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Биология Global Conservation
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Text 1

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A

Science might seem a strange place for conservation to begin, but in today’s turbulent times, most people do not have the time to know nature. It is mainly scientists who follow nature’s daily progress and report back about how nature is faring. If you add up all the places in which people live, work, turn on their lights, and drive their cars and trucks, the human footprint touches more than three-quarters of Earth’s land surface. People influence almost all—98 percent—of the places where we can grow wheat, rice, and corn.

The Wildlife Conservation Society believes that it is not too late to save wildlife and wild places, that some of the greatest work in field conservation is yet to come.

B

Although the importance of conservation may seem obvious, most of the world's people live too close to the margin of existence to exercise concern for anything more than their immediate survival and well-being. Planning for the future becomes difficult when the present itself is in doubt, and activities that could help tomorrow's generations may seem quixotic to those for whom survival is at stake. Thus, while conservation has made great strides in some areas of the world, it is still too soon for people to have any feeling of security about the future of the environment.

C

It is often regarded as essential to the survival or the enrichment of an individual or a group to use resources in such a way as to realize immediate gains or profits. Such activities, however, may impair the future productivity of an area of land, exterminate a species, or destroy the usefulness of a site for any other purpose. In such a situation the short-term, private view conflicts with the long-term, public view. Though the public view should be more conservation oriented, there are times when governments take the short-term view in the face of real or imagined economic or political crises. They may, for example, authorize widespread destruction of resources as a temporary expedient to achieve a military goal or to strengthen the public treasury. But crises will tend to become self-perpetuating if the destruction of resources weakens the country ecologically and economically. Thus, continued, unrestricted population growth in a country poorly equipped to manage its natural resources creates a continuing sense of crisis, because ever-expanding immediate needs are commonly met at the cost of future productivity and environmental stability.

As long as human populations were small and the pressures upon the environment were limited, conflicts between long-term and short-term interests made little difference. Deteriorated lands could be abandoned and new lands found because there was sufficient time to permit natural repair of environmental damage. Presently, however, with great and increasing numbers of people on a planet of limited capacity, conservationists are insisting that the difference between short- and long-term points of view should be resolved in favour of actions that guarantee the survival of mankind.

D

Wildlife-conservation techniques have counterparts in forestry and in soil, water, and landscape conservation. They include prohibitions, and controls, restoration, subsidy, sanctuary, and public ownership.

The oldest forms of prohibitions and controls are those that regulate hunting, fishing, and trapping. Especially useful were those limitations on hunting that protected animals during the breeding season. Baglimits—i.e., limits on the number of animals that can be taken by an individual hunter, fisher, or trapper—are also important conservation tools.

Among the most important modern legal tools in wildlife conservation are those laws that protect threatened and endangered species. In the United States, for example, the Endangered Species Act makes it illegal to hunt, trap, or collect endangered animals and plants. The act also tightly restricts the use of federal funds in projects that are likely to adversely affect endangered species, and it prohibits the importation of endangered species or products made from endangered species.

Artificial methods of offsetting resource depletion include programs of population restocking and habitat restoration. Gamefarms and fish hatcheries, which provide stocks of popular game species, are long-established tools of wildlife management. Of more recent development are those programs designed to restock wild populations of endangered species with individuals raised in captivity. Captive rearing and release is part of the effort being made to save the endangered whooping crane of North America. A similar program has been undertaken in behalf of the California condor, another endangered North American bird.

Sanctuaries—also called preserves, reserves, and refuges—have been prominent in wildlife conservation since the mid-19th century.

E

Sanctuaries and the large national parks have provided the protection and space critically needed in America and Africa by the larger predators and grassland-dwelling big game and the freedom from human interference needed by nesting birds during the breeding season; in the United States they also give migratory waterfowl at least partial relief from hunting pressure. In the United States, public ownership, which usually accompanies the establishment of sanctuaries, facilitates the management of wildlife and cover resources to an extent seldom possible on privately owned lands.

Public ownership finds its soundest manifestations in the development of sanctuaries and in the preservation of wildlife in national parks, though government ownership of forests in Canada and the United States also helps maintain various species of wildlife.


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    Text 1 Read and translate the text. Working with textsA Science might seem a strange place for conservation to begin, but in today’s turbulent times, most people do not have the time to know nature. It is mainly scientists who follow nature’s daily progress and report back about how nature is faring. If you add up all the places in which people live, work, turn on their lights, and drive their cars and trucks, the human footprint touches more than three-quarters of... [читать подробенее]