Conservation Biology in South Florida - Draft#1

This topic submitted by Joe Beringer ( at 10:12 AM on 4/15/04.

Some of the students captured and released a Magnificent Green Turtle in Snow Bay, San Salvador, Bahamas. See other beautiful phenomena from the Bahamas.

Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University

I am currently taking a class in conservation biology and am interested in how the issues discussed in class play out in the ecosystems we will be studying.
South Florida and the Florida Keys are home to a diverse group of animals and plants, with representatives of temperate climates to the north and tropical climates to the south. In addition, the diverse ecosystems found in the Everglades and Keys provide breeding sites, food resouces and habitat for great variety of organisms. Over the last 50-100 years, the booming population of South Florida has had an impact on the native species. In this paper I will look at factors affecting biodiversity in these ecosytems, some representative species that are now threatened or endangered and issues that impact conservation efforts in South Florida and the Keys.


I. Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

Diversity - values, types, threats and measuring
Five factors that affect diversity
Habitat Destruction and Island Biogeography
Edge Effects
Threats to diversity in South Florida

II. Representative Species Case Studies

Snail Kite
Cape Sable Sparrow
White-Crowned Pigeon
Key Deer

III. Conclusion - Designing Conservation Efforts in the Everglades/Keys

Habitat Requirements
Human Impacts
Conservation Techniques

RESOURCES (So far ...)

Blair, Robert B, and Ballard, Heidi L. Conservation Biology. Stanford, CA:Kendall/Hunt 1996.

Wilcove, David S. The Condor's Shadow: Loss and Recovery of Wildlife in America. New York, NY: Anchor, 2000. 14 April 2004. US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Noss, R.F. and A.Y. Cooperrider. 1994. Saving Nature's Legacy: Protecting and Restoring Biodiverstiy. Island Press: Washington, D.C.

Stap, Don. "Hammocks get a rest." Audubon, Mar/Apr 1998: 18-21

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