ENSC 320 Exam

Any living “non humans”, undomesticated organisms in the kingdom animalis
Game Species
Species that are hunted/fished for subsistence or sport.
Domesticated Animals
Species whoes appearence and behaviour have been altered through artifical selection (pets, livestock etc)
Variety of life and its processes, including the variety of living organisms, the genetic differences among them and the communities and ecosystems in which they occur. Composition, structure, and function determine the biodiversity of an area
A large area compromised of a system of interdependent ecosystems (e.g watershed)
Grouping of plants, animals and microbes etc. Interacting with each other and their physical environment
All plants and animals inhabiting an area (suggests inhabitants)

A group of individuals of the same species in an area.


interacting populations, these are linked together in a metapopulations through pediodic dispersel
A group of organisms where all members do or have the potential to, interbreed and produce visible offspring
Branch of biology concerned with naing and classifying the diversity of life
How many species are there?
1.8 million described and named species of organisms
Basic unit of heredity in living organisms. A segment of DNA that specifies a heritable trait
Areas of high species richness are referred to areas of “biodiversity hotspots”
A natural phenomenon or process. After extinction there is usually an increase in species
What caused the 6th extinction
Humans and anthropocentrick hunting
Refers to a general “basis for an estimation of worth”. Can be used to justify and explain concrete objectives (such as wildlife conservation) but are diferent from the objective itself. When species aren’t valued they can be irraticated. Species value is often based on human use and need

Systematic organization of values that establish explicit principles for conduct and behaviour

Intrinsic Values
non-anthropocentric- value relieis in the wildlife itself. Reside in the object itself, simply knowing that it exists and is valuable for itself, and its value is not derived from its ulitity

Instrumental Value

Anthropcentric (human centred). Relates to the usefullness or the economic value. 

What are direct and indirect values?

Direct Value: concerned with the enjoyment satisfaction or gain recieved directly by consumers (most popular value)

Indirect Value: tend to reflect value of wildlife to society at large, rather than individuals or specific groups

Nonuse Values

Resources expected future use and value. ex, you dont want to destroy an environment because it may contain plant with medicinal properties

Consumptive Uses

Animal’s value is based on removal from its habitat (dead or alive). 

Consumptive uses of wildlife

1. Hunting

2. Products

3. Recreation, education and science 

What is the Era of Abundance

– 1500-1850, founding of the “new world”

– Characterized by the notion of a limitless nature > resoures appeared to be in exhaustibale 

– fur trade was a main incentive for westward expansion 

– resources often depleted in certain areas, but people simply moved on 

– ex Great Auk, American bison and Passenger Pigeon 

Era of Protection

Characterized by regulation and preservation. Recognition that sources may be declining, espically following western expansion. Governments began imposting regulations for management

Tradgedy of the commons

a shared-resource system where individual users acting independently and rationally according to their own self-interest behave contrary to the common good of all users by depleting that resource.

Era of game management

Heavy focus on improving fish and wildlife populations for recreational hunting and fishing. 

Active management through stocking

Establishment of preserves, parks and protected areas 

Era of Environmental Management
Growing public concern for the environment, changing government policie and growth and formation of many environmental groups. Increased regognition of wildlife and environment as an integrated natural system
Era of Conservation Biology
Shift from ulitarian fish and wildlife perspective to a broader biodiversity-based persective. Accompanied by greater integration of ecology into resource mangement. Concern for global conservation and extinctions.
Wildlife Habitat
Resources and conditions present in an area that result in occupancy by a speices. Typically thought as natural vegetation, but also resources, including food, cover, water and other factors required by a species for survival and reproduction
Habitat Loss

Process by which natural habitat is ineffective in supporting the community of species once found there. Destructive vs transformative. It could be destructive for one species but transformative for another. 

Causes: agriculture, forest clearing, mining, urbanization etc. This is the single factor for species decline over the last century 

Incremental habitat loss and fragmentation

It doesnt occur all at once. Its less dramatic, and therefore you are less concerned if you loose a couple acres here and there but it all adds up

Species-area relationship
Species abundance and diversity are area dependent. Small areas can support populations like large ones can.
Edge Effects

Conditions near the edge that are different from the middle, that are highly influenceed by the matriz. edge habitat vs interior habitat. Some species cant handle edge environmnets so thay avoid these places, most places in Ontario are like this 

Basic effects of fragmentation

The total area of avaliable habitat decreases, the area of remaining habitat patches decreases and the connectedness of remaining habitat decreases

Why do species decline?

Area Affects: some species require areas to be of specific sizes.

Isolation Affects: species require connections with other conspecifics for breeding etc. Connectivity/reduced isolation also facilitates disperal and recolonization 

Island and fragmentation: means smaller less connected areas. Reduction in size and connectiveness is detremental to population size and species richness


Invasive Species

Non-indigenous, non-native, exoitic, introduced, alien species. Invasive species are non-native species that have survived, reproduced and spread to the point causing adverse ecological or economic effects.

Invasive Traits

– Ability to reproduce through fast growth and rapid reproduction

– Tolerence of a wide range of environmental condtions

– Ability to live off a wide range of food

Modes of introduction: intentional vs unintentional

Potential commodity or resource, used as control measures, exoitic pet release and unintentional through transportation

Ecological Impacts

– resource compeition

– predation

– pathogens and parasites

– ecosystem modification 

Economic Impacts

– cost money to eradicate them 

– damage or loss of other resources

Meaning that the environment and its resources should be used by humans and managed in a responsible manner. These types of people see the value of the environment as the goods and services that it can provide to people.

Lands and their natural resources should not be consumed by humans and should instead be maintained in their pristine form.

Wildlife Managment

Application of ecology to wildlife populations in a manner that strikes a balance between the needs of those populations and the needs of people

Normative Concepts

Normative statements affirm how things should or ought to be, how to value them, which things are good or bad, which actions are right or wrong. These concepts “set the agenda” for conservations efforts.

Ecological Restoration

The process of returning, as nearly as possible a biotic communitye to a condtion of bio/ecological integrity 

Ecological Services

The often vital and economically valuable functions of healthy ecosystems 

1. Provisioning Services: products obtained from ecosystems (food, fresh water, fiber, wood etc)

2. Regulating Services: Benefits obtained from regulation of ecosystem processes  (climate, disease and water regulation. Water purification and pollution) 

3. Cultural Services: Nonmaterial benefits obtained from ecosystems (educational, inspirational, cultural, recreation, religious etc)

Sustainable Development

Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to mee their own need 

– Social

– Environmental

– Economic

What are the threats to wildlife worldwide (include the evil Quartet and other factors)

1. Overexploitation 

2. Habitat Loss and Fragmentaion 

3. Invasive Species

4. Chains of extinction 


5. Habitat degradation and pollution

6. Pollution 

7. Climate change

Population Dynamics

At a very basic level, populations exist in a balance between gains and losses. If gains exceed losses, populations grows. If gains exceed losses, population grows and is losses exceed gains, population declines.

Limits on population growth

Density Dependent Limits: variables that become more limiting as the density increases

Density Independent Limits: Variables whose importance is independent of the density of the populalation

Deterministic Factors

Deterministic variables affect a population in constant relation to its size. Predictable and accountable (generally)

Stochastic Factors

These variables are unpredictable events. Demographic, genetic, environmental and catastrophoc stochasticity. Smaller populations are more suspectible. 

What are the characteristics of K-selected species?

– large population size of organism

– few offspring are produced

– late maturity

– long life expectency 

– reproduce more then once

– live to their max life span

What are the characteristics of R-selected species?

– Many offspring are produced

– Early maturity

– Short life expectency 

– Reproduce once

– Small size of organisms 

– Most die within a short time but few live longer

Maximum Sustainable Yield

The maximum level at which a natural resource can be routinely exploited without long-term depletion. Espically in forestry and fisheries 


Unsustainable levels of harvest. Rate of take/harvest exceeds the capacity of the species/population to replace itself. 

Habitat Fragmentation

Process where a large expanse of habitat is transformed into a number of smaller patches of smaller total area, isolated from each other by a matrix of habitats unlike the original

Edge Effects

– conditions near habitat edge influence by ‘matrix’

– Microclimates change, entrance for invasive species

– Edge habitat vs interior habitat 


Process whereby tissue concentrations of a chemical increase as it passes up the food chain through thwo or more tropic levels

Pollution Effects> direct vs indirect

Direct: direct consumption of toxin or something contaminated with toxins 

Indirect: indirectly effected like through the loss of food

Focal Species

Species with an entire conservation strategy devted to it OR which is given a particular emphasis in habitat management or ecosystem and biodiversity protection

Keystone Species

Crucial in maintaing organization and diversity of their ecological communities. Exceptionally important relative to the rest of their community. Loss would have significant effect on the ecosystem structure.

Keystone Predator

Capable of excluding (through competition or predation) other species from the community 

Keystone Mutualists

Critical to mutualistic relationships. 

Keystone Herbivores

Herbivores that utilize vegetation to a pint where they influence composition and structure (elephants)

Keystone modifier and processor

Species which alter the physical environment to create conditions upon which several other species depend 

Umbrella Species

Species whose protection will also result in the protection of numerous other species. Generally species that cover large areas in their daily or seasonal movements. Large carnivores are most widely considered 

Indicator Species

A species whose characteristics (e.g presence or absence, abundance or population density, dispersion, reproductive success etc) are used as an index of attributed to difficult, inconvient, or expensive to measure for other species or environment conditions of interest 

Vulnerable Species

Due to biological traits, these species are more vulnerable than others to human disturbance and the probability of local or widespread extinction

Flagship Species

Popular or well-known species used to popularize conservation efforts. These are frequently species that humans readily identify with (often known as keystones, umbrellas or indicator species)

Species at Risk

Rare, threatened and endangered species. Generally refers to species low in numbers and are at a greater risk of extinction of extripation. 

In-situ vs ex-situ conservation

ex-situ: preservation of components of biological diversity outside natural habitats (e.g zoos)

in-situ: preservation of components of biological diversity within natural habitat (e.g national parks)

What are zoos, aquariums and botanical gardens?

Zoos: a garden or park where wild animals are kept for exibition 

Aquarium: an establishment where aquatic organisms are kept and established

Botanical Gardens: a garden often with greenhouses for the culture, study and exibition of special plants 

Bottleneck Effect

a type of genetic drift describing the loss of the allelic variation that accompanies founding of a new population from a very small number of individuals (a small sample of a much larger source population)


attempt to estabush a species in an area which was once part of its historical range, but from which it has been extripated or become extinct


Deliberate and mediated movement of wild individuals or populations from one part of their range to another

Soft Release vs Hard Release

Soft: gradually accustoming the animal to its new evironment before release, frequently used in association with captive breeding programs 

Hard: released directly to the wild without prior conditioning to the site. frequently the case with translocation of wild captured individuals

What are the guidelines for re-introductions

– Should take place where original cause(s) of extinction have been removed and where habitat requirements of the species are satisfied. 

– Should not occur if a species became extinct because of habitat change 

– Species should only be re-introduced if measures have been taken to reconsitute the habitat to a state sutiabe for the species 

Protected Areas

an area of land or sea especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources, and managed through legal or other effective means 


Linear habitats that differ from the matrix in which they are embedded. Pathways by which animals move, but can also act as habitats themselves 

Two major functions:

1. Permit regular daily or seasonal movements

2. Facilitate dispeal from birth place to adult home range 

Buffer Zone

– Designated zone surrounding a protected area which acts as a buffer from negative external impacts 


Bioshphere Reserve

Tools for integrting conservation and development. Protected areas at their core, surrounded by a buffer and transition zone 

What are the three functions of biosphere reserves?

Conservation function: to contribute to the conservtion of landscapes, ecosystms, species and genetic variation

Development function: to foster economic and human development which is socio-culturally and ecologically sustainable 

Logistic function: to provide support to research, monitoring, education and information exchange related to local, national and global issue of conservation and development