Web Niche on Biodiversity & Conservation Biology

Welcome to my Web Niche on Biodiversity and Conservation Biology (BCB) the department I work in at the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town. Biodiversity is the variety of forms of living organisms at various levels and Conservation Biology is the study of how we can prevent species and habitats being lost while still maintaining sustainable human societies. I teach Landscape Ecology and Ecological Informatics.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Why is Biodiversity Relevant?

Biodiversity is a good indicator of the health of our environment. With a loss of species, environmental problems appear, e.g. the use of insecticides also kills pollinators of our fruit crops, e.g. bees. ees are species, which if they become locally extinct can cause a cascade of other extinctions – these are Keystone Species.

A good starting point is to classify and name each organism – this is called Taxonomy. Previously much use was made of anatomical features, but increasingly we use genetic techniques to describe species. But of course there is a large amount of field work that is done which includes sampling and mapping the distribution of organisms and describing the impacts that humans have on their environment.

Why is Conservation Biology Relevant?

Conservation Biology is really all about providing solutions to many of the world’s environmental problems, and correcting past mistakes through applying restoration projects. Conservation Planning is also becoming an important study and uses technology called Geographical Information Systems. The BCB department is well equipped to do this research and designs and hosts large web-based information systems for Organizations such as the Western Cape Nature Conservation Board, the Global Invasive Species Programme, and many more.


Blogger Rich Knight said...


December 05, 2005 11:26 PM  

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