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Biodiversity Conservation - Research Paper Example

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Biodiversity refers to the variety and assortment of various life forms in the environment. This includes the variety of plants and animals in various ecosystems including marine ecosystems, forest ecosystems as well as grasslands. …
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Biodiversity Conservation
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"Biodiversity Conservation"

Download file to see previous pages Biodiversity is very critical to the development of the human species due to food provision, ecological balance and other developmental benefits. However, there are continued threats posed on biodiversity leading to extinction of species. Due to this, scientists have emerged with various strategies to conserve biodiversity and reduce species extinction. This paper will analyze the major causes of biodiversity loss as well as the strategies for conservation based on current scientific and anthropogenic knowledge. Introduction Most scientists argue that the present immense deprivation of environment and extinction of many of the Earth’s species is unparalleled and is occurring on a terribly short timescale. They argue that loss of biological diversity is occurring at very high rate due to the many ecological disturbances affecting ecosystems functioning. Currently, there is a widespread massive degradation of rainforest ecosystem, which is posing a substantial threat to biodiversity. In addition, there is rampant destruction and degradation of the marine ecosystem leading to extinction of the variety of marine species, which were once dominant and vital to such ecosystems. Scientists feel that if the present global extinction of species continues at the current rates, then it will drastically alter the species evolution in the future. It is due to this evidence of the massive biodiversity loss that scientists have embarked on a serious mission of conservation of the biodiversity1. In a global scale, there is increased action of conservation of biodiversity due to an increasing reality and evidence of species extinction. There are numerous global, national and local organizations trying to formulate policies and strategies to mitigate biodiversity loss. These organizations are both governmental and non-governmental. In audition, many scientists are currently undertaking extensive research in order to come up with winning measures for curbing species extinction2. Causes of biodiversity loss There are several causes of loss of biodiversity ranging from anthropogenic factors, genetic factors, to environmental factors. Anthropogenic factors are purely human-induced causes of biodiversity loss. These include overexploitation of the natural resources, industrial actions causing pollution, which poses a threat to the health of species as well as overharvesting of fish. On the other hand, environmental factors include climate change, habitat and ecosystem disturbance and invasion of alien species. Recently, there is increased evidence that emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are causing species extinction. There is a lot of concern among scientists regarding the multiplicity of EIDs afflicting wildlife, and the fear that an augmented occurrence of outbreaks will take place in the future. In fact, infectious diseases can mediate community dynamics of species, minimize host variety and extirpate local populations3. Amphibians comprise 30% of gravely endangered species and over 75% of the gravely endangered species vulnerable to infectious disease. The infectious fungus chytridiomycosis is a causative factor for over 40% of these. Even though chytridiomycosis is the most noteworthy threat to gravely endangered amphibians, it only occurs as an assumed or possible future threat for the majority of these4. Destruction of habitat and habitat fragmentation are some of the most central causes of loss of biodiversity. Habitat fragmentation influences several aspects of species that may pose a threat to species hence increasing chances of their extinction. These aspects include rates of gene flow, migration and spreading of species and invasion by alien competitors. In the interim, because of fragmentation, species become more ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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