Chapter 16 Study Questions

  1. Traditional conservation biologists say that sustainable economic development is an oxymoron, that is, a contradiction. Resources are finite, so economic development must be zero at some point. Argue for and against this position.
  2. Shade-grown organic coffee is often cited as an example in which economic livelihoods and avian habitat can be increased simultaneously. How might this approach pose new risks for forest birds? Think in terms of disease and predators.
  3. If existing reserves are often too small to sustain their populations, the implication is that surrounding lands must serve as buffers and contribute both to the goals of the reserve and to the economic needs of local human populations. Is this possible for all vertebrates (for example, large predators, such as cougars, or ecosystem engineers, such as elephants [See Case Study 17.2])? What can be done to help buffer zones work for conservation?