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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Identify new technologies for describing biodiversity
  • Explain the legislative framework for conservation
  • Describe principles and challenges of conservation preserve design
  • Identify examples of the effects of habitat restoration
  • Discuss the role of zoos in biodiversity conservation

Preserving biodiversity is an extraordinary challenge that must be met by greater understanding of biodiversity itself, changes in human behavior and beliefs, and various preservation strategies.

Measuring biodiversity

The technology of molecular genetics and data processing and storage are maturing to the point where cataloguing the planet’s species in an accessible way is close to feasible. DNA barcoding    is one molecular genetic method, which takes advantage of rapid evolution in a mitochondrial gene present in eukaryotes, excepting the plants, to identify species using the sequence of portions of the gene. Plants may be barcoded using a combination of chloroplast genes. Rapid mass sequencing machines make the molecular genetics portion of the work relatively inexpensive and quick. Computer resources store and make available the large volumes of data. Projects are currently underway to use DNA barcoding to catalog museum specimens, which have already been named and studied, as well as testing the method on less studied groups. As of mid 2012, close to 150,000 named species had been barcoded. Early studies suggest there are significant numbers of undescribed species that looked too much like sibling species to previously be recognized as different. These now can be identified with DNA barcoding.

Numerous computer databases now provide information about named species and a framework for adding new species. However, as already noted, at the present rate of description of new species, it will take close to 500 years before the complete catalog of life is known. Many, perhaps most, species on the planet do not have that much time.

There is also the problem of understanding which species known to science are threatened and to what degree they are threatened. This task is carried out by the non-profit IUCN which, as previously mentioned, maintains the Red List—an online listing of endangered species categorized by taxonomy, type of threat, and other criteria ( [link] ). The Red List is supported by scientific research. In 2011, the list contained 61,000 species, all with supporting documentation.

Art connection

 Bar graph shows the percentage of animal species, by group, that are critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable. Approximately 21% of mammal species are on the IUCN Red List. Of these, about 10% are vulnerable, 7% are endangered, and 4% are critically endangered. Approximately 12% of bird species are on the Red List. Of these, about 6% are vulnerable, 4% are endangered, and 2% are critically endangered. Approximately 6% of reptile species are on the Red List. Of these, about 3% are vulnerable, 2% are endangered, and 1% is critically endangered. Approximately 29% of amphibian species are on the Red List. Of these, about 10% are vulnerable, 12% are endangered, and 7% are critically endangered. Approximately 4% of fish species are on the Red List. Of these, about 2% are vulnerable, 1% is endangered, and 1% is critically endangered. No insect species fall on the Red List. Approximately 1.5% of mollusk species are on the Red List. Of these, about 1% is vulnerable, and 0.25% each are endangered or critically endangered. Approximately 3% of plant species are on the Red List. Of these, about 2% are vulnerable, .5% each are endangered or critically endangered.
This chart shows the percentage of various animal species, by group, on the IUCN Red List as of 2007.

Which of the following statements is not supported by this graph?

  1. There are more vulnerable fishes than critically endangered and endangered fishes combined.
  2. There are more critically endangered amphibians than vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered reptiles combined.
  3. Within each group, there are more critically endangered species than vulnerable species.
  4. A greater percentage of bird species are critically endangered than mollusk species.

Questions & Answers

What is Staining?
Fazal Reply
what is biology
Biology is the study of life
what is biology
Ysabella Reply
biology is a study of living things
Biology is a diverse branch of science that deals with mostly living things
What happen when inhibit the transcription?
what is the effect of not doing sexual intercourse
what is the mechanism of cellular respiration
Rita Reply
what is enzyme
garry Reply
They are organic catalysts that alter the rate of chemical reactions in the body.
meaning they speed up reaction
Enzymes are forms of chemicals that are specialized in their own areas.(eg digestion of food)
Enzymes are organic catalysts
what is a cell
Praize Reply
Basic Functional Unit of Life
what is biology
Mordi Reply
biology is the study of living organisms and their interactions with one another and their environments
which of the following event does not occur during some stages of interface?
Bangha Reply
What is microfilaments
KHalid Reply
What is multicellular organisms
Ovie Reply
these are organisms with more than two cells
the process when a male toad fertilizer a female eggs is called what?
Ahrebe Reply
how did unicellular organisms form plants and animals or is it that different unicellular organisms formed plants and animald
YXNG Reply
name the components of faeces
undigested carbohydrate, fibre
what are unicellular organisms..?
they have only one cell
faeces contains many undigested food materials, after the food has been digested then it will be absorbed in the blood stream for assimilation.,......... but the remains toxic materials are stored in the rectum these toxic materials are the faeces and it contains bile salts, the polysaccharides .
unicellular organisms are the ones with only single cell.
thanks for your answers guys.
what is class bryophyta
Emefa Reply
how many stages do we have in glycolysis?
10 stages
the presence of a membrane enclosed nuclosed is a characteristics of what
Addai Reply
eukaryotic cell

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Source:  OpenStax, Biology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 29, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11448/1.10
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