Part I: How biodiversity can vary with respect to different climate regions.
Part II: Explain the difference between extinct and endangered species.
Part III: Touch on where extinction of species are more likely to occur (from a geopolitical standpoint).
Part I: As was mentioned in the module, biodiversity can vary immensely depending on where your location is among the planet. You will find more biodiversity along the equatorial axis of the Earth, as the tropics have consistent weather patterns year round. For instance, tropical and subtropical regions, such as far southern Florida and the Florida Keys, have the same climate year round: Very warm and humid. It does not get excruciatingly hot due to the influence of air off the oceans (believe it or not, 90+ degree Fahrenheit days are rare for the city of Miami!). Because the climate is “stable” year round, a diverse network of species are able to thrive, from mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and so on. Now if you were to travel into the polar regions, such as the remote town of Nome, Alaska, you will likely find minimal biodiversity as the climate is harsh. Usually dry, extremely cold, and exposed to all sunlight and darkness for season portions of the year, only the toughest of species (plant and animal) are able to survive, such as the Alaskan wolf, Russian snow geese, polar bears, etc.
Part II: Extinct animals, such as the recent black rhinoceros, are animals that no longer exist on the planet. Whether or not it was from natural extinction, or influence of man by over harvesting, destroying land, etc., they will never return. Endangered animals are categorized as species that are on the verge of extinction. A very recent example of endangered species are located near my home area in the Delaware Bay. This species is the horseshoe crab. At one point, decades ago, the species was on the endangered list and very, very close to extinction. However, after strict implementations for the conversation of wildlife, the population has increased one hundred fold, and there are over 1,000,000 horseshoe crab in the Delaware Bay. It is home to the highest concentration of horseshoe crab in the world.
Part III: Tying Part II into this section, I think biodiversity has a greater chance of becoming extinct from a human influence perspective where ecocentric points of view lack, as well as government regulations. The United States has done a pretty good job when it comes to animal conversation, as protecting wild life is one of the key interests for our economy (such as hunting, etc.). Other nations; however, that may not have harvesting and/or hunting regulations, such as the illegal whale hunting in the southern Pacific, may result in a decrease in species population, which may eventually become endangered or extinct. I think that while hunting, fishing, and harvesting food is important, it is exceptionally important to not over harvest and consume juvenile life. By not harvesting juvenile life, animal species will be able to reproduce, keeping the food web and biodiversity network stable.