Free Essay On Ecosystem Management: Endangered Species
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(News Culling Wolves to Protect Caribous)
The paper will be looking to explore how living things i.e. plants, animals, and microbes intermingle with non-living things i.e. water and air. The paper will dwell deep into how living and nonliving things depend on each other to survive in the system. Ecosystem means the process in which living and non-living components are connected to the planet. Removal of one component leads to a devastating impact on others resulting in a breakup of the system. The paper will analyze the interdependence of all living and nonliving things and how human involvement has created a healthy ecosystem while others have endangered it (UNEP, 2010).
In the ecosystem, organisms are divided into three groups namely producers, consumers and decomposers in that order. Producers make up of all plants or greens in which the consumers depend upon or feed on. The consumers who depend on the producers at a later stage die and decompose into the soil providing it with nutrients which the producers need. The above-highlighted example is one of the few examples demonstrating the process of ecosystem. In addition, the paper will analyze the benefits human get from depending on the ecosystem and further look on the impacts of the presence of humanity in the ecosystem (UNEP, 2010).
The paper will further examine how changes in the ecosystem have threatened the existence of other animals in the park. The essay will elucidate how some government agencies are reducing the number of wolves in the park for caribous to survive. Since wolves feed on caribous, the number of caribous has reduced drastically threatening their survival the main reason as to why wolves have to be culled to give space for the existence of caribous. The culling of wolves and other measures which will be explained later in the essay provides proper and balanced management of biodiversity in the ecosystem (Fish, 2012).
Interdependence of Biodiversity in the Ecosystem and How Humanity has Impacted and Benefitted from the System
Benefits of the ecosystem to humans
Research from different Alma maters has shown that human life depends on the ecosystem and all activities undertaken by persons are supported by the same natural ecosystem. To begin with, ecosystem helps in purification of water and air which essentially are the pillars in supporting human life. Water and air which are provided by the ecosystem if contaminated will cut off human civilization, and it will cease to exist. Another benefit humans enjoy from the ecosystem is the supply of pharmaceutical products. Research done last year by American scientists confirmed that 90% of all medicinal drugs designed came from the natural resource which is part of the ecosystem (ESA, 2010).
In addition, food is another important component human’s benefit from the ecosystem. Without food, humanity could have long stopped to exist. Humanity depends on food which is provided by the ecosystem, and the surplus is taken to the market and converted to money. Ecosystems show that besides providing food to eat it has also created employment for many who would like to trade. Animals such as fish, goat, cow and hens are commonly sold in markets as the same time converted to food to feed the human population. The annual sale of fish hit a new record high last year by registering 100 million metric tons in US alone, and its value is estimated to be between $50 billion. Another fundamental benefits human’s get from the ecosystem is that it protects coastlines from violent water waves. The shorelines are protected by high layers of rocks that block waves trying to enter the land (ESA, 2010).
Ecosystems also support biodiversity lives. All animal species on the planet rely on the availability of natural resources to exist. The grass which the animals graze is provided by the ecosystem. Water also which the animals drink is provided by the ecosystem. The animal lives purely rotate within the sphere of the ecosystem in that without its existence at the first place animals will not have survived. Animals die others are eaten by other animals like the carnivorous species and their carcasses decompose into the soil providing it with nitrogen which is essential for germination of plants. Water reduces the strength of ultraviolet rays from the sun. Besides maintaining biodiversity, it acts as coolant to the planet by preventing sharp rays hitting the earth from the sun.
Also, an ecosystem helps in mitigation of floods and droughts. The two if not reduced may turn catastrophic destroying all human civilization. Plants prevent raindrops from hitting the soil and by so doing they tend to prevent soil erosion which may cause floods. Also, water which is evaporated from the leaves of plants to the atmosphere forms a cloud which later through the heat of the sun rain is formed. The examples elucidated above have shown the extent in which humanity benefit from the ecosystem and how their activities help continue the cycle (ESA, 2010).
Impact of humans on the ecosystem
Human activities have affected positively and negatively by their interaction with the ecosystem. Research has shown that humans have a higher hand in maintaining the balance of the natural environment resources. The extinction of one living component may impact negatively on others in the cycle of the ecosystem (Wurmus, 2010).
When humans hunt animals like gazelles, lions, leopards and tigers and many more, the cycle of the ecosystem is acerbated. They remove the very animals that are preying on others to prevent overgrazing in the natural environment. A healthy cycle of the ecosystem is where predators are in balance with other animals in a sequence of life and death. Overfishing also has led to the disappearance of approximately 1 million sharks annually through by catch. By catch is the process where unwanted fish are thrown away by commercial fishing companies. Also, the fishing companies are responsible for the destruction of coral reefs in that they throw large nets into the water with metal rollers which touch the bottom of the sea destroying the coral reefs. The ecosystem benefits from coral reefs in that they help to protect the coastlines from violent water waves and acts as a shelter to many marine organisms (Ford, 2012).
Humans also have played a major factor in the disappearance of forests of late. Deforestation can be defined as cutting down trees. People use the wood for commercial purposes and may use the land for planting food or for any other reason. Forests purify the air we breathe and are the major contributor to the formation of rain which humanity depends upon for survival. Forests also act as habitat for many wild animals that primarily depend on the cycle of a sustainable ecosystem. Deforestation leads to a reduction of vegetation cover which may result in flooding and earthquakes displacing millions of other animals and human beings.
With the improvement of technology, sophisticated machines have been invented for the purpose of cutting down tree in that in a day a whole forest can be destroyed. Scientists have warned that by 2040, the canopy forests will reduce by 40% if the current trend of deforestation is maintained. Deforestation also causes nutrients imbalance in the soil which affects the germination process of other plants in the ecosystem. If the germination process of plants is altered, the whole process of the ecosystem will come crumbling down since other animals depend on it (Cotter, 2013).
Poisoning the ecosystem has been another factor contributing to the destruction of the natural resources. The automobile industry has been polluting the environment which human and animal inhabitants live. With no trees to consume carbon dioxide, the environment will be polluted to epic proportions endangering all living organisms. Pesticides also pose a challenge to the survival of the ecosystem. Organophosphate, which the pesticides contain, is released to the soil killing other living organisms poisoning the environment and threatening its existence. Pollution in the world today has been the leading factor in global warming and has brought nations together to forge a solution on how to mitigate carbon dioxide. Environmental conservation agencies and other world environmental bodies have joined hands in calling for a rapid reduction of carbon dioxide from developed countries because it has posed a threat to the ecosystem (Linn and Persson, 2010).
The decrease of caribous and the government intervention by culling the wolves in British Columbia (B.C)
The population of caribous in the contemporary world has declined drastically forcing governments to research the factors behind their dwindling in numbers. The British Colombia government was faster to blame the wolves and proposed the reduction of their number by exterminating a few of them. The decision led to protests from human rights groups and conservation agencies arguing that the decision is not scientifically based. Also, ethical issues were at play in the whole argument with other groups arguing that animal rights issues should be considered before killing them. The number of caribous in the eastern part of B.C decreased from 46 to 18 within a year period prompting the government to take measures to prevent their extinction (CBC, 2015).
Environmental scientists in all schools of thought were faster to point an accusing finger at the government for its failure to tell the truth about the reduction of the number of the caribou’s family. The scientists elucidated that 80% of the natural habitat belonging to the caribous and wolves was taken by the government to facilitate industrial growth. The reduction of land exposed caribous to the wolves speeding up their extinction. The idea differed with the official story the government of B.C was giving explaining that wolves are responsible for the deaths of the caribous. Non-governmental agencies like Pacific Wild Organization launched a petition to challenge the government of B.C decision to reduce the number of wolves. The organization claimed that the decision was political, and the government wanted to divert attention on what is ailing the caribou’s family. The group claimed that human encroachment has been another factor in the extinction of caribous because approximately 75% of the land of the caribous has been turned into residential homes (CBC, 2015).
Human encroachment on the caribou's habitat posed a danger to the animals in that it reduced the area of grazing. The reduction of the area of grazing forced them to go and look for pastures everywhere entering a different territory exposing them to their predators. Fragmentations of their habitats by the government of B.C have also been another factor in their mortality rate. The government of B.C constructed roads passing in the park, put industries and other infrastructures pushing caribous further from their habitats. The government drafted a plan on how to reduce the 8500 wolves. They decided that they are going to shoot them from the helicopter since it proved that the natural methods are not sufficient enough in reducing their numbers (Adamczewski, 2009).
The chart below shows the reduction of the number of herds in the caribou's family and the increasing number of wolves since 1992 according to the government of Canada.
Figure 1: Caribou's family and the increasing number of wolves
Source: Development of Bathurst Caribou Management Action
The paper has coherently elucidated how the lives of different living organisms depend on each other in the ecosystem. The paper has further looked how the activities of man are endangering the ecosystem exposing him to natural catastrophes like drought and floods. The benefits man gets from interacting with the ecosystem have been analyzed. The paper has shown how the life of man purely rotates in the cycle of the ecosystem. The essay has further examined how one living component is affected and its impacts on others in the line. The interdependence of biodiversity has also been explained in a broad-spectrum. Also, the effects of deforestation, pollution and overhunting by man have been discussed. If humans are not going to stop their retrogressive tendencies of destroying their habitat and being oblivious, then the impacts of nature will shock them. Finally, the paper has elaborated a conflict in a province of Canada known as British Columbia (B.C) between wolves and mountain caribou. The paper has shown how the government of B.C is using primitive methods to control biodiversity rather addressing the primary concern.
Adamczewski, L. N. (2009). Decline And Recovery Of The Bathurst Caribou Heard. The University Of British Columbia, Vancouver, Bc.
Cbc. (2015). Wolf Cull Supported By The Conservation Group Wildsight. Cbc News.
Cotter, C. M. (2013). An Impending Storm. In Impacts Of Deforestation On Weather Patterns And Agriculture (P. 32). Az Amsterdam: Greenpeace International.
Coutts, M. (2015). B.C.'S Wolf's Calling To Protecting Caribou Is 'Scientifically Unsound:' Protectionist. Daily Brew Canada News.
Esa. (2010). Ecosystem Services: Benefits Supplied By Human Societies By Natural Ecosystems. Ecological Society Of America.
Fish, A. (2012). Environment And Sustainable Resource Development. Caribou Protection Plan Guidelines , 3.
Ford, H. (2012). Human Impact On Ecosystems. Oakwood Bold: The Henry Ford Education.
Linn Persson, A. A. (2010). Impact(S)/Effects Of Pollution On Ecosystem Service For The Millennium Development Goals/Objectives. Stockholm: Stockholm Environment Institute.
Unep. (2010). Ecosystems And Human Well-Being. Washington Dc: Island Press.
Wurmus, R. (2010). Global Environmental Studies.
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