Describe the current and past trends of global biodiversity decline.

Research a Conservation Project

In assignment 1 in this course, you examined the systems that cause a species to become endangered. In assignment 2, your mission is to examine a conservation project that is working to conserve a species, habitat, or ecosystem.

OUTCOMES

This assignment aligns with the following course learning outcomes:

1. Describe the current and past trends of global biodiversity decline.

4. Evaluate the utility of different conservation strategies, including conservation of functional diversity,

biodiversity hotspots, keystone species, and endangered species.

5. Analyze strategies to control and regulate overhunting and overfishing.

6. Explain the mechanism of climate change, its impacts on biodiversity, and what can be done to mitigate for it.

7. Evaluate strategies to limit the spread and impact of invasive species.

8. Analyze various causes of habitat loss and strategies to improve, expand, and connect it.

9. Formulate a plan to conserve an endangered species

10. Develop and present a comprehensive plan to protect an ecosystem.

STEPS

To complete Assignment 2, complete all five of the following steps:

Choose a conservation project
Research your project
Assess your project
Write your report

STEP 1) CHOOSE A PROJECT

Some possible projects include:

Invasive species removal projects such as the biocontrol of purple loosestrife (http://www.ontariobeetles.ca/)
Habitat restoration projects such as Ontario Eastern Bluebird Society (https://oebs.ca/)
Habitat connection projects such as the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation initiative (https://y2y.net/)
Population recovery projects such as wild turkey re-introduction in Ontario (https://www.ontario.ca/page/wild-turkey-management-plan-2007)
Ecosystem assessment projects such as Snapshot Safari (https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/shuebner729/snapshot-molopo/about/research)
Biodiversity assessment projects such as e-bird Canada (https://ebird.org/canada/home)

Projects examined in detail in this course that are off limits for this assignment are:

the population recovery project of California Condors, USA
the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park, USA
Anti-poaching and community building actions at Virunga National Park, DRC

STEP 2) RESEARCH YOUR PROJECT

Create an outline* of questions to answer.

Begin to research your project by reading a variety of websites and journal articles.

Create a list of APA references and add to it as you go.

Answer your questions in point form, in your own words.

Be sure to include APA in-text citation(s) for each answer.

Modify your questions and create new questions to better fit your chosen project.

Answer those questions in point form, in your own words with APA in-text citations.

*You could use the following structure to create your outline:

In Part 1, introduce the project. Questions that you could answer include:

What is the aim of your chosen project?
What actions are being taken?
Who is conducting the actions and where and when are they occurring?
What actions have previously been taken?
How does the project fit into other current overlapping projects or previous projects?

In Part 2, outline the scientific research guiding the project. Summarize the key scientific research that has been published on the targeted species, habitat, or ecosystem at the centre of this project. Questions you could answer include:

Who conducted the research, and where and when did it occur?
What are the key results of the research?
How were the results determined? What was measured or tested?
How did this research guide the conservation project?

In Part 3, assess the project. Questions that you should answer to assess your project include:

What challenges has the project faced? How have they dealt with those challenges?
What criticisms have been made about the project? Are they valid?
Do you think the project has been or will be successful? Explain your reasoning
What should be the next steps of the project? Explain your reasoning

STEP 3) WRITE AND EDIT YOUR REPORT

Based on the 4-part outline of questions and answers you have developed, write a 1000-word report that includes the following four sections (use subheadings):

The Project
The Science Behind the Project
Assessment of the Project
References (include only those sources you cite, minimum of 8 references required)

Important Guidelines

Be concise; this is a short paper, which should be clear and logical.
Use your own words, simplify the terminology in the articles you use, and define the terms you use. A non-scientist classmate should be able to understand your paper and you should be able to understand and explain each element in your paper in your own words.
If you are guessing or making an arbitrary judgment, be clear about your level of uncertainty (e.g. it seems likely that … given …). Know that most things are not 100 per cent certain.
Italicize scientific names (Genus species). Note that the genus name is always capitalized and the species name is never capitalized e.g. Homo sapiens
Species is both singular and plural, e.g. one species, many species.
Make sure that it is easy to trace the logic of your paper through all sections.
Make sure to edit and proofread carefully. Plan on editing to clarify key points. Do not hand in your first draft.
Do not use direct quotes, instead you should paraphrase and cite.
Citations are required for every statement of fact. If in doubt, cite it. You wont lose marks for too many in-text citations. But you will lose marks if your claims arent cited.

Avoid Plagiarism

Make sure to carefully review and follow the guidelines for avoiding plagiarism. As a tool to help you improve the integrity of your written work, your report will be checked using the SafeAssign tool in Blackboard. You will receive a SafeAssign originality report after your first attempt, showing you the ‘score’ of how much of your report has been matched with other written sources. Your references will be flagged in the report, but this is not a problem. You can resubmit your report as many times as you wish, before the final project deadline, but only the final copy will be graded.

The report MUST be submitted in a Word format (.doc, .docx)