Biodiversity In Madagascar

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Topic: The Loss of Biodiversity in Madagascar General Purpose: To inform Specific Purpose: To inform my audience on the causes of loss of biodiversity in Madagascar Chronological: Cause-effect Introduction I. "Biological diversity is being lost at a rate unequalled since the appearance of modern ecosystems more than 40 million years ago." Stated by the Royal Society. (attention getter) II. Biodiversity is the variety of life found in a particular ecosystem and one of the most significant places on Earth to observe the loss of biodiversity is in Madagascar—where approximately 600 new species have been discovered in just a decade. III. We, as the upcoming generations who depend heavily upon the many products that biodiversity affords us, such…show more content…
Body I. A primary cause for loss of diversity is the practice of slash-and-burn agriculture. A. Why is slash-and-burn agriculture practiced? 1. Slash-and-burn agriculture, also referred to as tavy by the Malagasy, is the predominant form of agriculture used currently in Madagascar. 2. This particular form of agriculture is when the primary forest or secondary vegetation is burned, the crops are planted for one season, and after one season the field is left fallow. 3. Kleinman et al. thoroughly explains the concept of why slash-and-burn agriculture is beneficial their article “The ecological sustainability of slash-and-burn agriculture.” The agricultural practice is seen as important to rural and indigenous countries such as Madagascar because it doesn’t rely on outside influences such as fossil fuels, pesticides, or irrigation (Kleinman, Pimentel, & Bryant, 1995). 4. This form of agriculture is oftentimes more comfortable for local farmers to practice and cheaper than other methods of farming. As a result, this helps to better feed the ever-growing population of Madagascar and allows the people to…show more content…
Not only is timber logging prevalent but clear-cutting of the forests in order to use them as farmland to feed the Malagasy people is quite common. 5. As a result of these techniques, the effect on the native biodiversity is severe. B. A few effects of deforestation on biodiversity. 1. Approximately 80% of Madagascar’s endemic forests have been lost to deforestation. 2. In an analysis conducted by Harper et al. for the Environmental Conservation journal, Madagascar had only 27% forest coverage in the 1950s and had a total loss of 40% of forests in 50 years. It’s unknown approximately how much forest has been lost since 2000 (Harper, Steininger, Tucker, Juhn, & Hawkins, 2007). 3. The loss of these forests upon which roughly 90% of Madagascar’s unique flora and fauna depend is a devastating hit to the endemic ecosystems and ecological diversity. 4. Up until 2000, roughly 43% of all endemic species have gone extinct and the number is increasing. 5. So, while deforestation can benefit the local economy, there may be lasting negative effects on the ecosystems and the biological diversity. Transition: Given that I’ve now explained why deforestation contributes to the loss of biodiversity, let’s summarize what I’ve informed you about today.

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