Biodiversity

HideShow resource information

Atlantic Forest - Threat/Conservation

Atlantic forest is a tropical rainforest along South America's east coast, spanning the countries Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. The rainforest once covered an area of over 1,000,000 km2; only 7% of this area now remains. The forest's main threats are deforestation and increasing pressures from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, two megacities within the forest. Two cities are rapidly expanding, so deforestation makes room for this. Materials from here are also used to fuel Brazil's ongoing industrialisation

How biodiverse?

Over 10,000 endemic plant species. >92% of its amphibians are found nowhere else on earth. 5% of earth's vertebrate species are found here. 

Why is it biodiverse? 

Split up from the large Amazon rainforest by one of the Amazon's large tributaries gives it high endemism. Huge area means it has a large latitudal/altitudal range, so it therefore supports a variety of climates, and a variety of ecosystems. 

Conservation?

The Pact for the Atlantic Forest Restoration, comprised of over 100 businesses and NGOs, want 15 m hectares restored by 2050.

1 of 6

Indonesian Mangrove Forests - Global/Local Threats

Mangrove forests are important coastal ecosystems containing high species endemism, in many tropical climates around the world. Indonesia has around 5% of its total land area as mangrove ecosystems, however almost 50% is moderately damaged and almost 25% is badly damaged. Mangroves contain high amphibian, fish, bird and even small mammal and reptile diversity. They are also important to locals whose livelihoods depend on fishing and living here; as well as mangroves being a natural defence against natural hazards such as typhoons and tsunamis. They have a coexistence with coral reefs, as mangroves protect local reefs when they filter harmful pollutants. 

Global Threats?

Climate change is a huge threat to mangroves. Eustatic sea level rises will increase salinity in the mangroves which is detrimental to the plant species; increases in temperature and sea level rise will also increase the number of natural hazards (tropical storms) which damages the mangroves.

Local Threats?

Mangroves are heavily deforested in Indonesia to make way for palm oil plantations. Cultivated land for palm oil increased over 28,000 km2 since late 1960s. Fertilisers then run-off into the mangrove forests to cause exacerbated damage. 

Ministry of Forestry try to conserve mangroves in Indonesia.

2 of 6

Kangaroo Culling - Sustainable Management

Kangaroo culling in Australia is an example of sustainable management; a certain amount of kangaroos (7 million py) are hunted by farmers in order to increase their farmland yield and stop the kangaroo population from rapidly increasing, like the elephant population did in Zimbabwe, as this is detrimental to local ecosystems.

Economic Effects

Positive: kangaroo meat from hunting is exported to over 55 countries worldwide, meaning it contributes to Australia's trade surplus ($270 million py). Money made from this could be invested in future restoration or conservation schemes. Scheme is supported by Australasian Wildlife Management Society (AWMS). 

Environmental Effects

Positive: kangaroo farming is accepted as more environmentally friendly than cattle or sheep farming, as they don't destroy native grass root systems and are more adaptable to drought, meaning land doesn't need to be irrigated. Reduces competition with other species and so preserves ecosystems.

Negative: may reduce food availability for kangaroos' predators. 

Social Effects

Negative: widely disputed between animal rights activists and organisations who support the scheme, such as AWMS.

3 of 6

CITES - Conservation

International treaty formed in 1973. They record the number of plants and animals traded to ensure that their survival is not compromised. Protect, to some degree, over 35,000 species of plants and animals which are traded internationally. Over 80 countries are represented by the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) organisation.

Positives?

Helps to conserve sustainable biodiversity and protect endangered species. Reduces exploitation especially among newly industrialising countries.

Negatives?

Sometimes very difficult to monitor if countries are actually meeting targets are following guidelines, furthermore there are over 100 countries not represented, many of which may be the biggest exploiters.

4 of 6

Invasive Species - Threat

Invasive species is where a species not usually affiliated within an ecosystem is introduced. This happened in the Thames river, when the mitten crab 'invaded' from China in the 20th century.

Problems it Caused?

 It outcompeted local crab and other marine species, reducing biodiversity in the area. Its burrowing nature also increased erosion in the Thames' river bed and walls, creating an unsuitable environment for local species. The crab species managed to 'invade' because it was brought from China in ship ballasts; this means that due to globalisation and the subsequent increase in international trade, invasive species is a threat that could become more common and severe over time, especially in fragile ecosystems with high endemism such as the Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

5 of 6

RAMSAR Sites - Conservation

RAMSAR is an international treaty for the conservation of wetland ecosystems, formed in Iran in 1971. RAMSAR recognises wetlands as important scientific, economic and cultural environments. An example of a RAMSAR site is Chao Mai park in Thailand, which has a no exploitation zone; shrimp fishing is completely banned in order to conserve the local mangroves. This will greatly conserve future biodiversity as the fragile mangrove ecosystems support high species diversity.

Problems?

A problem with the scheme is that it's strongly opposed by local Thai people, as shrimp fishing was once a major part of their livelihoods and income. This also means that their is a smaller contribution to Thailand's GDP.

6 of 6

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Geography resources:

See all Geography resources »See all Case studies resources »