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Island Biogeography

Part I, island biogeography in a World Regional context...click here to watch part II, why island biogeography matters in places that aren't on islands.  All links archived at: http://geographyeducation.org/2013/12/06/island-biogeography/


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This video presentation gives a good description of why islands have a varied and different forms of species on the islands.  The isolation gives them a strong hold in their particular environment but this is a double edged sword because they lack predation or stronger comparators so they become very adapted to their place but cannot compete when a stronger adaptor for generalized environment comes to the island.  Like cats that are brought to the isolated island and then proceed to cause mass extinctions.

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Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 17, 2014 9:27 PM

Like World Regional Geography, Bio-geography is closely related to that of World Regional Geography. Species that live on islands are prone to extinction.  While this so, they is very little competition of survival as there are on mainlands. With the Sunda Shelf in Asia, some species that can be found on one side of the continent can also be found in Australia. While we are separated by sea, rivers, and oceans, animals that can be found in one area of the world, can also be found on another land. Respectively, animals that were exclusive to one country are appearing on other lands where they aren't known to dwell on.

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 11:45 PM

It is fascinating to see how life evolves differently on isolated islands. The unique biomes often lack enough diversity to fill certain roles, so the animals move to fill them. For example, the komodo dragon was able to evolve to its large size because there was not large predator sitting on top of the food chain to prevent its growth. Sadly, the unique nature of island biogeography also makes it much more delicate, and species are much more likely to become extinct.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 4, 12:35 PM

There are times where I wish certain species don't spread.  Other times I understand the migration and think it's great.  If humans died out then I believe all species would flourish just as Sir Ken Robinson says.  

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Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru

Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Aboriginal leaders threaten to ban tourists from a top Australian landmark in protest at "racist" government policies.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article points out the political and cultural geography of Australia.  The legislation that the indigenous people sees as raciest and painting a picture of them as bad people may lead to their closing off on of Australia’s tourist attractions.

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2014 5:35 PM

 Australia is one of my most racially discriminated places in the world because of this there are alot of factors that play into these problems. "The so-called "intervention" in the Northern Territory was introduced by former Prime Minster John Howard's conservative government.Chronic disadvantage had led to Aboriginal life expectancy being 17 years below that of other Australians."

Kendra King's curator insight, April 13, 9:22 PM

I have an issue with the fact this legislation isn’t directly targeting the issue of child sex abuse. Rather the legislation focuses on farther off underlying factor like alcohol (I say this because the article never made a clear link to the use of such substance and the abuse). In a way, I can see why the Aboriginal leader could say it is a racial issue seeing as how their whole peoples style of living is being targeted. Now I am not sure if I would feel differently if the legislation was actually working, but as the article mentioned the legislation isn’t actually having a great enough impact. To me it feels the legislation was really about trying to improve their countries standard of living in regards to life expectancy, etc. Maybe that is because of the way the article read, but really given how indirectly the legislation acts I think there was an ulterior motive.  As such, I am of the opinion that trying to change someone’s way of life (even if it is at their own peril) isn’t right. Inform them if you want, but don’t have such bans because I think the people should be able to choose how they live their life. Unless I see more evidence to the impact of abuse, I say this is just an overreach of power by a modern area.

 

It seems that even though colonialism ended, the aboriginal way of life is still looked down upon. Under colonial times we learned how most of the colonist went to Africa because it was the "white man's burden" to "civilize". Australia wasn't too different. By looking down on these people, the colonist had no qualm about exterminating entire populations. At least the current leaders judgement of the Abortionist's way of life doesn't put the Abortionists entire life at risk. So it is better than the past, but no by much since the people's way of life is still in subject to constraint constrains that don't match how the society operates. I also think they were looked at in a hypocritical manner here too because alcohol and pron are all commodities sold throughout Australia without the same kind of restriction. 


I do think the life expectancy statistic and issue of child abuse is troubling. If a more supported cause of the problem were demonstrated, I would have to think pretty hard about regulating the society because I am not a huge fan of telling a local population how to live, yet there is clearly something going on that is harming the population.  

Bob Beaven's curator insight, April 26, 4:18 PM

The battle going on in this article is interesting because it is between the Australians of European ancestry and those of native ancestry.  The Aborigine community doesn't appreciate the fact that the Australian government is becoming paternalistic and setting up "racist" laws to fix a problem plaguing their community, child abuse.  It is also interesting to consider that as a response the Aborigines would shut down Uluru (Ayer's Rock) in protest.  The fact that tension exists between the two groups is not surprising however, due to the fact that the whites drove the Aborigines off their land and then put them in reservations (much like the United State's treatment of its Native American Population).  It is a shame that the Aborigines would shut down the tourist site just to teach the government a lesson, in a tourist sense of view.  However, it is also a great threat because it would hurt the pocketbook of the country so to speak and it could make the government change its policies that it is using to fix the problem in the Aboriginal communities.  The whole situation is complicated in my point of view because the problem should be fixed, but it needs to be handled in a way that the Aborigines do not feel discriminated against.

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Pink Lakes

Pink Lakes | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Photo by Jean Paul Ferrero/Ardea/Caters News (via Exposing the Truth   Lake Hillier is a pink-coloured lake on Middle Island in Western Australia. Middle island is the largest of the islands a...

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Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This beautiful lake is a phenomenon the reason for its color is still unknown but it makes a very memorable lake!

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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 11:44 PM

The pink lake, Lake Hillier,  located in Western Australia is stunning. The aerial view of the lake makes the lake seem unreal that is was is fascinating. What gives the lake its pink color is a mystery, but it may be from bacteria, but it shows how some places in the world are affected differently than others and it produces remarkable results.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, December 17, 2014 1:48 AM

Now this is bizarre.  A pink lake and no one is really sure as to why it is pink.  It is not on the top of my list of places to go swimming, that is for sure.  Although scientists don't seem too concerned about the safety of the lake for people but are curious as to what is causing the lake to be pink.  Thoughts on algea and bacteria levels or the amount of salt are included in the potential reasoning for the pink color.  Even on google earth you can see that the lake is in fact pink.  Even when scientists come to a conclusion as to what is causing the pink colored lake, as far as it isn't causing any environmental issues, I think that the lake should be left pink as a type of wonder of the world attraction for people to see.

Lena Minassian's curator insight, May 7, 11:54 AM

This article caught my eye because I have never seen a pink lake before. This lake is on Middle Island in Western Australia. The lake is 600 meters wide but the reasoning behind the color of it is still yet to be determined. White salt rims the lake and the color may be caused from a low nutrient concentration and even just bacteria. The pictures of this lake are beautiful and there is not anything like it. 

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Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years

Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
The insect is so large — as big as a human hand — it's been dubbed a "tree lobster." It was thought to be extinct, but some enterprising entomologists scoured a barren hunk of rock in the middle of the ocean and found surviving Lord Howe Island...

 

Island Biogeography is endlessly fascinating and provides some of the most striking species we have on Earth.  The physical habitat is fragmented and the genetic diversity is limited.  Within this context, species evolve to fill ecological niches within their particular locale.  This NPR article demonstrates the story of but one of these incredible species that never could have evolved on the continents.  In modern society, more extinctions are happening on islands than anywhere else as 'specialist' species are in greater competition with 'generalists.' 


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article freeked me out at first.  The idea of hand sized bugs is just…yuck!  But after reading the article I found it very interesting.  That these bugs managed to survive on a single bush on an island isolated from the world.  The description of them as acting un-buglike by peering off into couples that sleep cuddling with each other is just kind of cool.

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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 25, 2014 10:35 AM

On Ball's Pyramid the stick insect is different than any other insect I have seen. The size of it is terrifying, as it as big as a human hand. There are many different kinds of animals or insects someone can find on remote islands, islands such as Madagascar, Australia and even on this small island, which is located off of Australia's coast in the Pacific.    

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:40 PM

Isolation can lead to some remarkable examples of evolution. This "tree lobster" is an example of that. On an island cut off from many predators and hold little resources, the tree lobster has found a way to survive.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, May 7, 9:52 PM

A truly remarkable story.  A prehistoric 'stick' insect that lived on an island off the coast of Australia was obliterated by rats that came to the island on English ships.  Everyone thought they were extinct until one day some researchers found 24 of them living on a remote piece of land not too far from the insect's homeland.  This was an uninhabited piece of rock, essentially, with very little to offer any life form but the stick insects found just enough to survive.  How they got here is unknown but after the find and a sleepless zoo worker, this insect is flourishing in captivity.  The move to release them back into the wild is ongoing.