say that the rapid spread of a gene which lets us reap the benefits of milk shows evolution in action. But intolerance to milk remains common in modern times, say nutritionists. In order to digest milk, adult humans need to have a gene which produces an enzyme called lactase to break down lactose, one of the main sugars it contains. Without it, a drink of milk proves an uncomfortable experience, causing bloating, stomach cramps and diarrhoea. Evolution and Darwin. Charles Darwin hardly ever used the word "evolution".

Evolution and Darwin

Europe's rarest seabird 'faces extinction' Image copyright Joe Pender Europe's rarest seabird will be extinct within 60 years, according to a new analysis. Urgent action is needed to stop the Balearic sheerwater being drowned in fishing lines and nets, say scientists. The bird breeds in the Balearic Islands, sometimes stopping off in British waters as it migrates north. Research shows the global population is not sustainable in the long term. New Species Of Fish-Eating Spider Discovered in Australia.

In case you thought nature was all about cute, fuzzy animals and sweet-smelling flowers, here’s a swimming spider that eats fish and frogs. Endemic to freshwater streams in Queensland, Australia, the semi-aquatic arachnid was recently discovered close to Brisbane, before being presented this week at the World Science Festival, which is being held in the city. Security Check Required. Facebook wildlife trade prompts fears among environmentalists. Image copyright Getty Images Environmentalists say they are worried about the emergence of Facebook as an online marketplace for trade in endangered species. Wildlife monitoring network Traffic found hundreds of protected animals for sale on Facebook groups in Malaysia, including sun bears, gibbons, and binturongs, also known as bearcats.

It says this type of illegal trading is a growing threat around the world. Facebook said it "will not hesitate" to remove content promoting such trade. The researchers monitored 14 Facebook groups for 30 minutes daily over a period of five months. 11 Animals That Are Now Extinct ... And It's Our Fault. Scientific Name: Diceros sumatrensis Common Name: Sumatran rhino Category: Rhino Population: Threats To Survival: Hunting for horn -used in traditional medicine Save the Rhino International image. Se connecter à Facebook. The gloomy Arctic seed bank that's key to future crops. What happens if war or global warming threaten the key plants that the world depends on for food?

A consortium of scientists is running what it believes is an answer: a deep-freeze for thousands of seed samples that is meant to serve as a back-up to cope with the worst-case scenarios. The Global Seed Vault is buried inside a mountain on the Arctic islands of Svalbard and science editor David Shukman was allowed inside. African lions likely to gain enhanced protection status. Image copyright Getty Images. Hong Kong to introduce measures to fight ivory poaching. Image copyright Reuters Hong Kong will introduce tougher legislation to tackle ivory poaching from elephants in Africa, Chief Executive CY Leung has said. Mr Leung said Hong Kong would ban the import and export of elephant hunting trophies and impose tighter restrictions on ivory sales.

In addition there will be heavier penalties for smuggling offences. Hong Kong is often called the centre of global wildlife trafficking where it is still legal to buy and sell ivory. Counting elephants from Africa's skies. Threatened mountain goat gets help from the skies. Image copyright Airdronerc. Bald ibis chicks shipped to Spain - BBC News. Madagascar's lemurs cling to survival - BBC News. An area deforested by illegal gold mining, a zone known as Mega 14, in the southern Amazon region of Madre de Dios. July 2015.

Humans are 'unique super-predator' - BBC News. Humans' status as a unique super-predator is laid bare in a new study published in Science magazine.