False Protection (ecosystem summary)

by A.B on March 12, 2018 - 7:12pm

Andre Bergeron (A.B)                                                                                                            

Summary 2: False Protection (eco systems)

Summary:   the article I choose focuses on global eco systems at risk from habitat loss and signals out specifically Australia as one of the worst countries. The author’s mention how habitat loss is one of the biggest threats facing wildlife today. Creating protected areas like national parks is one of the best ways to protect wildlife eco systems. The author states how in most regions habitat is lost more often than it is protected. Humans are the root cause of why are ecosystems is being affected because of how they modify the land, examples being deforestation, mining or urban development.  It was found that the number of species lost over the years has been 53 times higher since 1900 because of all this habitat loss. The authors point out how since 1992 there have been steps in the right direction; we now have 15% of land that is placed under protection however they fear it may not be enough. Studies of the global human footprint shows  that 75% of the world has a clear human footprint however over 50% of the earth’s land has been converted for human purposes, the worst areas being mangroves and sub- tropical forests which has seen 90% of its ecosystem s destroyed. It’s estimated that since 1992 an additional 4.5million square kilometers of land has been converted from its natural habitat to land used for human purposes. The result of all this land change means that almost half of the worlds 800 ecoregions are under very high risk; there is 25 times more land that has been converted rather than protected. Of the 800 eco regions, 41 are in crisis situations, meaning there is almost nothing left to protect.  Trying to protect what’s left is almost impossible because these are mainly 3rd world countries in conflict or riddled with corruption. Once an eco system is destroyed it takes with it whatever indigenous wildlife in the area making them extinct. The biggest concern is that in developed countries such as Canada and the U.S there ratios of protected areas versus habitat loss is slipping, the worst developed country being Australia largely due clearing out land for agriculture and urbanisation purposes.   

Opinion: we expect to a certain degree 3rd world nations to come up short because of conflict and corruption but Australia is a land of laws and close to free of corruption. What is there excuse other then greed? Poor countries do it mainly to survive, forests are cut to create jobs and export the lumber and so on. At present, 196 nations report only on protected area expansion but not destroyed. So if a country says we protected two additional percent of land this sounds good but if they destroyed nine additional percent, this no longer sounds good. Tougher laws need to be put in place and a way to educate a world’s population because “oops” I didn’t know does not bring back a species from extinction.




I am choosing to comment on this particular summary, because I find it interesting how one of the countries that was voted one of the friendliest and happiest countries to live in also had an impactful negative background, which in this case, is biodiversity and habitat loss. Not only that, but for someone who has been to Australia personally, it is quite thought-provoking that results from this issue are both very obvious, but very unnoticeable at the same time. For me, everything looked very modern and more urban than expected, as Australia had been known for its wildlife and natural environment for a long time. With that said, a study from 2015 showed that 90% of Australia’s most endangered species are not protected from losing their homes; from these targeted species, 70% of them are endangered due to habitat loss caused by human intervention, such as deforestation for housing and mining (Milman, 2015). It is shocking that one of the biggest factors (that being Australia’s biodiversity) that represents the country is being teared down by its own people. How can Australia be proud of their famous wildlife, such as the Tasmanian devil, wombat, kangaroo and koala, if there are no more left? That being said, I do agree with you that stricter and more restrictive laws should be put in place, in order to protect and conserve not only Australia’s environment, but other countries as well, or at least what is left of it.

Reference list:
Milman, O. (2015). Threatened Australian wildlife at grave risk from habitat loss, study finds. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/09/threatened-australia...

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