Conservation biology addresses the preservation of species and their habitats throughout the world. Techniques used in these endeavors include genetics, vegetation restoration, wildlife management and other natural resource management activities. During the last 10,000 years, species extinctions have been occurring at an alarming rate, due to the human population explosion, and resulting habitat destruction for agriculture and other human purposes. The importance of conservation biology is underscored by the fact that an estimated 1800 populations per hour are being lost at the present pace of ecological damage. Conservation biology seeks to maintain populations of plants and animals, with an emphasis upon rare and endangered species.
An intrinsic part of conservation biology is identification of species interactions, in order to understand the core elements of preserving an intact habitat in its full functionality. Equally important is an understanding of genetic diversity within each species and the population dynamics that underlies the progression of species numbers from one generation to the next. Conservation biology is practiced by governmental agencies, but also by private organizations, since key element of land ownership are often privately owned; coordination of a regional strategy among landowners is vital for the preservation of biological corridors. Captive breeding programs are used as a defense of last resort in the preservation of a species.
Wind turbine bat mortality is a significant adverse impact of large scale wind energy development. Wind energy has become an increasingly important sector of the renewable...
Chihuahuan DesertLast Updated on 2013-12-06 23:07:07The Chihuahuan Desert encompasses one of the most biologically diverse arid regions on Earth. This ecoregion extends from within the United States south into Mexico. This desert is unique, as it has been sheltered from the influence of other arid regions such as the Sonoran Desert by the large mountain ranges of the Sierra Madres. This isolation has allowed the evolution of many endemic species; most notable is the high number of endemic plants; in fact, there are a total of 653 vertebrate taxa recorded in the Chihuahuan Desert. Moreover, this ecoregion also sustains some of the last extant populations of Mexican Prairie Dog, wild American Bison and Pronghorn Antelope.
Severe conservation pressures are on the Chihuahuan Desert. On the Mexico side, there are destructive activities from illegal poaching, habitat destruction from illegal drug trafficking and large scale movements of... More »
California coastal sage and chaparralLast Updated on 2013-12-05 20:18:34
The California coastal sage and chaparral ecoregion, located along the southern and central coast of California, has extremely high levels of species diversity and endemism. The coastal sage scrub is an endangered ecosystem that contains a number of endangered species. The California Gnatcatcher is currently being used as an umbrella species to protect the endemic flora and fauna of this region from urban development. The region is listed as an Endemic Bird Area with a large number of endemic scrub species. Generally located on high value coastal zone real estate and threatened by land development, the ecoregion represents the struggle between ecological preservation and human development.
The California coastal sage and chaparral encompasses coastal terraces, plains, and foothills along the Pacific coast of northwestern Mexico and southern California, USA. The Santa Rosa Mountains... More »
Cuban moist forestsLast Updated on 2013-12-05 19:18:08The Cuban moist forests originally held exceptionally distinctive insular flora and fauna, with many species, genera and families unique to its forests in the form of relict taxons. The island’s long-standing isolation has made it possible for these relict taxons to speciate, and many unique groups have also diversified. Many of the old lines that survive in these forests are extinct on the nearby continents. The rich flora and diverse fauna should be pointed out, particularly land snails. At present, these forests are mostly destroyed and fragmented. Expansion in the production of cacao, coffee and tobacco as well as mining and other human activities represent a serious threat in some areas.
Originally, this ecoregion was distributed in multiple patches of different sizes along the ranges and highlands of the island of Cuba (located between 19º50’N to... More »
Costa Rican seasonal moist forestsLast Updated on 2013-12-05 17:53:35The Costa Rican seasonal moist forests ecoregion is quite different from the surrounding dry and moist forest habitat types. Deciduous trees that shed leaves during the distinct dry season make up the dominant vegetation in these forests. The ecoregion fauna have a moderate species richness, with the number of vertebrates occurring here amounting to 698 taxa; however, faunal endemism is rather low. The flora are more adapted and capable of surviving in such a seasonally based ecoregion. Animals also are adapted to this fluctuation between wet and dry climate changes, and the subsequent changes in the plantlife.
The natural environment of this ecoregion has been substantially destroyed, chiefly by deforestation by the Costa Rican and Nicaraguan people, to clear land for grazing of livestock and other agricultural uses. Disruption to the Nicaragua portion of the ecoregion has also... More »
Cordillera La Costa montane forestsLast Updated on 2013-12-05 17:34:29
This region is located in elevational patches between middle and high elevations along the Venezuelan northern coastal range mountains (between 600 –2,675 meters (m) in the high summits), and supports extraordinarily diverse montane evergreen forests. Separated physically from the Andes by the Yaracuy depression, and from the forests of the Guyanan floristic province by the extensive plains of the Andes (llanos), these mountains are isolated from one another by much drier surroundings lowlands. Isolation and a great variety of physiographical scenarios, have created an extraordinary species richness and strong speciation processes that are manifested in a relative high level of plant and animal endemism.
The Cordillera de la Costa montane forests are located in the northern coastal range of Venezuela. The ecoregion is composed of various enclaves that range from... More »
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