California Desert Conservation

  1. Pick a Biodiversity Hotspot and talk about a protected area located in that region. What level is it classified under? What species is it protecting? What policies are they enforcing? Describe how one of the species being protected is important to the ecosystem. Why are we protecting this specie? Is it for anthropocentric or ecocentric reasons?
  2. Create a system diagram that illustrates the interactions between the specie the environment and humans.

I picked the California Floristic Province Biodiversity Hotspot because I am from California. One protected area is the California Desert Conservation Area. It is home to the threatened desert tortoise, the endangered Peninsular bighorn sheep, the cushenberry buckwheat, and many other species that have adapted to live in harsh desert environments. Unfortunately, this conservation area consists of a few national parks which is considered a category 2 protected area, and since people are allowed to  participate in many different activities it causing these species to suffer. There were settlement agreements in 2000 and 2001 that prohibited mining of 3.4 million acres, reduced or prohibited livestock grazing on 2 million acres, prohibited off-road vehicles on more than 550,000 acres, and closed more than 4,500 miles of roads. There have been many lawsuits against the Bureau of Land Management for allowing human activities in wildlife habitats and for delaying policy implementations. The Peninsular Bighorn Sheep need high visibility to escape from predators. They are herbivores and eat desert plants like cacti. They also get their water sources from plants like cacti. This specie does not necessarily have a huge impact on human life so I believe that the protection of them is clearly ecocentric. However, in the past, humans most likely used their horns for tools and weapons, but we do not have that necessity anymore. There is also a theory that the Peninsular bighorn sheep is endangered due to climate change and the severe droughts that California has been facing.

Here is my System Diagram:

Module 10 Learning Activity

2 thoughts on “California Desert Conservation

  1. Hi Adriana, my name is Peter and here is my blog:

    I was interested in your post since you chose to evaluate the California Desert Conservation Area, which I have been to. It is great you chose to spread awareness on the sheep, because these are animals people often don’t consider when it comes to endangered species. The drought in California was also something nice to bring up since it takes away from nutrients soil needs and is killing wildlife by the thousands. Great post!

    – Peter

  2. Hi Adriana! I really enjoyed your post. I had never heard of this area in California, but now that you’ve described it sounds very interesting and unique. What else needs to be done to keep it intact? Is there any way it can be accessible to be admire or the public or does that put too many species in danger? Read my post at

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