Although there is disagreement regarding the proper human relationship toward the rest of the natural world, most conservationists can agree that biological diversity is valuable and that the extinction of species should be avoided where possible. In most developing countries survival is dependent on the extraction of natural resources. Therefore it isn’t surprising that this raging debate is based on the value certain species have for people. Animal conservation is a program most zoos take part in to conserve and save the native animals in their area. They are doing their part to boost the animal population that is still living free in the wild.
Conservation of our biodiversity not only demonstrates foresight, it protects the natural resources so vital to our own continued existence. The value of any single species to an ecosystem is immeasurable; the environment will not endure without its species, despite size or niche. These animals are not dispensable. And, they are apt to face extinction in the not too distant future, unless a resolve for their preservation is insisted by the public and enforced by governments internationally.
Forests have been cut, crops planted, pastures seeded, and urban areas paved. One of the most troubling consequences of human modification of ecosystems is an ongoing loss of species and therefore a loss of biodiversity around the world. The current extinctions have a human cause: habitat loss (such as clearing of tropical rainforests); the introduction of invasive species; unregulated hunting and fishing; and pollution of water, air, and
“Biological diversity is of fundamental importance to the functioning of all natural and human-engineered ecosystems, and by extension to the ecosystem services that nature provides free of charge to human society ”(Lloyd, 2014). Biodiversity is very important to both plants, animals and humans on Earth and if one species is destroyed it throw the balance off .
A fence was erected around the habitat of Population 1a in early 2000. This has served to prevent trampling of the area while the vegetation re-establishes after the fire. Regeneration has been good, with some native species emerging that were not evident prior to the 1999 fire.
To begin, conservationists would argue that wildlife has already deteriorated so much and so people must conserve natural habitats for future generations of both people and animals to enjoy. For example, there are 41,415 species currently on the International Union Conservation of Nature’s
The world is declining in biodiversity, 52% of it is gone. About 1% of the world species go extinct a year. That’s 1’000 to 10’000 species loss. Accompanying it, 19’300 species are endangered. Latin America loss 83% of its wildlife. Over half of Malaysia’s river fish species disappear during deforestation. Half of Australian state governments exploit the uses of national parks. The Alpine suffer dramatic biodiversity loss. The earth is clearly losing biodiversity. This is huge unnoticed threat that we need to address. Mankind depends on the ecosystem which depends on biodiversity. There are changes that need to be made and uphold to prevent difficulties from further escalating. This problem isn’t going to fix itself.
29 of the 34 animal species classified as extinct in the wild are still actively bred in zoos. Zoos have captive breeding programs that help repopulate near extinct animal species. Reintroduction programs release the animals that have been raised or rehabilitated back into the wild. This is an important tool that helps animal populations that are decreasing. Through the sales and donations
Bill Freedmen, author of “Endangered Species—Human Causes Of Extinction and Endangerment” notes, “scientists approximate that present extinction rates are 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than the average natural extinction rate.” These distressing numbers should be acted upon to save the endangered species and avoid the catastrophic change to this planet if these species were to become extinct. In order to produce change, people need to recognize that habitat loss, climate change, and poaching are all factors in why our animal species are going extinct.
““The need for continuing intervention, even for recovered species, was not anticipated. We now face the conundrum that building on our conservation success will require long term investments” (Taylor, 2014). Craig Hilton-Tailor’s assumptions, or rather, hope; is that people will listen due to the compilation of copious scholarly studies reflecting the truisms of the past. “The overwhelming message from the results presented…is that the world is losing species and that the rate of loss appears to be accelerating in many taxonomic groups…but there are many case studies which show that well-focused and concerted species-centered actions can succeed in regarding threats and improving the conservation status of species and their habitats” (Taylor, 2014). “
Due to this very small population size, it was concluded that this reduced the probability of long-term survival by one-third (IUCN). In 1964, Alceo Magnanini and Coimbra-Filho created a list of the status of several species in Brazil (Yearbook). At this point in time the Golden Lion Tamarin gained the official status of Endangered (Yearbook). In 1968, Coimbra-Filho presented his research on the Golden Lion Tamarins at the Third Brazilian Zoology Congress, where the species was chosen as a symbol of the congress (Chap 1). Fortunately, around 1967 the Brazilian Fauna Protection Law, along with the Brazilian Official List of Species Threatened with Extinction, officially prohibited the capture, hunting, purchase, sale, and exportation of any of the threatened species (Yearbook). A couple years later, the US Rare and Endangered Species Act successively forbade the acquisition of any lion tamarins by zoos in the United States, which also assisted in putting an end to the importation of this threatened species (Yearbook). While these were very positive steps towards the goal of saving these species, this however did nothing to attend to the problem of habitat
In an ever-expanding world where resource scarcity is discussed in side conversations and overpopulation is being combatted by concerned nations, worldwide struggle of equal allocation of vital resources persist. Biological resources and biodiversity in general are at the forefront of these concerns. Decreasing biodiversity does not just pose a problem for the plants and animals that are becoming increasingly endangered; individuals who have constructed their livelihood around the availability of such resources face dire circumstances as scarcity arises. The greater the variety of abundant plant and animal species present in the world, the greater the potential opportunity, opportunities such as medical discoveries and newfound scientific knowledge that increase the sustainability of life on Earth. However, tragedy of the commons, has led to overuse of biological resources across the globe, throwing the issue of sustainability into question. While species extinction is a natural process in the world ecosystem, the rate at which it has increased is not. In the past 65 million years the rate of extinction has gone from one to five species per year to roughly 1,000 to 10,000 times that rate (Diversity, 2013, pg. 1). This is no longer a matter of natural selection; this is a matter of ineffective resource regulation worldwide.
Examples of zoos that are well known for such programs include Animal Kingdom in Orlando, the Oakland Zoo, and the San Diego Zoo. These three have won multiple awards and achievements for breeding, conservation, and reintroduction of endangered species to their natural habitats. Many zoos across North America participate in such programs like the Species Survival Plan Program (SSP), which strives to increase the numbers of endangered species in zoos while ensuring healthy and self-sustaining populations (Traw). According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), programs like SSP have succeeded in increasing endangered species populations of many animals, like red wolves, snow leopards, and giant pandas within the last three decades (Traw). It has been estimated that the AZA has established around 113 SSP’s spanning over 181 endangered species within a variety of zoos worldwide (Traw). Breeding programs are extremely vital to conservation efforts in zoos; without them, endangered species would be in serious threat of extinction in their natural habitat. However, these breeding efforts also have important standards. They make sure to breed the animals responsibly, healthily, and genetically safe. In some cases, the goal and outcome of breeding programs is the reintroduction of the animals to their natural habitat, which has a large impact on the recuperation of that animal’s population.Reintroduction is the goal andfinal product of breeding programs.
Simultaneously, thousands of other species across the globe face the same threat: extinction. Biodiversity is an essential part of our world, our global ecosystem. As Planet Earth?s resources diminish and its creatures vanish, those who recognize the need to preserve what is disappearing look to international politics to accomplish what individuals cannot. The most important instrument for implementation of international policy has been the Convention On International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which went into effect in 1975.