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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 class bryophyta
Emefa Reply
how many stages do we have in glycolysis?
Damali
10 stages
Elisha
the presence of a membrane enclosed nuclosed is a characteristics of what
Addai Reply
eukaryotic cell
captain
hetreothalism in fungi
Lekhram Reply
there are 3 trimester in human pregnancy
ROHIN Reply
I don't know answer of this question can u help me
ROHIN
yes
Bisa
what is a cell
Fatima Reply
A cell is functional and structural unit of life.
Bisa
what is genetic
Janet Reply
I join
Janet
what are the branchas of biology
Prisca Reply
zoology, ecology
Millicent
biochemistry,cytology,herpetology...etc
R0se
genetics, microbiology,botany and embryology
Muhammad
what is a cell
Kulunbawi Reply
cell is smallest unit of life. cells are often cell the building blocks of life...
Muhammad
the first twenty element
Orapinega Reply
what are the characteristics of living things?
R0se
growth,respiration,nutrition,sensitivity, movement,irritability, excretion,death.
Obinna
What is the difference between adaptation and competition in animals
Adeyemi Reply
What is biology
Adeyemi
it is a natural science stadey about living things
Zamiil
Biology is the bronch of science which deals with the study of life is called biology
Aziz
what is the x in 300 stands for?
Ogbudu Reply
the properties of life
Clarinda Reply
response to the environment, reproduction, homeostasis, growth,energy processing etc.....
Pushpam
hello.
Daniela
hi
MacPeter
Good
Thomas
what is reproduction
Tims
Reproduction is a fundamental feature of all known life,each individual organism exist as a result of re production.....or else Multiplying...
R0se
a complete virus particle known as
Darlington Reply
These are formed from identical protein subunitscalled capsomeres.
Pushpam
fabace family plant name
Pushpam Reply
in eukaryotes ...protein channel name which transport protein ...
Pushpam Reply
in bacteria ...chromosomal dna duplicate structure called
Pushpam

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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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