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Sheep and goats in the Caucasus ecoregion Sheep and goats in the Caucasus ecoregion
Over the recent number of years, as the economy came to a standstill, individual farms have replaced collective farming and subsistence agriculture and livestock breeding (cattle, sheep and goat) have became common. Along with the increase in farming, more and more land has been used as pasture land. Despite their low productivity, high Mountain areas are increasingly used as pasture grounds for sheep - leading to soil erosion and evoking avalanc...
29 Jan 2008 - by Manana Kurtubadze
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Cattle in the Caucasus ecoregion Cattle in the Caucasus ecoregion
Over the recent number of years, as the economy came to a standstill, individual farms have replaced collective farming and subsistence agriculture and livestock breeding (cattle, sheep and goat) have became common. Along with the increase in farming, more and more land has been used as pasture land. Despite their low productivity, high Mountain areas are increasingly used as pasture grounds for sheep - leading to soil erosion and evoking avalanc...
29 Jan 2008 - by Manana Kurtubadze
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Arctic conservation area (CAFF), political map Arctic conservation area (CAFF), political map
The Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna is a working group under the Arctic Council, for the countries of Russia, Denmark, USA, Canada, Sweden, Iceland, Norway and Finland and indigenous peoples. Monitoring, assessment, protected areas and conservation strategies are all tasks under this working group. The area that the working group primarily addresses is presented in this map.
11 Feb 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Ecoregions in Antarctica Ecoregions in Antarctica
Antarctica represents a very unique and special case on our planet. With the richness of the Southern Ocean, the coasts and the Southern islands have relatively high biodiversity and biomass in the form of numerous sea birds - such as penguins and mammals such as seals and sea lions - primarily around the Antarctic peninsula - in the Marielandia Arctic Tundra ecoregion. In contrast - the inland of the Antarctic continent are a cold, windy and inh...
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Protected areas, Arctic and Antarctic Protected areas, Arctic and Antarctic
Protected areas are very important for conserving biodiversity. In these areas, human activities are managed to achieve specific conservation goals, for example, to protect a certain species or to conserve a representative habitat or ecosystem. The Arctic has many terrestrial protected areas, but is generally lacking in marine protected areas (MPAs). As the climate warms and the sea ice melts, there will be greater access for activities such as f...
31 Jul 2008 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Potential for cropland expansion Potential for cropland expansion
Current projections suggest that an additional 120 million ha – an area twice the size of France or one-third that of India – will be needed to support the traditional growth in food production by 2030, mainly in developing countries (FAO, 2003), without considering the compensation required for certain losses. The demand for irrigated land is projected to increase by 56% in Sub- Saharan Africa (from 4.5 to 7 million ha), and rainfed land b...
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Food consumption – trends and projections Food consumption – trends and projections
Increase in crop production has mainly been a function of increases in yield due to increased irrigation and fertilizer use. However, this may change in the future towards more reliance on cropland expansion, at the cost of biodiversity. (Source: FAO, 2006).
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Projected land use changes Projected land use changes
A central component in preventing loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, such as provisioning of water, from expanding agricultural production is to limit the trade-off between economic growth and biodiversity by stimulating agricultural productivity and more efficient land use. Further enhancement of agricultural productivity (‘closing the yield gap’) is the key factor in reducing the need for land and, consequently, the rate of bio...
02 Feb 2009 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Temperate forests Temperate forests
Temperate forests are active carbon sinks and deforestation in the temperate zone has largely stopped. Where demand for land and/or water allows, reforestation would enable carbon sequestration and could provide other benefits including higher biodiversity and recreation opportunities.
06 Nov 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Invasive species response to climate change - Hydrilla spp, current and 2080 habitat suitability Invasive species response to climate change - Hydrilla spp, current and 2080 habitat suitability
As climate change alters Arctic ecosystems and enables greater human activity, biological invasions are likely to increase in the Arctic. To some extent, Arctic terrestrial ecosystems may be predisposed to invasion because many invasive plants are adapted to open disturbed areas. Range map scenarios developed for 16 highly invasive plants either occurring in or at risk of invading Alaska also paint a sobering outlook for the future. This map dep...
17 Mar 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal & CAFF
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Trends in vegetation biomass, Ellsmere Island 1995-2007 Trends in vegetation biomass, Ellsmere Island 1995-2007
Data from many sources and at several scales suggest that recent climate change is already affecting terrestrial Arctic ecosystems. Comparisons of historical and contemporary aerial photographs provide evidence that Arctic vegetation has already undergone significant shifts in recent decades, foreshadowing changes that are likely to come. In a repeated measurement study conducted on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada, over a period of 13 years, t...
17 Mar 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal & CAFF
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Definition of the geographic areas covered in the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment Definition of the geographic areas covered in the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment
The Arctic Council study on trends in the polar ecosystems - the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (ABA) focuses on the areas displayed in this map. The high- and low Arctic regions are defined from the bioclimatic zones in the Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation Map (CAVM), while the sub-Arctic zone is the area definition that has been used int he Arctic Council.
17 Mar 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal & CAFF
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Disappearing lakes - Old Crow Basin, Canada (1951-2001) Disappearing lakes - Old Crow Basin, Canada (1951-2001)
The Arctic contains a variety of types of lakes but overall, it is thermokarst lakes and ponds that are the most abundant and productive aquatic ecosystems in the Arctic. They are found extensively in the lowland regions of western and northern Alaska, Canada and Siberia. These (i.e., thaw) lakes are most commonly formed by the thaw of ice-rich permafrost, which leads to the collapse of ground levels and ponding of surface water in the depression...
17 Mar 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal & CAFF
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Permafrost loss in peatlands of northern Quebec, 1957-2003 Permafrost loss in peatlands of northern Quebec, 1957-2003
Over recent years, the southern limit of permafrost in northern peatlands has retreated by 39 km on average and by as much as 200 km in some parts of the Canadian Arctic. Although regional warming by 1.32°C has accelerated permafrost thaw in northern Manitoba, Canada, these changes are not exclusively linked to temperature rise. The loss of permafrost in Quebec has been attributed to the insulating effect of increased snowfall since the late 1950...
17 Mar 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal & CAFF
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Bovanenkovo gas field and impacts on reindeer herding (Yamal, Russia) Bovanenkovo gas field and impacts on reindeer herding (Yamal, Russia)
A false color Quickbird-2 satellite image of a portion of the Bovanenkovo Gas Field on the Yamal Peninsula in West Siberia. Image acquired 4 July 2004. The construction phase began in the late 1980s. From that period onward there remain visible signs of extensive off-road vehicle traffic across the terrain. Many of those tracks have naturally revegetated and now appear as bright red, indicating dense grass- and sedge-dominated vegetation. The roa...
17 Mar 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal & CAFF
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Protected Areas in the Arctic Protected Areas in the Arctic
Protected areas have long been viewed as a key element for maintaining and conserving Arctic biodiversity and the functioning landscapes upon which species depend. Arctic protected areas have been established in strategically important and representative areas, helping to maintain crucial ecological features, e.g., caribou migration and calving areas, shorebird and waterfowl staging and nesting sites, seabird colonies, and critical components of ...
17 Mar 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal & CAFF
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Trends in lakes in the Arctic Trends in lakes in the Arctic
The Arctic contains a variety of types of lakes but overall, it is thermokarst lakes and ponds that are the most abundant and productive aquatic ecosystems in the Arctic. They are found extensively in the lowland regions of western and northern Alaska, Canada and Siberia. These (i.e., thaw) lakes are most commonly formed by the thaw of ice-rich permafrost, which leads to the collapse of ground levels and ponding of surface water in the depression...
17 Mar 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal & CAFF
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Wild rangifer population trends Wild rangifer population trends
Wild reindeer and caribou, Rangifer tarandus, are widely distributed around the circumpolar Arctic where they play a key role in the environment, culture, and economy of the region. One of the two major wild reindeer populations in west Greenland has declined from about 45,000 to 35,000 between 2001 and 2005, while the trend for the second major herd is uncertain. From a management and biological perspective, however, it may be desirable to redu...
17 Mar 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal & CAFF
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Current marine shipping uses in the Arctic Current marine shipping uses in the Arctic
Biological invasions are known from around the globe but are relatively less known or studied in the Arctic. This secondary migration of invasives complicates ecological interactions as naturally occurring species from areas adjacent to the Arctic are also expanding their ranges northward. Another study found that the rate of marine invasion is increasing; that most reported invasions are by crustaceans and molluscs; and, importantly, that most i...
17 Mar 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal & CAFF
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Trends in speakers of Arctic indigenous languages (1989-2006) Trends in speakers of Arctic indigenous languages (1989-2006)
Language not only communicates, it defines culture, nature, history, humanity, and ancestry. The indigenous languages of the Arctic have been formed and shaped in close contact with their environment. They are a valuable source of information and a wealth of knowledge on human interactions with nature is encoded in these languages. If a language is lost, a world is lost. This deep knowledge and interconnectedness is expressed in Arctic song, subs...
17 Mar 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal & CAFF
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