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Flashcards in Conservation Deck (10)
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What is biodiversity loss?

Global or local loss of genes, populations, species or ecosystems

Overall downward trend as a result of the human footprint.


What is the benchmark for a mass extinction?

75% extinction over 2 million years.

Only one taxa is extinct, but there are large numbers for threats of extinction.


Extinction rate vs magnitude?

Our current extinction rates are approaching the mass extinction rate.

Lower magnitude, but same rate!


Causes and drivers of biodiversity loss?

Species risk of extinction doubles for mammals by 2060 due to human effects.

World human population growth - biggest driver.

Africa has the biggest biodiversity but also the largest human population growth - BIG THREAT.

Over consumption - meat production can't increase at the same rate as the human population. Livestock also cause global warming.

Agriculture and logging are the biggest threat to mammals and birds.

Over exploitation - depletion of fisheries. Biomass of predatory fish in the 14 main fisheries have massively declined since commercial fishing started.


What is the ecological footprint?

Global hectares required per person. Massively over-consuming in wealthy countries.


Shark declines?

By 80%.

39 species are listed as endangered.

26-73 million sharks get harvested annually. They have a massive effect on their ecosystem so v bad.


Effects of neonicotinoids?

Neurotoxins used as pesticides to limit arthropod pests and increase crop production.

However, thought to impact pollinators and be responsible for declines in bees, with
even sub-lethal doses thought to be harmful.

Bees are disoriented and can’t find their hives. EU has this year banned some use of the substance.


Effects of fungi on amphibians?

Chytridiomycosis fungus affects amphibian skin - very sensitive to water loss. Affects their skin permeability to water.

Linked to dramatic declines/extinctions in W North America, Central America, South America, E Australia, E Africa


Impacts of biodiversity loss?

Ecological collapse

Ecosystem services:
-pollination: estimation of the worth of pollination by insect is about £440 m per annum in UK.
-novel bio-pharmaceuticals: cone snails are threatened due to habitat degradation of coral reefs and mangroves. Conopeptides have potential use as analgesic medications. More effective than morphine but no addiction.


Solutions to biodiversity loss?

Environmental policy - conventions and treaties. 1992.

Between 1900 and 2014, the number of designated protected areas rose from 13.4 million km^2 to 32 million. High proportion might not actually be protected.

Can connect protected areas with habitat corridors for large predators. Kavango-Zambezi Trans-frontier conservation area.