how to conserve species.

HideShow resource information

Reasons for Conservation

Human Activites:

  • hunting for food (over harvesting)
  • Killing for protection
  • pollution
  • habitat destruction (deforestation)
  • killing to remove competetors.

Ethical : All living organisms have the right to survive and live in their natural way, they way they have become adapted. The loss of habitats prevents many organisms from living the way they should.

Aesthetic: We feel a sense of joy and wellbeing when observing nature. Patients recover more rapidly when they are exposed to natural environments. Natural systems are important for our wellbeing and health.

1 of 10

Reasons for Conservation


  • conserving the environment regulates the atmosphere and climate
  • purification and retention of fresh water
  • formation and fertilisation of the soil
  • recycling of nutrients
  • detoxification and recycling of wastes
  • Crop pollination
  • Growth of timber, food and fuel.


  • Wildlife have provided the answers to many of the technological problems we have eg. what is the best shape of wing? If we allow species to become extinct we could be losing solutions to problems
2 of 10

Consequences of Climate Change

Genetic diversity makes it possible for a species to evolve, without genetic diversity species will not be able to adapt to changes in the environment. When humans effect the genetic diversity this poses problems, especially with climate change.

Climate Change

As climate changes species will not be able to adapt. Their only option is to move so whole ecosystems will begin to move to place they would not normally live.

Diseases will also migrate as temperatures get warmer, for example malaria may spread north to places. Crops will therefore be exposed to new diseases and pests to which they are no resitstant.m

3 of 10

Benefits for Agriculture

Maintaining biodiversity holds many of the answers caused by climate change.

-Populations of wild plants have taken thousands of years to evolve becoming adapted to certain pressures. By careful selection and breeding from wild species we may be able to breed new crops varieties that can cope with new conditions. Genetic engineering to produce transgenic species could also be used.

-Number of potential medicines could derive from biodiversity of plant species

-Solves technological problems.

4 of 10

Conservation In Situ

-It is possible to pass legislation such as stopping activities such as hunting and logging and clearing land for acgriculture, but it can vary in different countries.

-Conservation Parks (national parks and nature reserves) provide several advantages:

  • Plants and animals are conserved in their natural environment
  • protects biodiversity and representative examples of ecosystems
  • Facilitates scientific research
  • Used for sustainable activities including traditional heritage activities and economic benefits.
  • Restores ecological integrity to the area


  • protected animals come out of the reserves to raid crops
  • tourists feed protected animals/ leave litter
  • illegal hunting and harvesting continues.
5 of 10

Conservation Ex Situ

Ex Situ include zoos and wildlife parks. They concentrate on breeding endangered species, increasing numbers and evetually letting the animals back into the wild.


  • Animals are not in their natural environment and often fail to breed
  • Space is limited, so genetic diversity is limited
  • Due to the lack of variation the species are less able to adapt to changing conditions
  • Redintroduction to the wild is difficult as the aimals have to adapt to finding food, surviving predation and being accepted by other members of their species in the wild.


  • Presevervation of genetic material IVF and embryo transfer
  • Saving endangered species from predation, health maintained by vetinary services
6 of 10

Conservation of Plants

-Botanical Gardens are used for the conservation of plant species.Conservations of plants is much easier than with animals.


  • plants usually have a dormany stage as seeds which are produced in large numbers so can be collected from the wild without causing too much disturbance
  • The seeds can be stored and germinated in protected surroundings
  • Seeds can be stored in large number without needing much space
  • plants can breed a-sexually
  • Botanical gardens can increase number quickly
  • captive-bred individuals can be re-introduced to the wild
  • Research programmes
7 of 10

Seed Banks


  • Distrubance
  • Collected seeds may not be representative of genetic diversity
  • seeds stored for too long may not be viable
  • conclusions on a sample may not be accurate for the whole species
  • breed asexually reducting genetic diveristy.

Seed Banks contain seeds than remain viable for decades and possibly hundreds of years.

-Seeds are stored in very dry or freezing condiitons

-They are removed and germinated periodically to determine how long they will live under certain conditons.

-Seeds are put into petri dishes of agar to keep them in controlled conditions

8 of 10

International Co-operation

Loss of habitat and the number of endangered species is a world-wide problem.


  • regulate and monitor international trade in selected plant and animal species
  • ensure international trade does not endanger the survivall of populations in the wild.
  • ensure trade in wild plants is prohibited
  • ensure trade in artificially propagated plants is allowed subject to permit
  • trade in slightly less engandered species is monitored


-dedicated to promoting sustainable development and maintaining biodiversity. It encourages co-operation between states to develop strategies for conservation and sharing of genetic information and technology between zoos, botanical gardens and seed banks. Breeding programmes can be helped by importing genetic material.

9 of 10

Environmental Impact Assessment

EIA must be carried out before any major development. This is to

  • Minimise significant effects on biodiversity of an area
  • Ensure any environmental consequences are taken into account.
  • promote any notification of danger to biodiversity
  • promote arrangements for emergency responses to activites or events that present a danger to biodiversity.
  • Protect endangered species

EIA usually carried out on a local level. It assesses the impact of a development on an environment . It can also help to produce improvements to the planning and design of the development to find a result that is more environmentally friendly.

Problems: EIA attracts attention to areas at risk, so collectors of rare species may take them away from their natural habitat, disturbance to the animals/habitat, damage to ecoystem.

10 of 10


sarah hughes


Thankyou for very clear and consise notes, thankgodness for get :)

Similar Biology resources:

See all Biology resources »See all Ecology, ecosystems and environmental biology resources »