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Species Extinction and Nature Reserves Abstract

To address the problem of species extinction, nature reserves were created to manage and preserve threatened species such as the grizzly bear. However, setting up a reserve requires special attention to statistical data and mathematical probabilities to help ensure species survival. Vital aspects include the minimum viable population, effects of immigration, home range size, critical reserve size, and the relationship of these vital statistics. Introduction Worldwide, frog and toad species populations are declining. Adults are incapable of reproducing while not all eggs are hatching.

What is the significance of this phenomenon? Frogs and toads are the environmental equivalents of a “miner’s canary. ” The current plight of the amphibian population reflects the current environmental situation of mass extinction. Frog populations act as “canaries” in a way that frogs are highly adaptable and have survived numerous mass extinctions in the past 300 years (Harding). Their sudden decline now implies an ecological problem that poses survival risks not only for the frog-kind but all animal life – humans included.

Assuming that the environmental situation can be stabilized, the next step towards ensuring species survival is to establish nature reserves, which is the focus of the activity. Materials and Methods There are no necessary materials for the current laboratory activity aside from the module available on the Essential Biology website, chapters 14 to 20. The exercise requires the analysis and correlation of several presented graphical information with known information from conservation studies.

Know-how of basic mathematics and statistical analysis methods were utilized to interpret and infer findings from the graphical and statistical data provided. Results From the data and tables presented regarding the establishment of a nature reserve for grizzly bears, the following information was obtained: a) a base population of 50 bears will have a 98% survival rate/100 years; b) introduction of 10 female bears over a period of 100 years will result in an ending population of 123. 6 while 10 male bears over the same period will yield an ending population of 194.2; c) the average home range size for one female grizzly bear is 774 km2; d) the critical reserve size to ensure a 50% survival rate for grizzly bears is 3981 km2; and lastly, e) a positive relationship exists between the home range size and critical reserve size (Campbell et al. ).

Discussion and Conclusion Data from the laboratory activity reveal that in the creation of a nature reserve, certain factors will affect the survival of the chosen species. For example, in the establishment of a nature reserve for grizzly bears, in order for the population to survive, specifics must be observed.

These specifics include the minimum base population (50 and up), the home range size (774 km2/adult female), the optimum immigration (10 male bears) and the critical reserve size (3981 km2) (Campbell et al. ). These data imply that in order to be successful in preserving the population of a selected species at risk of extinction, any group that plans to establish a nature reserve for the said group must pay attention to specific data regarding the species in question in order to provide a good overall survivability outcome.

This includes paying close attention to base populations (which determines survivability), home range size, critical range size, and the optimal immigration to be introduced (which determines sustainability).

Works Cited

Campbell, Neil A. , Jane B. Reece, and Eric J. Simon. Essential Biology 3rd Edition. New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc. Addison-Wesley, 2003. 16 December 2008 <http://www. aw-bc. com/essentialbiology/>. Harding, Gary W. “Human Population Growth and the Accelerating Rate of Species Extinction. ” Insight: A Conscious E-zine. 2001. Earth Portals. 16 December 2008 <http://www. earthportals. com/extinct. html>.

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