Module 1 — Background to
biodiversity
continued
British Columbia
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
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BC's biodiversity at risk

 

What else do you know about risks in BC's biodiversity?

 

Biodiversity in BC is threatened because not all species can adapt to the unnatural pressures of:

  • Invasion by exotic plants and animals (broom, gorse, & starlings)

  • Urban development

  • Resource development (forestry, mining, grazing, or hydro)

  • Pollution

  • Loss or fragmentation, and unnatural changes (fire prevention) of habitat

There are 95 endangered or threatened (red listed) wildlife and freshwater fish species, and 96 sensitive or vulnerable (blue listed) species in our province.

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/serisk.htm

We do not understand how resilient ecosystems are to losses or change in biodiversity. Franklin et al. (1989) notes that biodiversity gives ecosystems resiliency, or capabilities to adapt to and withstand change in the environment without significant loss in ecosystem functions.

For example, changes such as pollution, climatic change, diseases, and natural disturbances.

     
How do you think biodiversity can be preserved here in BC?  

Scientists are still discovering new species. How can we know the full impact of current intensive forest management practices when we do not even have a complete inventory of all species, we are unlikely to know the impact of current or future forest management practices. Moreover, we have very little knowledge of the importance of each species to ecosystem function.

We do know that extinction is forever. To prevent species from becoming extinct requires careful management to provide sufficient habitat so that native species can survive in the midst of our forest resource use.

The concern for biodiversity became international in focus, with the United Nations' Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

Canada signed a treaty calling for international cooperation to halt the continued threat to plant and animal extinction.

     

  How can we manage biodiversity?

 

Maintaining biodiversity should involve actions at both the landscape level (usually .5000 ha) and the stand level (usually <100 ha). The two levels are related and interdependent so biodiversity needs to be considered in broad regional-level plans through to pre-harvest silviculture prescriptions.

     
  next Next: Two approaches to forest management
 
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