Environmental Resource Issues Chapter 14
Terms in this set (60)
An official designation assigned by the committee on the status of endamgered wildlife in Canada to any threatened species
Consumptive or Non Consumptive - values that humans derive from other species.
A belief that nature has value in and of its itself apart from its value to humanity; a central focus for the preservation of species.
An official designation assigned by the committee on the status of endangered wildlife in Canada to any indigenous species or sub species or geographically separate population of fauna or flora no longer known to exist in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere
when the animal exists in such low numbers that it can no longer fulfill its ecological role in the ecosystem.
List some economic values of biodiversity
Many industries and agriculture originate from the natural world. 90% of the worlds food supply comes from trophic plants, rubber comes from tropical plants, pharmaceutical companies rely on these plants, pollination of crops, control of pests from birds, nature based tourism etc. The extrinsic and economic values of biodiversity just discussed show an anthropocentric view of life that favours the protection of species providing direct benefits to humans.
Anthropocentric View of Life
a view that favours the protection of species providing a direct benefit to humans
That humans have no right to destroy any species. In fact, humans have a moral responsibility to actively protect species from going extinct due to our activities. This philosophy reflects an ecocentric view.
Causes of Tropical Deforestation
1. Rapidly growing population levels-- more people equals less biological diversity, since people use natural resources;
2. Over consumption -- the rise of the industrial capitalism and materialist modern societies has greatly accelerated demands for natural resources, particularly in developing countries
3. Inequality in the distribution of wealth -- poor rural people with no land or resources of their own destroy biological communities and hunt endangered species just to stay alive.
Pressures Causing Extinction
1. Over harvesting
2. Predator Control - species that compete with humans for consumption of the same resource. e.g. carolina parakeet, prairie dog, this decline in prairie dogs lead to a decline in their main predator the black-footed ferret
3. Habitat Change. - biggest threat, accounting for 84% of the listings. Human demands are causing both physical and chemical changes to the environment. (e.g. forests being replaced by agriculture.)
Physical & Chemical Changes
Convention on International trade in endangered species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Canada is a signatory making trade of particularily rare species not to occur.
Ex situ conservation
The preservation of representatives of a species, often endangered, outside their natural habitat, as in a zoo, aquarium, or game farm.
program to protect endangered plants that exist in few other places.
The division of an ecosystem or species habitat into small parcels as a result of human activity; such as agriculture, highways, pipelines, and population settlements.
he offspring of two plants or animals of different species or varieties, such as a mule (a hybrid of a donkey and a horse). Swamping can happen where a rare species by a more common one.
Any organism such as a zebra mussel, purple loosestrife, or Eurasian water milfoil, in Canada, that enters an ecosystem, beyond its normal range through deliberate or inadvertent introduction by humans; also know as exotic, introduced, invader, or non native species. Invasive alien species are responsible for about 40% of animal extinctions for which the cause is unknown. May compete for food with native species.
Set of extinction prone characteristics. What makes a species more prone for extinction?
1. Specialized habitats for feeding or breeding. - once a habitat is altered, it may no longer be suitable for specialized species.
2. Migratory - species depend on 2 or more distinct habitat types.
3. Insular and local - being hunted in a restricted habitat, with no population for replacement.
4. High economic value
5. animals with large body size - require more food, more likely hunted by humans, large home ranges.
6. Need for Large Home Range - species that need a large area are prone to extinction when part of their range is damaged.
7. Only One or a Few Populations And/or Small population size
8. Not effective dispersers. - Species that cannot migrate quickly have a greater chance of extinction. This will become even more relevant as climate change increases.
9. Behavioural traits causing susceptibility.
The extinction of species may now be occurring roughly 100-1000 times faster than the natural rate of extinction.
Convention On Biological Diversity
One of the most important international agreements to protect biodiversity. This convention emerged from the world summit, on sustainable development. The CBD is legally binding and requires signatories to develop biodiversity strategies, identify and monitor important components of biodiversity, develop endangered species legislation and protected areas systems, and promote environmentally sound and sustainable development in areas adjacent to protected areas.
Areas such as national and provincial parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and game preserves established to protect species and ecosystems.
Species At risk Act
Canadian legislation passed in 2002 that that mandates the committee on the status of the endangered wildlife in Canada to maintain lists of species at risk and to recommend to the minister responsible that particular species be given special protection in their environment.
The indian, inuit, and metis peoples of Canada.
An idealized blueprint of the distribution of protected areas within a given jurisdiction. Divides the country into 39 physiographic regions, representative of Canada's natural heritage. The goal is to have at least one national park in each of these regions. All the provinces have similar plans, and the overall total amounts to 486 natural regions across the country.
A field within biogeography that attempts to establish and explain the factors that affect that species richness of natural communities.
The idea of park managers actively intervening in park eco systems rather than leaving change to the behaviour of nature.
Minimal Viable Population
The smallest population size of a species that can be predicted to have a very high chance of persisting for the foreseeable future. MVP's are then multiplied by the area required to support each animal.
A process that determines the probability that a population will go extinct within a given number of years.
- in the context of protected areas, it generally means encouraging landowners to modify their activities, to help protect ecosystems.
relating to or denoting an organism that contains genetic material into which DNA from an unrelated organism has been artificially introduced --of, relating to, or containing a gene or genes transferred from another species:
Adaptive Environmental Management
SARA project steps
SARA is an adaptive management environmental process
1) monitoring (population inventory)
2) species assessment (COSEWIC status report)
5) Program evaluation (assessment of number 4 and annual report)
What does parks Canada's mandate say?
to maintain ecological integrity
which means the ability of an ecosystem to support and maintain ecological processes and a diverse community of organisms
What is ecological literacy?
The understanding of ecosystems and how they work to keep our world sustainable. Ecologically literate society would mean a society in which people did not comprise the biodiversity and ecosystems for human needs.
Renewable or Flow resources
Those resources renewed naturally within a relatively short period of time, such as water, air animals, and plants.
Critical zone= fish, forests, animals, soil, water in aquifers.
Non-critical zone= solar energy, tides, wind, waves, water, & air.
Non-renewable or stock resources
Take millions of years to form, as a result from human viewpoint, such resources are for practical purposes fixed in supply and therefore not renewable. Some are consumed through use, whereas others can be recycled.
consumed= oil, gas, coal,
Theoretically recoverable= all elemental minerals
Recyclable= metallic minerals
First coined by Gilpin & Soulé in 1986, the extinction vortex is the term used to describe the process that declining populations undergo when"a mutual reinforcement occurs among biotic and abiotic processes that drives population size downward to extinction"
abiotic & Biotic components
abiotic = non-living parts of the ecosystem, including chemical and physical factors, such as light, temperature, wind, water and soil characteristics
biotic = are the living components that shape an ecosystem.Producers, i.e. autotrophs: e.g. plants, convert the energy [from photosynthesis (the transfer of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into energy), or other sources such as hydrothermal vents] into food.
Canada Energy Use & issues
Canada is a huge consumer of energy, because of having a large country, we have long travel distances, cold winters, main consumer of energy has been fossil fuels, which also release the most green house gases.
The fastest-growing sector in the world's energy market, which uses wind turbines to generate electricity.
another renewable energy source. energy generated by the sun, travels to earth as electromagnetic radiation, dominant use for solar power in Canada is for heating swimming pools.
a thick and heavy oil. Production in Alberta.
in situ recovery
general practice used at depths greater than 100 metres to remove crude bitumen from oil sands by specific technique of stream-assisted gravity damage.
Environment Impacts of Oil sands operations (Chapter 12) page 445
They have impacts on the boreal forest systems and on water and water levels, in the Athabasca river and lake athabasca which feeds into the mackenzie river system, as well as on air quality and wildlife, the consequences of the development are also significant in relation to cumulative impact assessment. (chapter 6)
Canada produces 14 to 15% of its electricity from nuclear power. A major issue in the nuclear energy industry, is radio active waste. (nuclear wastes)
sustainable energy superpower
a view that canada with its huge energy resources should be able to produce upgraded energy products at reasonable prices with acceptable environmental impacts, based on new technology, effective public policy, new concepts of risk-sharing, and individual companies and governments working together.
Main environmental issues for the mining and energy sectors include:
acid mine drainage, sulphur dioxide emissions, and metal toxicity.
Canada is one in the top five producers of?
aluminum, diamonds, nickel, platinum, group metals, potash, uranium and zinc.
What are two sets of values significant for resource and environmental management ??
Ecocentric values which include a belief that a harmonious and balanced natural order governs relationships between living things, which humans tend to disrupt through ignorance and presumption.
Biocentric Values = a view that values aspects of the environment simply because they exist and accepts that they have the right to exist.
Characteristics of An Ecosystem Approach
1. includes the whole system, not just parts of it
2. Focuses on the interrelationship among the elements
3. recognizes the dynamic nature of an ecosystem
4. incorporates the concepts of carrying capacity, resilience, and sustainability
5. uses broad definition of environments -- natural, physical, economic, social and cultural.
6. encompasses both urban and rural activities.
7. is based on natural geographic units such as watersheds rather than on political boundaries
8. embraces all levels of activity -- local, regional, national and international.
9 understands that humans are apart of nature not separate from it
10. emphasizes the importance of species other than humans and of generations other than the present. '
Why are protected areas important?
They protect biodiversity.
initiatives and other approaches that reflect genuine reallocation of power to citizens and away from elected officials or technical experts.
The atmosphere, at any given time and place. The combination of temperature, precipitation, and humidity. Winds, air pressure.
composite or generalization of the variety of day to day weather conditions. IT is not just the 'average weather' because the variations form the mean or average are as important as the mean itself.
long term shift or alternation in the climate in specific location, a region, or the entire planet.
addresses changes only in average surface temperatures. IT does not address if conditions are becoming wetter or dryer.
Green house gases
concentrations, especially those of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, tropospheric ozone
with targets for 38 developed nations, to ensure that their aggregate anthropocentric carbon dioxide equivalent emissions of greenhouse gases do not exceed their assigned amounts.
Adaptive Environmental Management
conclusion that policies and approaches should be able to cope with the uncertain, the unexpected, and the unknown. & that the way of handling the unknown is through trial and error. Errors and mistakes provide new information.
is primarily concerned with user participation in decision-making and with linking communities and government managers.
is primarily concerned with learn-by-doing in a scientific way to deal with uncertainty.
Impact and Risk Assessment
determining and managing, measuring, predicting, the potential (and real) impacts likelihood of occurring of proposed human actions and their alternatives on the environment. It is used to get pertinent environmental information to project or programme decision making. Often this is difficult because there is no right or wrong answers.