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About 45 percent of the worlds plant species occur in tropical rainforests (Charles M. Peter, Rainforests). There are over 250 species of trees inhabiting small areas of Asia and S. American rainforests. The orderly cycles of nature with their simple economy cannot manage such vast quantities of man-made waste (William O Douglas, No Waste in Nature). Many animals such as reptiles, birds, mammals, and a good majority of insects make up the habitat of tropical rainforests and small land areas around the country.
Plants and animals are connected to teach other in a system called the food chain. The plants and animals depend on one another for survival. Many of the plants depend on insects and birds to pollinate the flowers, and in return, other animals receive the nectar of the flower. Animals are also depended to disperse the trees seeds (Charles M. Peter, rainforests).
Ecologists believe that complexity is in part responsible for the stability of most ecosystems (p158 Paul Anne). The more food chains there are in an ecosystem the more chances there are for the ecosystem to compensate for changes that are imposed up on it.
Complexity is an important factor in stability. For example, complex communities such as the deciduous forests that cover much of the eastern United States, persist year after year if man does not interfere with them. Entomologists warn that a pure stand forms an ideal situation for damage from insects and diseases; infection is rapid and direct from tree to tree, and if one species is destroyed, there is nothing left (p.
141 William ODouglas). In Santa Maria, a small land area that has once been a home to a habitat of birds, reptiles and mammals is now being closed down for construction. The area that was once home to wildlife animals is becoming a home for the human species.
Because of our selfish need for privacy, animals have been pushed out of their natural habitats for our use of shelter. As years go by, more and more houses will be built in Santa Maria and more of Santa Marias wildlife animals will be pushed out of their homes. Real estates and construction companies are known to use local zoning boards to destroy the wildlife for their conveniences of construction buildings and homes for the growing population. Developers buy rural land for $300-$400 an acre to convert it into $10,000-$20,000 an acre worth of land. A third of this price is used for acquiring the land, laying gout the streets, providing water supplies, etc. Another third is to spend on advertising the free space, and the last third of the price is spent on profit (p. 160 William ODouglas). Sooner or later there wont be enough trees to support the human species and the wildlife animals. No predator but man is the cause of extinction of a species.
One solution that society could focus more on is the growth of population. This is the reason for the destruction of our natural habitat. The more people in a city the more trees and lands that are cleared away to satisfy our needs. And with the lands being cleared away for homes, comes the need for new highways, to make traveling easier. The growth of population leads to the growth of a small town into a city, and the need for certain companies to make the land use more comfortable for the people that inhabit the land. Highways, airports, reservoirs, and agencies such as the flood-control projects consume about 850.000 rural acres of land a year (p 135 Forest/wilderness).
Some people believe that in order to stop growth rates, there should be no reproduction at all. The best solution the United States came up with for the 1968 birth rate that was higher than most European countries was to reduce the level of birth rates to where it would ultimately balance the death rate (p 245 Paul Anne). No nation has yet adopted as a goal, the reduction of its population growth to zero, let alone a reduction in absolute population size. Many of the proposed measure to control population growth that may have been effective have never been enforced (p 250 Paul Anne). The reason for this is because these measurements are too strong and restricted and are known to run counter to traditional attitudes of most countries. Most of the countries wont even consider these measures until a famine or an ecological disaster falls upon the population itself. Population growth control lies only in the minds of religious and political leaders. There are many solutions proposed to reduce the growth of population. Among most general approaches to population control, is the Family Planning. Family Planning is the maximum freedom of choice that a family has (p251 Paul Anne).
This allows each couple to space their kids in years and allows them to choose how many children they wish to have. However, this measure has not been taken in for consideration, because it does not help reduce the size of population, despite the number of years they are apart. Family Planning may equally well result in average family sizes too large to produce the desired population growth, stability or decline. In addition to the Family Planning Program, there are also programs such as the Socioeconomic measures and the Involuntary Fertile Control programs that have been proposed to control the growth of population. Socioeconomic measure is a measure used to encourage or discourage reproduction. The objective of this approach is to influence the attitudes and motivations of individual couples. Influencing means using a large-scale of educational programs to persuade couples of the advantages of small families.
This would also include how it contributes themselves as well as the society. By using this educational program to advertise the advantages of small families, it has been one of the first measures to be used in all countries (p. 252 Paul Anne). Sociologists Alice Taylor Day suggests that if women who have been traditionally for-filling the roles of wives and mothers would be given the chance to diminish their roles of wivery and maternal statuss and be given the chance to have equal opportunities in education, employment and other areas, which would most likely reduce the birth rates. Postponing marriage would also help to reduce birth rate. The third approach to population control is the Involuntary Fertile Control. This approach is used for extreme conditions and will not be enforced unless current trends in birth rates are increased dramatically. This approach was almost considered and enforced in India. It was proposed in India to vasectomies all fathers of three or more children. However,
this proposal was rejected due to moral grounds and because there werent enough medical staffs to perform the task on eligible fathers. The Involuntary Fertile Control Plan would give the advantage of avoiding the Socioeconomic Programs that may discriminate some groups in a society or those that may penalize children. In poor, overpopulated countries, this program would be far more effective and easier to administer than any other measures for population control. The ultimate success in controlling the growth in population is the attitude of humans concerning the reproductive behavior and goals of society.
We have witnessed a chapter in mans dominion among wildlife that has resulted in dozens of species becoming extinct. The growth of human population has led to the extinction to many species that make up our habitat. The near extinctions of the California Condors, and the Red Wolves in North Carolina and Tennessee were the first to have actions taken upon in order to preserve the remaining of their species (National Geographic).
The Endangered Species Act was the last defense against the destruction of the species and its natural world (Defenders of Wildlife). The Acts purpose is to conserve the ecosystems in which threatened and endangered species depend on for survival. Wildlife and natural resource conservation posses a history presented by President Theodore Roosevelt. By signing the Endangered Species Act in 1973, President Nixon stated, Nothing is more priceless and worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed. The Act has been responsible for the recovery of our nations symbol, the bald eagle (Defenders of Wildlife).
The wildlife species posses an unquantifiable value in the success of life for mankind. For example, they provide food, water, shelter, and by interacting in their natural ecosystems, they manufacture the air we breathe, cleanse our water, and fertilize the soil. They also help to decompose waste and control floods and insects pests. But, because of our daily activities, scientists estimate that our planet is losing 50,000 species per year. During the last two centuries, more than 500 species of animals have vanished. The reduction of both animal and plant species will affect mankind dramatically. For one thing, mankind depends highly on plants and animals for medicine. More than 40 percent of the prescriptions filled in the United States each year are from plants, animals, and microbes.
Our activities such as cattle grazing, mining, and logging activities have a devastating impact on the wildlife population. Logging puts the endangered species in heightened jeopardy because the timber that man clears, destroys the wildlife habitat. Timber is left along rivers polluting and killing many of species that inhabitant the waters. Erosion contributes in polluting the water by raising the water temperature two degrees higher than what the fishes are used to (p 141 William ODouglas), causing small fishes to die.
Conservationists have asked Congress to strengthen the Endangered Species Act along with other agencies involving more science to protect the wildlife species. One solution in protecting the wildlife species and its habitat is to provide incentives for private landowners. 70 percent of all species listed on the endangered species list exist on these private lands. Because the purpose of owning a private land is to produce economic return, the ESA (Endangered Species Act) has come up with three economic incentives. These are the voluntary incentives, dedicated funds, and the credit systems. The voluntary incentive is the result of voluntary efforts on behalf of the endangered species. It is the landowners effort to avoid any detrimental activities that are harmful to the species. If there is a change in the health of a species, the landowner will receive recognition of protecting the species if he/she notifies the bureau.
A dedicated fund is a method in which private and public funds pay the landowners to perform or sustain certain actions. This results in financial rewards, which encourages landowners to allow breeding wolves and other species on their land. Credit systems is the most demanding of all, and works best where a sufficient baseline of biological data exists and urban development pressure is high. In credit system, landowners are allowed to develop sensitive lands in exchange for preserving habitat elsewhere. This involves the strive to have migrated habitats to have a high ecological value than those that are destroyed.
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