The issue of environmental conservation and preservation has become vital in the world platform today. This is because the world is a home to humans and all other organisms, thus its destruction means destruction of the residences of living things. There have been global agreements and treaties geared towards ensuring that the world is a better place to accommodate all species (Ripple, 2004). Leaders from developed countries have vowed to reduce carbon emissions from their industries to reduce the adverse effects of global warming.
There are no doubts that in the ecosystem non-human species cannot grow indefinitely. The ecosystem is a system containing both biotic and abiotic factors, the interaction of which leads to self-sustaining. Various scientific explanations point out exactly what is the root cause of this.
First , there is the issue of competition for the resources. Resources are limited and given that living organisms are in the process of reproducing, it goes without saying, that at a given point in time the resource will be inadequate. In addition, the biotic factors, for instance the need of food for survival, imply that at a given level of supply of resources, the non-human species occupying a given ecosystem cannot grow indefinitely.
Secondly, there is also the issue of accumulation of waste substances in the ecosystem. When a population of organisms, for instance considering bacteria in the ecosystem, continues on expanding, there is an increased accumulation of toxic waste substances, which leads to death of many organisms from detoxification.
Thirdly, there is also the issue of population expansion. When a group of organisms is introduced to the ecosystem, its population explodes on the initial stages, because of availability of resources and space, but as the population grows, the resources become scarce and as explained above, this limits the population growth.
Why Some Non-human Species Exceed Their Carrying Capacity and Clash, While Others Level off
Carrying capacity refers to the maximum amount of the organisms that the given ecosystem can hold without straining the existing resources over a given period. Various types of organisms have differing carrying capacities depending on their differing abilities to adapt to existing conditions of environment. Some organisms, when they exceed their carrying capacity, end up clashing, while others just level off (White, 2005). Four factors: birth, death, immigration and emigration determine the size of a population in an area at any given time. When organisms reach their carrying capacity, some will die due to the accumulation of toxic waste substances as is common with the microorganisms, thus they will reduce in number and their level will be lower than their carrying capacity; this phenomenon is referred to as clashing or dying back.
It should be noted that at the carrying capacity, the resources become scarce, and there is accumulation of toxic substances, thus at times diseases can strike. In the case of human species, when they reach their carrying capacity there is a shortage of resources and they emigrate to other areas in search of resources, consequently it results in population leveling off, instead of clashing off as is witnessed in other organisms.
Can Human Beings Overcome the Environmental Limits that All Species Face
There are differing views on whether the human species can overcome the environmental limits as opposed to other non-human species. Some views hold the idea that human beings like other organisms are subject to the environmental limits. This is largely because the land area that can be occupied by humans is limited and cannot be stretched to accommodate more people. However, others believe that human beings are more advanced than all other organisms, and thus can utilize such things as technology to solve and overcome environmental limits. Humans, unlike other organisms and microorganisms, in the case of depletion of resources in one area can migrate to other areas to look for more resources. In addition, humans can escape from infected areas and this makes them different from all the rest of organisms. In my humble opinion, I also believe that humans can largely overcome environmental limits unlike other living things.
Problems Facing National Parks in the World and in the US
From the very beginning, it should be noted that there has been an increased environmental pollution and destruction in the national parks. This may take various forms including noises from hooting of cars and airplanes used by the visitors to the parks. This affects the wildlife adversely (Mansfield, 1998). At the same time, water pollution is also persistent, because water that is polluted from other areas passes through the national parks and this leads to death of many world animals and water organisms from toxic waste products dumped to the rivers. For instance, the river Mara passing via Masai Mara National Park is drying up and this will be a big blow to the famous wild beasts migration.
Secondly, there is an issue of climate change. There has been increased global warming with heat levels on the globe rising daily. This leads to increased drought period that leads to destruction of vegetation around the parks and this reduces the resources available for consumption of all organisms, which may lead to their death.
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Thirdly, there is the issue of development within and outside of the parks. Development of infrastructure in the parks, roads for example, scares the wildlife away. For instance in the famous Masai Mara National Park a road passing through the park is deemed to scare wildlife away.
Fourthly, the issue of scarcity of water is widespread, because there has been increased demand for water by human beings and this means that there is little water left for consumption and use of the wildlife (Stolzenburg, 2008). For instance, many parks served by the Colorado River in the US are under threat of water scarcity, because much of water from the river is used for consumption and agriculture in the areas, where the river passes.
Plight of Gray Wolf and Effects of Its Re-introduction to the Ecosystem
Gray wolves were targeted for elimination in the Yellowstone National Parks alongside with other predators, because they were killing other wild animals in the park. These wolves were found in Northern America. However, in late 1990’s they were re-introduced to the park from Canada due to the act of parliament and this had a significant effect on the ecosystem in and around the Yellowstone National Park. Wolves are predators and they feed on herbivorous animals, such as elks and coyotes. When they kill herbivorous animals, the vegetation increases around the parks and so other organism that depend on plants will thrive (Smith, 2009). When wolves kill such animals as elks, scavengers such as vultures and others fed on their remains and so their numbers rise. Lions too kill wolves and this increases the number of such animals. Thus, the introduction of wolves did affect the balance of fauna and flora in the park.
In conclusion, each ecosystem has a carrying capacity dictated by the resources available. Different organisms behave differently when their carrying capacity is attained; some of them crash, whereas others level off. Human beings are different from all other organism and are not highly affected by the environmental limits. In addition, re-introduction of grey wolves had an ecological effect on the Yellowstone National Park, since these predators affected the populations of herbivorous animals around the park.
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