Module 4 – Case
Habitat Loss, Land Use and Conservation
In this module you have learned about how carrying capacity imposes restrictions on population growth, and how human economic growth and land use can threaten biodiversity. In this Case Assignment you will look at these topics from three perspectives:
- Case studies of government regulation of land and trade restrictions to address threatened species in the Economist article: “Political Responses: Where eagles dare”
- Examples of large mammals and the size of the habitat necessary to support them
- The cost of conservation in a Botanical Garden case study
To prepare for this article, in paragraph format (one paragraph should be plenty):
- Define “invasive species” using the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) website: National Invasive Species Information Center. USDA. https://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/unitedstates/state.shtml
- Provide three examples of invasive species in your region.
- Define “endemic species,” and provide an example of an endemic species from anywhere in the world. If you can find an example of an endemic species in your region, please include it as well.
Now read the article Political Responses: Where eagles dare. (2013, Sep 14). The Economist, 408(8853):9. Accessed at http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21585083-more-prosperous-countries-now-favour-protecting-wildlife-not-killing-it-where-eagles on August 16, 2016.
After you have read the article, answer the following questions in paragraph format by using an introduction sentence, related topic sentences, and a conclusion statement that draws connections between the ideas presented. You should be able to address all questions in Part I in 1–2 paragraphs.
- Name some ways that governments are trying to redress threats against endemic species. Briefly describe the examples presented in this article.
- What is described as the biggest challenge for governments?
- How are governments addressing this challenge?
With habitat loss, less land and resources means lower carrying capacity. For the second part of this assignment, you will apply the readings from your Module 4 Home page to two cases in which conservation of habitat applies to carrying capacity and economics. Choose one of these large predators to investigate: African predators (lions, hyenas, etc.), cougars (mountain lions), or polar bears.
- What size of land/water is required to support this animal?
- What pressures threaten this organism’s habitat?
- What role does international trade and political regulation play in protecting this organism? Are these in place and enforced?
Available via Summon in the Trident Online Library:
Haywarda, M. W., O’Brien J., & Kerley, G. I. H. (2007). Carrying capacity of large African predators: Predictions and tests. Biological Conservation. 139:219–229.
Glick, H. B. (2014). Modeling cougar habitat in the Northeastern United States. Ecological Modeling. 285:78-89.
Wildlife Conservation Society at www.wcs.org
Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife at wdfw.wa.gov/living/cougars.html
Polar Bears International at www.polarbearsinternational.org
Finally, examine the costs and benefits of conservation using the Montgomery Botanical Centre as a case study. View the results of a study on the costs and benefits of preserving a collection of plants at the following site: http://www.bgci.org/resources/article/0634/.
In 1–2 paragraphs summarize the following, using complete sentences:
- What are the costs associated with maintaining this collection (generally speaking, not exact numbers)?
- What are the benefits of preserving this collection and how are they measured? (Hint: They are described as “conservation success.”)
- What part of this collection gives diminishing returns and why?
- How does collection size relate to efficiency of management of the collection?
- When is it most valuable to preserve a plant species?
You are provided with many scholarly references to complete this assignment. Include a References section that lists these and any additional sources you used. Use APA format. For any additional research you are required to do to complete your assignment, please use scholarly references such as a peer-reviewed journal article or a government-sponsored or university-sponsored website. As you read through your sources, take notes from your sources and then write your paper in your own words, describing what you have learned from your research. Direct quotes should be limited and must be designated by quotation marks. Paraphrased ideas must give credit to the original author, for example (Murray, 2014). Direct copying from “homework help” websites will not receive credit.
For this Case Assignment, answer all questions using full sentences, and use Part I, Part II, and Part III as your headings to organize your paper. Design your own headings for these main sections, and under each main section, use subtitles to organize your answers to the questions. You should be able to address the requirements of this assignment in 6–8 paragraphs.