VCE Environmental Science Unit 3: Biodiversity and conservation management.

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Learning intentions:
To understand how biodiversity is identified and managed in Australia.

Success Criteria:
Be able to apply categories of conservation status and describe how degree of threat is determined.
Know the three biodiversity categories and how they relate to each other.
Be able to explain how remnant vegetation, corridors and conservation reserves can be used to support biodiversity.
Describe Global, Australian and Victorian legislation and conventions and a current biodiversity issue which refers to each.

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VCE Environmental Science Unit 3: Biodiversity and conservation management.

  1. 1. Biodiversity conservation and management. VCE Environmental Science Unit 3. Peter Phillips
  2. 2. types of biodiversity, including genetic, species and ecosystem diversity •significance and value of biodiversity to ecosystem function and human survival, including ecosystem services, biological resources, and social benefits •conservation categories including genetic diversity, populations and species, and their use in conservation planning •assessment of biodiversity, including number of species, endemism, and species diversity, including the application of simple indices •threats to biodiversity, including: •habitat modification and destruction •competition from exotic species •loss of pollinators, dispersal agents, host species or symbionts •genetic drift, genetic swamping, inbreeding, demographic variation or other consequences of small population size •overexploitation and over collection •assessment of threat in determining conservation categories, including critical, endangered and vulnerable •methods of protecting environments and managing populations, including wildlife corridors, urban environments, national parks, captive breeding programs, and remnant vegetation •use of scientific data to establish biodiversity treaties, agreements and regulatory frameworks, including Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (of wild flora and fauna) (CITES), Ramsar Convention, and the sections of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 that apply to the protection of a threatened animal. Biodiversity conservation and management Learning intentions: To understand how biodiversity is identified and managed in Australia. Success Criteria: Be able to apply categories of conservation status and describe how degree of threat is determined. Know the three biodiversity categories and how they relate to each other. Be able to explain how remnant vegetation, corridors and conservation reserves can be used to support biodiversity. Describe Global, Australian and Victorian legislation and conventions and a current biodiversity issue which refers to each. VCAA Environmental Science Unit 3 Key Knowledge Outcome 2 Outcome 3 assessment of biodiversity, including number of species, endemism, species diversity, and genetic diversity including the application of simple indices assessment of threat in determining conservation categories, including critical, endangered and vulnerable environmental impact assessment precautionary principle and statistical techniques to estimate and manage biodiversity assessment of risk, including estimating the risk of extinction.
  3. 3. Conservation categories Projects funding is determined by the •availability of economic resources. •conservation category (perceived need: risk of extinction, demographic structure (number of individuals of breeding age), rarity (geographic distribution, genetic), importance of species to its ecosystem, resilience). •social acceptability. •population viability. Biodiversity conservation and management Rarity: describe in terms of... •population size, •geographic range, •habitat IUCN species classification system 2012 Be able to explain what each of these means. Conservation categories are one of the factors which determine whether a project will receive funding. Use quiz cards to learn these at this Quizlet Assessment criteria used for threatened categories: include... (complete) •trends in its pop... •its geog... •the num... •an est..... Lack of data + value judgements -> inconsistencies between organisations
  4. 4. Conservation of biodiversity Precautionary principle: •The Australian Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment (1992) defined the precautionary principle as: “where there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation.” •This decision put the onus on developers to prove that their project will not significantly harm biodiversity. Biodiversity conservation and management Levels of biodiversity: define each of the following: •genetic diversity •population diversity •species diversity How does the world conservation strategy define conservation? Test each other on your knowledge of these terms using Quizlet What is meant by intergenerational equity? Conservation of genetic diversity: •Low levels of genetic diversity (determined via DNA analysis) reduce the ability of a species to adapt to change using natural selection. Appearance is not a good indicator where the genetic diversity of a species is unknown, Conservation of population diversity: •Fragmentation restricts gene flow between populations with adaptations to local environments leading to the development of genetic differences. Management strategies need to consider the full biodiversity with in the species. Conservation of species diversity: •Species are the fundamental basis of conservation. It is therefore important that you are very clear about what a species is. Genetic diversity: the variation of genes within a species Population: individuals of the same species living in one location Species: organisms which are able to produce fertile offspring.
  5. 5. Strategies for protecting biodiversity Conservation reserves: •Land set aside for nature conservation (Government/Non- government), including National Parks, State Forests, Conservation Trusts (Trust for Nature, Bush Heritage Australia, Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers,) Reserves whose primary focus is to protect biodiversity should be located based on the need to protect individual species, communities, ecosystems or landscapes, however it is also affected by land availability and cost of acquiring the land. Historically, conservation reserves were not land of high economic importance. Biodiversity conservation and management Remnant Vegetation: Small patches of native plants that remain after conversion of landscapes to agricultural or other use. See what the Encyclopedia Britannica has to say about ‘conservation’. Test your knowledge using Quizlet Describe how wildlife corridors improve biodiversity. Management of remnant vegetation: •When land is cleared for agriculture, mining, forestry or development the patches of habitat left behind are fragmented, isolated and vulnerable to pests. The establishment of corridors of habitat between remnant vegetation enables gene flow. In the SW of W.A. a wildlife corridor (Gondwana Link), 1000 km long has been established in the South West of Western Australia, involving 12,000 ha of property. It provides an opportunity for previously fragmented populations to breed, improving resilience, and allowing them to move in response to climate change, away from threats such as bushfires, or to colonise new areas. More about Wildlife Corridors. Translocation and reintroduction: •Contrast and describe when you would use either one of these two strategies. •Why has translocation and reintroduction failed so often in the past? Look at a 80km view of Echuca on Google maps satellite view and note the location of remnant vegetation. Remnant vegetation management: koalas Identify some issues with wildlife corridors that managers should be wary of. Preparation for the translocation of the orange bellied parrot.
  6. 6. Responses to the loss of biodiversity biodiversity UN Convention on Biodiversity 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit, requires each of its 170 signatories (including Australia) to develop a program of conservation. Biodiversity conservation and management Why is the Great Barrier Reef in danger? What actions have the World heritage Committee and Australian Government taken? Why does the federal government want to wind back the Heritage status of Tasmania’s forests? Severn Suzuki at the Rio Earth Summit The World Heritage Convention 1972 links together in a single document the concepts of nature conservation and the preservation of cultural properties. The Convention recognizes the way in which people interact with nature, and the fundamental need to preserve the balance between the two. The Convention defines the kind of natural or cultural sites which can be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List. By signing the Convention, each country pledges to conserve not only the World Heritage sites situated on its territory, but also to protect its national heritage. ABC News Sydney Morning Herald
  7. 7. Responses to the loss of biodiversity biodiversity RAMSAR The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, called the Ramsar Convention 1983, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. The Ramsar Convention is the only global environmental treaty that deals with a particular ecosystem. The treaty was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and the Convention's member countries cover all geographic regions of the planet. Biodiversity conservation and management Despite the good will shown by the signatories to CITES, the trade in endangered and protected species continues. Identify 3 reasons why. CITES Convention on the trade in endangered species of wild flora and fauna 1973 is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. WWF: African ivory trade Whale hunting: Japan presses to resume The RAMSAR Convention protects wetlands of national significance which provide habitat and breeding ground for migratory water birds. It includes the Barmah Lakes. Why are the Barmah Lakes so important to maintaining biodiversity in Australia? Barmah Lakes Wetlands JAMBA (Japan Australia Migratory Birds Agreement) is an agreement between Japan and Australia protecting habitat of birds which migrate between those two countries
  8. 8. Responses to the loss of biodiversity biodiversity Environment Protection and biodiversity conservation Act 1999 Focussed on matters of national environmental significance, streamlining the environmental assessment and approvals process. The Act prescribed how biodiversity should be identified and monitored, applied international listing criteria, described procedures for the preparation of recovery and conservation plans and established a whale sanctuary in Australia’s exclusive economic zone. Biodiversity conservation and management National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’ s Biodiversity 2010 aims to establish effective mechanisms for the identification, conservation and management of Australia’s biodiversity. It recognised the need for detailed strategies at the state, territory and regional levels of government, as well as the involvement of the community. ABC News: Japanese whalers ordered out of Australian waters How can Australia’s exclusive economic zone be used to protect biodiversity in our oceans. Read this article on World Ocean Day to find out.
  9. 9. Responses to the loss of biodiversity biodiversity Victoria’s Biodiversity Strategy 1997 Identify the key aims of the legislation and how it hoped to achieve these. Aim: updates Victoria’s biodiversity strategy to comply with the National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’ s Biodiversity 1996. Strategy: identified 21 terrestrial bioregions and 5 aquatic bioregions, allowing the development of specific strategies addressing the major threatening processes in each. Biodiversity conservation and management Victorian Flora and Fauna Act 1988 Identify a key aim of the legislation and how it hoped to achieve this. Aim: to ensure that Victoria’s native species survive, flourish and keep their potential for evolutionary development. Strategy: Identify and manage processes that lead to extinction, genetic diversity, endangered habitats and areas of environmental significance. The act encourages public participation: any member of the public may nominate a species for investigation. Interim Conservation Orders may be issued where a critically endangered species is threatened by human activity.Why are the Wilderness Society and Victorian National Parks Association calling for an Interim Conservation Order for the Leadbeaters possum? Department of Primary Industries Vic (DPI): Biodiversity booklet: guide to laws, guidelines and codes Victoria’s Biodiversity Strategy 1997 recognises 21 Land bioregions and 5 aquatic bioregions Make 3 statements which describe the condition and management response in a bioregion in your area of the state.
  10. 10. Responses to the loss of biodiversity biodiversity Victoria’s Biodiversity Strategy 1997 Identify the key aims of the legislation and how it hoped to achieve these. Aim: updates Victoria’s biodiversity strategy to comply with the National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia’ s Biodiversity 1996. Strategy: identified 21 terrestrial bioregions and 5 aquatic bioregions, allowing the development of specific strategies addressing the major threatening processes in each. Biodiversity conservation and management Victorian Flora and Fauna Act 1988 Identify a key aim of the legislation and how it hoped to achieve this. Aim: to ensure that Victoria’s native species survive, flourish and keep their potential for evolutionary development. Strategy: Identify and manage processes that lead to extinction, genetic diversity, endangered habitats and areas of environmental significance. The act encourages public participation: any member of the public may nominate a species for investigation. Interim Conservation Orders may be issued where a critically endangered species is threatened by human activity.Why are the Wilderness Society and Victorian National Parks Association calling for an Interim Conservation Order for the Leadbeaters possum? Department of Primary Industries Vic (DPI): Biodiversity booklet: guide to laws, guidelines and codes Victoria’s Biodiversity Strategy 1997 recognises 21 Land bioregions and 5 aquatic bioregions Make 3 statements which describe the condition and management response in a bioregion in your area of the state.

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