Biodiversity Protection

| January 22, 2014

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Assignment 12- Biodiversity Protection The protection of biodiversity is an important issue. Biodiversity refers to the number and variety of plant and animal genes, species, and ecosystems in a region or in the world. Both natural and domestic species are relevant to biodiversity, though our concern in this assignment is solely with natural biodiversity. One of the important causes of loss of natural biodiversity is the habitat loss, alteration, and fragmentation associated with human activities, notably agriculture, forestry, and housing. Therefore, an approach to protecting natural biodiversity is the establishment of permanent “mega-preserves” designed to protect the biodiversity of a region. Our concern in the creation of such large regional preserves is the preservation of multiple species that require or prefer different habitats within the region. This assignment is a simplified location-allocation problem involving the design of preserves for the protection and biodiversity in a simulated region. The attached map consists of 100 cells, each cell representing 1 square kilometer. Each cell is coded for land surface type, according to the accompanying legend. The types are mountain, valley, agriculture, urban, marine, and lake. In addition, a few species of special concern have been located on the map to show which areas are currently inhabited by those species. You are now officially the Manager of the Resources Division for a regional government. The region’s government has become concerned as several species have recently become extinct near a freshwater lake. These extinctions are directly related to the encroachment of agriculture into sensitive habitats surrounding the lake. The people of the region have elected to take a proactive approach to biodiversity management by setting aside 10% of their land surface (10 cells) for permanent natural preserves. Regional biologists have stated that each preserve must contain at least 3 contiguous cells (sharing one edge) if it is to function over an extended period of time. Also, the large carnivorous species (#1) requires at least 5 sq. km (5 cells) to maintain a viable population. Your job is to come up with a solution to report to the regional government, including some rational for your solution. This solution will consist of a choice of 10 cells to be protected. Although the solution should not be limited simply to saving the 4 species described, the rationale should also include an analysis of which species, if any, will fall outside of protected cells and thus face the risk of extinction. Species 1- A large carnivore that occurs only in this mountain range. Biologists have concluded that at least 5 sq. km are required for a viable population to survive. Species 2- A large Elk that serves as prey for several large carnivores, including species 1. Species 3- A rare butterfly found only along this lake. Species 4- A marine mammal, which requires this rocky coast for breeding. To turn in: A write-up of your solutions including a detailed description identifying your preserves. This should include both a description of which areas you have chosen to preserve as well as a justification of why each area was selected. Biodiversity Map Mountain Valley Agricultural Urban Marine Lake.
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