Conservation Biology

Judith S. de Nuño

Science at Marymount

Office Hours
Daily at Lunch in the Science Patio

Cyber Office Hours
AIM: teachsci23

Chapter 46 & 47 Objectives

  • to describe population characteristics including size, density, and distribution
  • to describe proximate and ultimate factors associated with endangered species
  • to describe the relation of limiting factors and carry capacity capacity
  • to describe niche, habitat, and community factors associated with species survival
  • to describe how interactions among species influence community structure
  • to describe how competition and resource partitioning affect community structure and species survival
  • to describe the effects of parasitism on species survival
  • to describe the potential effects of seasonaly recurring events (such as fires or floods) and chance events in species survival and endangerment
  • to produce a phamphlet describing an endangered species
  • to develop a plan for a nature preserve

Chapter 46 & 48 Outline Framework

  • You do not need to download nor write chapter outlines for this unit.

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Chapter 46 & 48 Questions

  • all self-quiz questions for both chapters 46 & 47
  • Chapter 46 Review Questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
  • Chapater 48 Review Questions: 1, 2, 3
  • select ONE of the Critical Thinking questions in each chapter to answer

Chapter 46 & 48 Terms:

  • biosphere
  • carrying capacity
  • community
  • habitat
  • limiting factor
  • population
  • population density
  • population size
  • competitive exclusion
  • interspecific competition
  • niche
  • parasite
  • parasitism
  • predation
  • predator
  • resource partitioning
  • Cane Toads
  • Cane Toads, the movie
  • One of the strangest nature documentaries of all time, this Australian production of finds a wealth of bizarre humor in that country's disastrous infestation of cane toads. Mixing expert testimony with hilarious anecdotes and interviews, these creatures are loved by some, hated by others, and quickly overrunning the countryside.
  • In 1935, Australia imported 102 seemingly innocent cane toads (Bufo Marinus) from Hawaii to save their sugar cane crop from destructive cane grubs. The toads proved worthless against the grubs, but in 1945, a pesticide successfully rid the countryside of this threat. Unfortunately, the population was now stuck with the toads which, without their usual predators, began reproducing at an astounding rate. With each female capable of laying 40,000 eggs in one summer, a half-century later, the cane toads have virtually overrun North Queensland. Doctors explain the reproductive habits of the creature, which will attempt to mate with anything--from human hands to lumps of mud. This is accompanied by visuals which show how the billabongs are turning black with tadpoles, while backyards and roads are littered with fully-grown toads.
  • Cane toads also have a dangerous side, thanks to extremely toxic poison sacs which can kill small animals. Nevertheless, many ordinary citizens describe their love for the creature, with little girls keeping cane toads as pets and dressing them up like dollies. Others do not share their fondness for these "wretched toads." Some are due to personal reasons (the loss of a pet due to toad toxin), and others for their destruction of the natural habitat--with one interviewee likening them to the invasion of the German army in WWII.
  • In the end, there's still no solution in sight, even as the cane toads keep a-coming.
  • Expertly pieced together, with its eye always toward whimsy, the result is so amusing that you often forget you're watching a documentary about an ecological disaster in the making.
  • Watch the movie
  • Describe the life history of the cane toad
  • Describe why the cane toad was imported to Australia and why it DID not fulfill its mission
  • List factors associated with the cane toads potential ecological "disaster in the making"
  • Relate to issues in the reading on "Experiments with Displaced Plants", New York Times, 1993.
  • More Resources

Endangered Species Pamphlets

  • Read Disappearing Acts: Causes of Species Extinctions (class handout) and then
  • Answer the reading comprehension questions
  • Read the case history and details about a particular species of animal that is in danger of extinction
  • Produce a pamphlet or brochure on the life history, current and past distribution, chain of events leading to endangered status or extinction, proximate and ultimate causes of endangered status or extinction, and a positive feedback loop that describes that species pathway to endangerment or extinction.
  • Choices include the gray wolf, the passenger pigeon, Kirtland's warbler, the ivory-billed woodpecker, the black-footed ferret, the grizzly bear
  • Resources:

Design a Nature Preserve (Partner Test)

Chapter 46 & 48 WebLinks

  • Conservation Site
    • a source for authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals, and ecological communities of the United States and Canada.
    • NatureServe provides in-depth information on rare and endangered species, but includes common plants and animals too.
    • NatureServe is a product of the Association for Biodiversity Information ( in collaboration with the Natural Heritage Network.
    • You can easily search NatureServe to find:
    • scientific and common names
    • conservation status
    • distribution maps
    • life histories
    • conservation needs
  • National Wildlife Federation
    • The National Wildlife Federation is the nation's largest member-supported conservation group, uniting individuals, organizations, businesses and government to protect wildlife, wild places, and the environment.
    • This site has a search function and resources on conservation

  • World Conservation Monitoring Center
    • The Center rovides information services on conservation and sustainable use of the world's living resources
    • The programs concentrate on species, forests, protected areas, marine and freshwaters, plus habitats affected by climate change such as polar regions.
    • The Center also address the relationship between trade and the environment and the wider aspects of biodiversity assessment.

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  • Center for Marine Conservation
    • The Center for Marine Conservation, as the nation's leading non-profit organization dedicated solely to protecting marine life in all its abundance and diversity, is at the forefront of every major issue affecting this great "blue planet" ... preventing pollution ... protecting dolphins, whales, sea turtles and all marine species ... preserving critical marine habitat ... and ensuring the healthy future of our nation's fisheries.
    • We welcome you to our web site.
    • We encourage you to become informed on new ocean conservation issues. Become inspired by what you learn. And then make a difference.
    • Search function and links to more plant and animal conservation and information sites

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