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E.O. Wilson

Explained the concept of ecological vs. physiological time in regard to climate change


What is conservation biology?

an integrated, multidisciplinary scientific field that has developed in response to the challenge of preserving species and ecosystems


Three goals of conservation biology as a field

1. document the full range of biodiversity
2. investigate human impact on species, genetic variation, and ecosystems
3. develop practical approaches to prevent extinction of species, maintain genetic variation within species, and protect and restore biological communities and their associated functions


Conservation biology similarities to other disciplines

takes basic science disciplines and synthesizes them in an effort to collaborate and provide approaches for applied fields of resource management


Similarities continued (3)

1. complements the applied disciplines of agriculture, forestry, wildlife management and fisheries biology and provides a more general theoretical approach to the protection of biodiversity
2. links academic and field study to solve environmental problems, while teaching people about science and helping them realize the value of the natural environment
3. holistic disciplinary, multitude of interacting parts


Conservation differences compared to other disciplines

1. conservation biology does not concern itself with developing methods to manage a small range of species for the marketplace and/or recreation such as individual disciplines.
2. focused on the goal of long-term preservation of the entirety, economics are secondary factors.
3. attempts to address specific problems with solution that can be applied to actual threats to biodiversity


Human population and how can we fix the problem?

estimates it will be 9.4 billion by 2050, therefore conservation biologists are facing the biggest threat to biodiversity.

develop new environmentally protected land, preserve untouched land to promote natural biodiversity, and implement laws that will allow people to make less of a negative carbon footprint


Human threat to the environment is called what by scientists and why?

synergistic, because it is believed that the environment is facing several individual human factors.


Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle case study

Situation: Texas and Mexico, they are an endangered species that has seen an increase in population size due to local and international conservation efforts.

Efforts: government officials from the USA and Mexico have worked together to establish stable populations. Staff locate the nesting spots, collect the eggs, hatch at an incubation facility, and release into the ocean.

Implemented strategies:
-establish nesting breaches as protected regues, reserves and parks
-egg collection was banned, sea/shrimp trawlers were required to use equipment that was turtle safe
-egg collection from Mexico and transported to Texas to promote higher population in this region

Result: 21,797 nests as of 2012


Conservation biology ethical principles

1. diversity of species and ecosystems should be preserved
2. untimely extinction of populations and species should be prevented
3. ecological complexity should be maintained
4. evolution should continue
5. biodiversity has intrinsic value
---not by only evolutionary history and unique ecological role but existence as well,


Origins of conservation bio

-can be traced to religious and philosophical beliefs concerning the relationship between human societies and the natural world
-many view individuals as both physically and spiritually connected to plants and animals that surround them
-taoism, hinduism, and buddhism see direct connection between natural world and the spiritual world, connection that breaks when the natural world is altered or destroyed by human activity
-biodiversity often has immediate significance to traditional societies whose people live close to the land and water


European origins

-view on nature and the environment on the premise that God created nature for humans use and benefit, supports dominant tenet of Western philosophy. nature should be converted to wealth as rapidly as possible for the benefit of humans
-this lead to exploitation and degradation of vast resources colonized by European countries
-british scientists working in india saw an issue with this view and formed a system of forest reserves
-wild cattle and dodo bird, once extinct, promoted the establishment of the earlists nature reserves and protection of wildlife began to spread in Europe in late 19th cent.
-increased land cultivation and firearm overhunting lead to conservation movements


American origins

-concern for preserving wilderness, large areas that remain essentially unoccupied, unmanages, and unmodified by human beings---has been a continuing and dominant theme is american conservation up to the present time.
-emphasis on untouched land whereas Europe concerns its efforts to protect nature within a landscape


American origins scientists

John Muir
-preservationist ethic: natural areas (mountains, waterfalls, forest groves, mountaintops) have spiritual values that are higher than material gain from exploitation
-intrinsic value: value in and of itself, apart from its value to humanity

Gifford Pinchot
-resource conservation ethic: proper use of natural resources are whatever will further the greatest good of the greatest number of people for the longest time
-sustainable development: development that best meets present and future human needs without damaging the environment and biodiversity

Aldo Leopold
-land ethics: land use policy in which human use of natural resources were compatible with or even enhance biodiversity
-ecosystem management: places highest management on cooperation among businesses, conservation organizations, government agencies, private citizens, and other interested parties to provide for human needs and to maintain the health of wild species and ecosystems

Rachel Carson & Ellen Richards
-promoted water quality and the negative effects of pesticides that were directly related to loss of biodiversity and habitat
-some contributions to EPA


Transcendental (romantic) ethic

the environment is more important than human beings