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large, flightless bird, native to Mauritius. Nested on the ground, humans brough dogs and pigs that ate all the _____ eggs, quickly became extinct

Passenger Pigeon

used to be most abundant bird in North American. once about 5 million, took us 50 years to kill them all

Rachel Carson

marine biologist, became environmental spokesperson later in life

Silent Spring

Rachel Carson's book on the results of chemical warfare on the environment

simplification (of ecosystems)

what humans do to ecosystems by destroying species, feedback loops, interactions between organisms; number of species is reduced, biodiversity reduced, simpler version of what we had before

exotic species (know examples also)

a species living outside its native distributional range, which has arrived there by human activity, either deliberate or accidental; i.e. zebra mussel, nutria, water hyacinth, brown tree snake

land conversion

Converting a forested area to another use such as agricultural land or urban area.

habitat loss (destruction)

process in which natural habitat is rendered functionally unable to support the species present, one of the greatest causes of species extinction


large areas of habitat are reduced to smaller patches, which are now isolated from one another by new and different habitats, like fields, roads, farms and citites. tiny islands of natural habitat surrounded by a hostile sea. one of the greatest causes of species extinction

deforestation (tropic vs. termperate pattern)

the temporary or permanent clearance of large expanses of forests for agriculture or other uses

theory of island biogeography

the equilibrium number of species on an island will be a balance between the opposing forces of immigration and extinction


the movement of individuals among populations, from one region or country to another

waif dispersal

a factor on the rate of immigration; how a species immigrates by chance (squirrel on a log)

rate of immigration

depends on distance from island to mainland and dispersal ability of the colonizers

rate of extinction

rate that species go extinct on the island

equilibrium number of speices

balance between the rate of immigration and the rate of extinction


small volcanic island in the Dutch East Indes, near Java and Sumatra, see notes

neotropical migrant

species that breeds in North America and spends the non-breeding season south of the Tropic of Cancer

conservation biology

became a science in 1980s, multidisciplinary science that focuses on the study of how humans impact organisms and on the development of ways to protect bioligical diversity

game species

any animal hunted for food or not normally domesticated

non-game species

type of wild animal that is not hunted

resource management

a purposeful activity with the goal to maintain and improve the state of an environmental resource affected by human activities

consumptive use

the use of a resource that reduces the supply (removing water from a source like a rive, lake or aquifer) without returning and equal amount

non-consumptive use

individuals may use (i.e. observe), yet not consume, certain living ocean resources, like whale watching or scuba diving


number of different species in a given area

alpha diversity

diversity of species in a local habitat type, ex: local wetland or forest

beta diversity

local biodiversity across several different types of habitats

gamma diversity

regional biodiverstity over a large area with many types of habitats

species diversity

total number of genes that are characteristic of a species or group of species

species richness

total number of species

species evenness

relative abundance of species across different habitats or regions

species dominance

which species are most abundant in a particular ecosystem

ecological diversity

number of trophic levels, number of available niches, complexity of food web

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