Unit 2: Ecology and Sustainability


Discussion assignment Unit 2

1. Which biodiversity hotspot did you choose to write about? (Give the name)

I write about the Caucasus hotspot.

2. Where is it located? (Give the world, region, and country)

The Caucasus hotspot is located between Europe and Asia.

3. What are two important species (give common and scientific names) that live there? Why are they important?

Important species are the Caucasian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) and the European bison (bison bonasus). The leopard is important for the ecosystem because he controls with his hunt the baboon population. Because he has a large territory he disperses seeds in his territory (Hunt, 2011).

Also, the leopard controls the population of other species.

4. What is one endangered species (give common and scientific name) that lives there? Why is it endangered?

 The most endangered species in the Caucasus is the Caucasian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor). The last red list assessment classified the species in 2008 as “Near Threatened” – NT. Some cultures like China, using parts of leopard for medicine.

A big problem is also, trophy hunting and wildering of the leopard in many countries, also the Caucasus region. Trophy hunting is poorly managed by the government of many countries.

It is a high risk for the species (Stein, Athreya, Gerngross, Balme, Henschel, Karanth,  Miquelle, Rostro, S. & Kamler, J. and Laguardia, 2016).


5. List three other interesting facts that you have learned about this place.


The Caucasus has about 1600 different endemic plants over 532658 square kilometers. About is big range and different climate zones with mountains it has a lot of different species and habits. (Caucasus, 2016).

6. List one thing you feel could be done to help save it.

The protected zone is only 42721 square kilometers, maybe the range should be extended.

Also, the government should take action about trophy hunting. The governments should work together to protect the species in the area. The governments should employ rangers to protect the zone and fight against the wilderness.


 Hunt, A. 2011. “Panthera pardus” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed November 18, 2016 at http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Panthera_pardus/

 Stein, A.B., Athreya, V., Gerngross, P., Balme, G., Henschel, P., Karanth, U., Miquelle, D., Rostro, S. & Kamler, J.F. and Laguardia, A. 2016. Panthera pardus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T15954A50659089. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T15954A50659089.en. Downloaded on 18 November 2016.

 Caucasus. (n.d.). Retrieved November 18, 2016, from http://www.cepf.net/resources/hotspots/Europe-and-Central-Asia/Pages/Caucasus.aspx

Learning Journal Unit 2

1. Are any of these options and/or types of programs available in YOUR local community/village/town? Which ones? Explain.

Yes, we have a recycling program or each household that allows separating waste. You can separate biowaste, paper, glass and the rest of the garbage in separate trash bins.

Our community also has for other different waste types a recycling program. Every two weeks the community also collects toxic waste, like batteries or paints and varnishes.

You also have the opportunity to recycle garden waste. 

2. What about in your home? Explain.

 We separate the garbage – plastics, biowaste (sometimes) and paper and throw them in the corresponding garbage cans. Each residential group has recycling tins for paper, plastics waste, and residual waste. Some of the groups also have tins for organic waste. 

3. If none are used in your local town or home, which could be? Explain.

 All options for recycling and deposit of waste are present and used in my town. 

4. Please outline in your own words, one new thing you learned this week in the course. How does it apply to your life?

 I learned about diversity hotspots and recycling possibilities this week. Now I am also able to describe the different ecosystems and biochemical processes at our planet.

Also, I learned about some specific words like “detrital” or “eutrophication”. 

5. Tell me, the professor, how this course is going for you so far? How do you find the material?

 It’s good to learn more about the process behind the system. There are practical things that are useful to me. It’s not all about only theory. The time needed for learning is also okay because I have a full-time job.

The reading assignments are okay, but I think it is a lot of information to read.

The self-quizzes are hard for me because I feel that the reading assignment does not explain all the questions in the quiz. 

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