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Can We Prevent Species Extinction, Lab Report Example

Pages: 1

Words: 441

Lab Report

The intent of this report is to explore the establishment of nature reserves for threatened species as a way to prevent species extinction. In particular, we will identify the opportunity to preserve grizzly bears, an endangered species that once was very common in the United States.

Through the utilization of processes determining the minimum viable population, periodic immigration of additional members to further augment population, and ensuring enough land is available for purposes of establishing a home range and critical reserve, we can produce a formula incorporating this data into a viable, effective plan for a nature reserve.

Additionally, the composition and layout of a specific nature reserve will serve to augment or reduce the probability of success. In a 1989 study (Burkey) produced at the University of Oslo, a conclusion reached is that a reserve will be more effective if it is not discontinuous or encroached upon by human interference. This study also indicates that species will experience some random fluctuations in numbers due to unforeseen variables, and that migration between reserves with similar habitats through the implementation of safe corridors will also enhance success. The government of China has recognized this in a recent initiative (Anderson and Martin) where they pledge to end species extinction by 2020, in part by relying on the creation of cross boundary nature reserves.

As challenging as preserving any endangered species is, the challenge is even greater for carnivores. One study (Cardillo, Purvis, Sechrest, Gittleman, Bielby, Mace) includes a statistic that approximately one quarter of all mammals are considered to be threatened with extinction. The plight of the grizzly bear is shared by pandas in China (Anderson and Martin), and wild dogs in Africa, among many others. Because carnivores are at the top of the food chain, they have less population density, making them more susceptible to extinction. Without them, entire ecosystems are thrown off balance (Prassack.)

In conclusion, species can be preserved through the utilization of nature preserves by carefully administering to the variables of population, immigration, home range and critical reserve. It can be tricky, especially if reserves are fragmented or prone to human influence.

Works Cited

Anderson, Scott and  and Martin, Vanessa. “China Pledges to End Species Extinction by 2020.” The Nature Conservancy. 29 Sept. 2010. <http://www.nature.org/pressroom/press/press4708.html>.

Burkey, T.V. “Extinction in nature reserves: the effect of fragmentation and the importance of migration between reserve fragments.” tvburkey.org. 1989. <http://tvburkey.org/documents/Oikos55_1_75-81.pdf>.

Cardillo, Marcel and Purvis, Andy, eds. “Human Population Density and Extinction Risk in the World’s Carnivores.” PLOS Biology. July 2004. <http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.0020197>.

Prassack, Kari Alyssa. “Hunting across a mosiac landscape: the effects of fragmentation, edge effect, and intraguild interactions as an explanation for low population densities or Lycaon pictus.” Landscape Ecology. 2003. <http://crssa.rutgers.edu/courses/lse/Web_Patch/final/Keri/Kero_Final.htm>.

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