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May 1, 2017 by Species Ecology


Viviana Granado

The disappearance of species is a natural process that has been happening for more than 2,000 million years, however many of the actions that man cause on the environment favor the increase in this natural rate of extinction of species. Population growth, increased economic activity and demand for raw material and poverty, produce an increase in agricultural area. This anthropogenic modification of the land use causes serious environmental and social consequences. But there are other factors that benefit agricultural expansion: changes in rainfall patterns which benefit new crop areas, favorable conditions in the international grain market (e.g. soybean cultivation in Argentina), technological changes, among others. On the one hand these factors cause large economic benefits to farmers and on the other hand, severe environmental impact not being internalized by farmers, favors the expansion of the agricultural frontier in the region. This phenomenon is common in Argentina and is spreading to other countries in Latin America. The Chaco forest is the second largest forest mass in South America and its stability is seriously threatened due to the current deforestation to create new areas of crops. Also, deforestation of large areas is related to illegal drug trafficking as large surfaces are cleared for farming narcotic plants.

While it is a complex issue and it needs further analysis, we try to define the causes that lead to transform the land use in areas of crops by the man. These actions occasion negative effects on climate, water cycles, carbon and nitrogen in the biosphere, the emissions of gases that cause the greenhouse effect and especially on biodiversity. The wildlife that inhabits these ecosystems is affected by the fragmentation of the environment, loss of nesting sites, den and food, absence or scarcity of individuals of the same species to mate. As a result, it is common for wildlife migrations to other areas to happen, generally more urbanized, leading them to look more vulnerable to be hunt by villagers who holds farming livestock.

Although there is a lack of government policies regarding the conservation of biodiversity in these agricultural ecosystems, it is carrying through natural reserve networks with connected corridors that provide dispersal and migration routes for animals, as well as payment for environmental services (PES), this means compensate forest owners for the production of non-market benefits, for example in Costa Rica Ecomercados Project was implemented, which encourages owners of forests in buffer zones and biological corridors interconnected to protect the services provided by forest ecosystems.

Finally, as a conclusion of the three notes on wildlife loss, we know that populations and entire species are disappearing as a result of the activity of man on the natural environment. All the living things that live in a country are the greatest asset that it owns and each species in its genome carries information from millions of years of evolutionary adaptations. Now the big environmental challenge is to seriously implement strategies of protection to ensure the maintenance of biodiversity because when a species becomes extinct forever it can not be replaced.


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