Ch55 part1 - Chapter 55 Conservation Biology and...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 55 Conservation Biology and Restoration Ecology What is Conservation Biology ? A recent response to the wave of global environmental change that’s threatening to extinguish a tremendous portion of the world’s biological diversity Another distinguishing feature of Conservation Biology is its time scale Practitioners attach more weight to the long-range viability of whole systems and species, including their evolutionary potential Conservation Biology differs from other biological sciences in one important way • It’s often a crisis discipline i.e., one often has to act before knowing all the facts – thus, a mixture of science and art. • Conservation Biologists view their main task as providing the intellectual and technological tools that will anticipate, prevent, minimize, and repair ecological damage • Multidisciplinary approaches. Many of the ideas, techniques and methods come from a broad range of biological fields including • ecology, biogeography, • systematics, genetics, • evolution, epidemiology, • forestry, fisheries, • wildlife biology, agronomy, and veterinary science • Also incorporates social science disciplines such as resource • economics and policy, • ethnobiology, and environmental ethics When did conservation biology emerge as a science? • Conservation biology only emerged as a distinct professional enterprise with its own practices, cultures, and social institutions in the 1980s. • It is possible not only to place and date, but even to time, its emergence as an organized discipline: • at about 5 p.m. (EST), 8 May 1985, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at the end of the Second Conference on Conservation Biology. What do conservation biologist do? • Conservation Biology • The primary goal of Conservation Biology is the active protection of biological diversity or biodiversity . Scientists have described and formally named about 1.8 million species of organisms. • Species estimates varies : 1.8 million to high as 200 million. Why do we need to conserve? • Over the past few hundred years, humans have increased the species extinction rate by as much as 1,000 times more than the typical rate over the planet’s history. • Greatest episode of mass extinctions since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago • Contemporary extinction rates 1000-10,000 times higher than the rate expected without human influence (Wilson1989). The biodiversity crisis Earth’s biodiversity • The Earth is home to a tremendous biological diversity, or “biodiversity”, as a result of more than 3 billion years of evolution....
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Ch55 part1 - Chapter 55 Conservation Biology and...

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