Conservation Efforts Gone Bad
This article raises good points about the idea of conserving species through captivity. The idea itself is good: raise animals safely in zoos and when they reproduce enough, let them go free. However, there are many problems with this. First, this article points out, and probably extends on it in another article, that most of the species raised in captivity are never released in the wild. Second, even though these programs encourage “saving the species” they do not address issues at the heart of the problem such as habitat loss.
30 New Diseases…Just for Humans
Conservation Medicine is a multidisciplinary field that is hard to define. It studies many issues relating to human health, wildlife health and ecosystem health. It has gained more popularity in recent years because there has been more than thirty human diseases that have emerged in the last decade. There are also other problems such as the Rift Valley fever and the West Nile virus infection. Fibropapillomatosis is a lesser know disease that affects marine turtles and other coastal sea creatures. “Fibropapillomatosis, a marine turtle disease associated with heavily polluted coastal areas, could be an indicator portending human health problems.”
Exemption from BART
On December 23, 2011 the EPA suggested that twenty-eight states be exempt from the BART (Best Available Retrofit Technology) rule. BART is technology that that cleans and controls the air in National Parks from the haze from coal plants. Instead, the EPA wants the states to rely on emission reductions set by the Cross State Air Pollution Rule and this has bothered some critics.
Climate Change Reduces Biodiversity
The Golden Toad of Costa Rica went extinct suddenly.
Excerpt from TIMES article:
While the impact of climate change on human populations is likely to be dire, we’re pretty good at adapting to change overall. Animals, however, are not. When their habitats change irrevocably — when the rain forest dries up or cool mountains in tropical zones heat up — animals may simply go extinct. A recent study in Science demonstrates how that can happen. Robert Colwell, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Connecticut, analyzed data from nearly 2,000 species of plants, insects and fungi in the tropics, where organisms often lack the ability to escape warming temperatures by going north or south; instead, they have to go up in elevation to find cooler temperatures. Colwell found that as populations in lowland areas move up, they tend not to be replaced. That means that we may see a reduction in overall biodiversity and what scientists call “species richness.” Meanwhile, species that already live at the highest elevations have no place to go, except perhaps to extinction. Case in point: the Golden Toad, which lived in the high-altitude cloud forests of Costa Rica and suddenly went extinct. Its disappearance may be due in part to warming, which made its habitat unlivable.
My ecological footprint: 3.7 planets.
I had a hard time making good graphs in Google Docs using the way the information was presented, so I copied and pasted the two columns that I wanted to look at in Excel and made bar graphs. Google Docs would only allow me to make line graphs, which I thought were not appropriate for the information because we are not showing a continuation. The data is showing distinct values for each species in certain states. Excel allowed me to create the graphs above. The top one represents candidate species in Kentucky and the bottom one represents candidate species in Washington. Looking at the two graphs, we can see that we have more candidate species for Kentucky than Washington and we can see that the species in Kentucky generally have higher LPN values than those in Washington, which means that the animals in Washington are of more concern.