TAILIEUCHUNG - Linzey - Vertebrate Biology - Chapter 16

C H A P T E R 1 6 Conservation and Management Vertebrates, which have been a part of the Earth’s fauna for more than 500 million years, have evolved into many different groups that have successfully adapted to virtually every habitat. They can swim, crawl, walk, run, climb, glide, and fly. | I Text Linzey Vertebrate Biology The McGraw-Hill Companies 2003 16. Conservation and Management CHAPTER 16 Conservation and Management INTRODUCTION Vertebrates which have been a part of the Earth s fauna for more than 500 million years have evolved into many different groups that have successfully adapted to virtually every habitat. They can swim crawl walk run climb glide and fly. Insects phylum Arthropoda class Insecta are the only other group in the Animal kingdom whose evolution surpasses that of the vertebrates in terms of global distribution and adaptation to such a wide variety of habitats. Humans are vertebrates and represent one of the most recent products in the evolution of placental mammals. Although the first modern humans Homo sapiens sapiens as Cro-Magnon man appeared only about 165 000 years ago in Africa the impact that our species has made has been greater than that of any other species in the history of the Earth. Not only have humans had a direct impact on many other species extirpation extinction propagation dispersal but indirectly actions by humans may ultimately threaten the continued existence of vertebrates and even life as we know it. Activities that threaten biodiversity such as destruction of the rain forests damaging of the ozone layer global warming production of acid rain and pollution of waterways are major global concerns. Humanity ultimately may determine whether Homo sapiens and all other organisms on Earth will continue to survive. The fate of 500 million years of vertebrate evolution seemingly rests in the hands of one species. REGULATORY LEGISLATION AFFECTING VERTEBRATES IN THE UNITED STATES Conservation of plants and animals is a global concern. Although the conservation movement did not start in the United States this country has been the leader in the realm of conservation both within North America and throughout the world. Efforts to regulate hunting in the United States can be traced back to the 17th century. Virginia for

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