34 terms

Miller Living in the Environment 18ed chapter 09 vocabulary

Miller LITE 17ed chapter 9 vocabulary on sustaining biodiversity: the species approach
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biological extinction
when a species can no longer be found anywhere on the earth.
background extinction rate
a natural, low rate of species extinction.
extinction rate
this is expressed as a percentage or number of species that go extinct within a certain time period such as a year.
mass extinction
this is the extinction of many species in a relatively short period of time.
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
this was an assessment released in 2005. Over 1000 of the world's leading biological scientists analyzed the state of the Earth's ecosystems and provided summaries and guidelines for decision-makers. It concluded that human activity is having a significant and escalating impact on the biodiversity of world ecosystems, reducing both their resilience and biocapacity. It measures 24 ecosystem services concluding that only four have shown improvement over the last 50 years, fifteen are in serious decline, and five are in a stable state overall, but under threat in some parts of the world.
biodiversity hotspots
this is a biogeographic region with a significant reservoir of biodiversity that is under threat from humans. To qualify, a region must meet two strict criteria: it must contain at least 0.5% or 1,500 species of vascular plants as endemics, and it has to have lost at least 70% of its primary vegetation. Around the world, at least 25 areas qualify, with nine other possible candidates. These sites support nearly 60% of the world's plant, bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian species, with a very high share of endemic species.
threatened or vulnerable species
species that still have enough remaining individuals to survive in the short term, but because of declining numbers, it is likely to become endangered in the near future.
endangered species
species that have so few individual survivors that the species could soon become extinct.
Passenger Pigeon
was a bird that existed in North America until the early 20th century when it went extinct due to hunting and habitat destruction.
International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN
The organization publishes the Red List, compiling information from a network of conservation organizations to rate which species are most endangered.
ecotourism
This focuses on socially responsible travel, personal growth, and environmental sustainability. It typically involves travel to destinations where flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the primary attractions. It is intended to offer tourists insight into the impact of human beings on the environment, and to foster a greater appreciation of our natural habitats.
HIPPCO
an acronym used to summarize the most important direct causes of extinction resulting from human activities.
habitat fragmentation
this occurs when a large, intact area of habitat such as a forest or natural grassland is divided, typically by roads, logging operations, crop fields, and urban development, into smaller, isolated patches or "habitat islands".
Kudzu
this is a deliberately introduced plant species, which grows rampant in the SE U.S. It was imported from Japan in an attempt to control soil erosion. It grows so rapidly and is so difficult to kill that it engulfs hillsides, gardens, trees, stream banks, and anything else in its path.
european wild boars
populations of these organisms have been artificially introduced in some parts of the world, most notably the SE of the U.S., principally for hunting. They have caused significant ecological and economic damage. They eat almost anything, compete for food with endangered animals, use their noses to root up farm fields, and cause traffic accidents.
burmese python
these reptiles were both accidentally and intentionally introduced in the everglades in Fl. They are hard to find and kill, and they reproduce rapidly. They have huge appetites and they are competing with a keystone species, the alligator.
DDT
this pesticide biologically magnified in food webs and hit populations of fish-eating birds and predatory birds hard in the 1950s and 1960s (especially the bald eagle). This compound made birds' eggshells fragile. It was ban in the U.S. in 1972.
Argentina fire ant
this insect was accidentally introduced into the U.S. into Mobile, Al in the 1930s. They may have arrived on shiploads of lumber or coffee. They have no natural predators and have spread to much of the southern U.S. They cover many fields and invade yards with their mounds. They attack with burning stings.
biological magnification
this is the increase in concentration of a substance that occurs in a food chain as a consequence of: (1) Persistence (can't be broken down by environmental processes), (2) Food chain energetics, (3) Low (or nonexistent) rate of internal degradation/excretion of the substance (often due to water-insolubility)
biological accumulation
this occurs within a trophic level, and is the increase in concentration of a substance in certain tissues (fat) of organisms' bodies due to absorption from food and the environment. It is defined as occurring when uptake from the water is greater than excretion.
colony collapse disorder (CCD)
is a phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive abruptly disappear. The term was first applied to a drastic rise in the number of disappearances of Western honey bee colonies in North America in late 2006. It is significant economically because many agricultural crops worldwide are pollinated by bees; and ecologically, because of the major role that bees play in the reproduction of plant communities in the wild.
USDA
is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and abroad.
poaching
this is illegally killing a protected species.
US Fish and Wildlife Service
is a federal government agency within the United States Department of the Interior dedicated to the management of fish, wildlife, and natural habitats. The mission of the agency reads as "working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people."
bush meat
the term is commonly used for meat of terrestrial wild animals, killed for subsistence or commercial purposes throughout the humid tropics of the Americas, Asia, and Africa.
Vultures
these creatures, in 2004, had a sharp population decline of 97% in India and South Asia due to the creatures eating dead cows given diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory drug. The die-off of these creatures led to a huge increase of wild dog populations, and hence, an increase in rabies.
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), 1975
this is a treaty that's aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild, and it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 33,000 species of animals and plants.
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
this is an international legally binding treaty with 3 main goals: 1.conservation of biological diversity 2.sustainable use of its components; and 3.fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources
Endangered Species Act of 1973
this act was designed to identify and protect endangered species in the U.S. and abroad. It was signed into law by President Nixon in 1973. The Act is administered by 2 federal agencies: the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
gene or seed banks
these preserve genetic information and endangered plant species by storing their seeds in refrigerated, low-humidity environments.
Pelican Island
the was the very first U.S. federal wildlife refuge established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 to help protect birds (esp. brown pelican) from extinction.
egg pulling
this involves collecting wild eggs laid by critically endangered bird species and then hatching them in zoos or research centers.
precautionary principle
this states that when substantial preliminary evidence indicates that an activity can harm human health or the environment, we should take precautionary measures to prevent or reduce such harm even if some of the cause-and-effect relationships have not been fully established scientifically.
captive breeding
this is where some or all of the wild individuals of critically endangered species are collected for breeding in the aim of reintroducing the offspring into the wild. It was used to save the Cali. condor and peregrine falcon.

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