Habitat loss, land use and conservation
Invasive species are not inherent in a particular ecosystem. Invasive species cause harm to the ecosystem that they chose to inhabit. The species can be any form of living organisms, either plants, bacteria, insects or amphibians. Environmental conservatisms and government groups discourage the presence of invasive species in a particular ecosystem because of they destroy the environment and the ability of other living organisms to thrive. According to National Center (2017), invasive species are the leading cause of extinction in regards to endangered species. Furthermore, invasive species also threaten human health and economies due to the large amounts of money that are needed to reverse the effects of invasive species. Examples of invasive species include Asian carps, water hyacinth, and feral pigs. Endemic species are living organisms that live in a particular geographical location (Environmental Encyclopedia, 2003). Examples of endemic species include kangaroos, polar bears, and koalas.
Many governments have created programs remove invasive species from the environment that are the main cause of extinction of endemic species (The Economist, 2013). Furthermore, governments have enacted laws that prohibit human beings from killing endangered and endemic species. Furthermore, the laws prohibit humans from trading in endemic species. Other governments have created regulation practices to reduce the negative effects of pesticides on endemic and endangered species. For example, the United States enacted the America’s endangered species act in 1973 to protect endangered species (The Economist, 2013). Secondly, governments have issued a ban on the killing of whales, especially the humpback species. Whales are currently thriving because of the ban. World governments created the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in 1975 to protect endangered and endemic species. The convention protects species such as rhinos and elephants (The Economist, 2013). America’s Rachel Carson is acknowledged by her efforts to discourage the use of pesticides such as DDT. Through her protection efforts, the United States created the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the use of pesticides in the country. Before the creation of the EPA, farmers had to register pesticides before using them in farms. Currently, pesticides are both registered and regulated. Also, the United Nations decided to regulate the use of neonicotinoids because of their implications on bee population (The Economist, 2013).
According to The Economist (2013), the biggest challenge for governments is the consecutive loss of habitats. The loss of habitats is a primary reason why endangered species become extinct. Most governments have created protected areas, such as national parks to protect endangered species. Also, governments have limited and banned the development of areas with biological value. Conservation efforts have plummeted in different areas of the planet. According to The Economist (2013), about 3.5% of the earth was a protected area in 1985. Since then, the figure has risen to 13%.
Polar bears are large carnivores that primarily live in Arctic ice in the northern hemisphere (Larsen & Stirling, 2009). The livelihood of the polar bears is dependent on the Arctic sea ice and the availability of seals, which is the main diet for the polar bears. In regards to water, polar bears live close to the northern lands where there is plenty of water. Polar bears need large land areas that are covered by ice to survive. Their bodies are naturally adapted to the cold because of the large fur and layer of fat in their bodies. According to Larsen & Stirling (2009), the current population of polar bears is between 20000 and 25000. The polar bears need the large packs of ice where wind and currents meet. On these edges, the ice is continually melting and refreezing making it an ideal area for polar bears to thrive. Furthermore, it is within these areas where polar bears can find seals.
Accordant to Larsen & Stirling (2009) the polar bear is an endangered species that faces significant threats. The main threat to the existence of polar bears is climate change. The devastating effects of climate change such as the decrease of ice pacts where polar bears hunt, mate and live is a cause of concern. The melting ice packs make it hard for the polar bears to raise cubs and travel in search of food. Furthermore, oil spills have adverse effects on the ecosystem around the Arctic lands. Oil and gas developments pose a significant threat because of the possibility of oil spill disasters (Larsen & Stirling, 2009). Oil spills destroy the natural ecosystem making it hard for polar bears to get food. Furthermore, ship vessels can cause oil spills that will contaminate the natural habitat of the polar bears and destroy marine animals that the bears need for food. The international community has increased efforts to reduce global warming, which is the main cause of reduced ice packs in the Arctic region. Pollution from manufacturing industries is the main cause of global warming. The international community is encouraging governments to increase environmental protection efforts to reduce the rate of pollution. Many governments have enacted laws to ensure that manufacturing companies initiate environmental control mechanisms to prevent excess pollution from reaching the atmosphere and ecosystems (Larsen & Stirling, 2009).
Botanic garden living collection requires conservation (Grifith & Husby, 2010). Most of the major world economies are spearheading botanic garden operations under close supervision. It is important for the world economies to measure the success of the conservation and the costs that are associated with the conservation. The costs related to maintenance include DNA-based studies. Furthermore, initial costs of obtaining collection are higher compared to annual collection costs. The benefits of preserving a collection of botanical centers include the continual preservation of endangered plant species (Grifith & Husby, 2010). Measuring the benefits of conservation occur through inter-simple sequence repeat data. Measuring success allows conservation specialists to make important decisions in regards to improving conservation success.
A pattern of diminishing returns occurs when a conservation model experts add additional plants in the collection that do not add any value to the preservation efforts (Grifith & Husby, 2010). When a collection adds additional plants, there is a trend for success, but it reaches a time when the additional plants do not add any value to the collection. It is at this point that economists refer to the law of diminishing returns. In regards to the efficiency of management of a collection, a large collection size means that the costs of conservation will be high. The lower the size of the collection, the lower a number of preservation costs that the collection will incur. Plant species are valuable to conserve especially when their existence is endangered. Plants are important in the ecosystem because they provide food and shelter to a variety of living organisms (Grifith & Husby, 2010). Extinction of plants species means that living organisms will not have food and shelter. Therefore, to maintain the survival of the species that depend on the particular plant species, it is important to preserve the plant and shield it from extinction.
Environmental Encyclopedia. (2003). Endemic Species – Dictionary definition of Endemic Species | Encyclopedia.com: FREE online dictionary. Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved from http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/endemic-species
Grifith, P & Husby, C. (2010).The Price Of Conservation: Measuring The Mission And Its Cost. Retrieved from http://www.bgci.org/resources/article/0634/
Larsen, T., & Stirling, I. (2009). The Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears: Its history and future. Tromsø: Norsk Polarinstitutt.
National Center. (2017). Invasive Species: United States – State Resources. Invasivespeciesinfo.gov. Retrieved from https://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/unitedstates/state.shtml
The Economist. (2013). Where eagles dare. Retrieved from https://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21585083-more-prosperous-countries-now-favour-protecting-wildlife-not-killing-it-where-eagles