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Ecosystem at risk.

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HSC GEOGRAPHY 2004 - Assessment Task 2 Ecosystems at Risk 1. Identify the case study of the ecosystem at risk which you have chosen and describe and map its location. The ecosystem at risk that I have chosen to research is the Himalayan Mountain range. Considering the mountain range covers a very large area, the ecosystem type has been narrowed down to the Alpine variety. The 2 500 kilometre long Himalayas stretch across three countries; India, Nepal and China (Tibet). The width of the mountain range varies from 100-400 kilometres, giving a total area of 594 400 square kilometres. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/atlas/index.html?Parent=asia&Rootmap=nepal 2. Outline the main features of the functioning of this case study with particular reference to what makes this ecosystem vulnerable and/or resilient. The alpine ecosystem of the Himalayas begins at about 3 000 metres above sea level. The sheer height of the Himalayas produce a number of different climate variations. On the southern slopes of the Himalayas in India, heavy rain and snowfall is received yearly, but the northern slopes of Tibet frequently remain untouched by rainfall. The taller mountains have temperatures that stay below zero degrees all year round, with permanent ice, snow and wind speeds that can reach up to 160 kilometres per hour. ...read more.


Although glaciers are very tiny compared to what they were hundreds of years ago, they are still considerably significant in impacting the natural environment. Glaciers are a long-term major cause for mass amounts of erosion, where there is little vegetation cover in the alpine regions. The terminal moraine which gets left behind by a glacier can be the cause of future landslides. Avalanches have an instant impact, with thousands of tons of ice falling down the slope of distances up to 1.5 kilometres. It is in the alpine regions that these avalanches take place. Land forms are often changed by avalanches as the snow settles with rock fragments permanently. Alpine pastures and grasslands get buried under the ice, destroying anything in its path. http://rip.physics.unk.edu/nepal/NPC.html Landslides can also be the consequence of human induced stress. The construction of roads and pathways can be the cause of landslides over both a long and short period of time. When constructing a pathway huge chunks of mountain is blasted away, disrupting the rock formations and causing it to become unsettled. The tall peaks of the Himalayas have become the most popular mountaineering spot in the world, attracting hundreds of trekkers. ...read more.


Although animals are hunted as trophy's the reserve is a smart way to satisfy the hunters, in return the number of animals killed is kept to a bare minimum to what may be occurring if the reserve was not offered. The reserve extends in elevation from 2 850 - 7 000 metres. The total area the reserve covers is 1 325 square kilometres, located in the Dhaulagiri Himalaya range in Western Nepal. The Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) is a regional management strategy that is the first and largest conservation area in Nepal. The ACAP stretches across 7 629 square kilometres of Nepal, including 55 villages. Since there is a large community included in the region, the project focuses and relies on the traditional ways of the indigenous people for a sound conservation program. The goal of the ACAP is that the villagers will ultimately run the whole project, with little interference from the government and other institutions. The project also concentrates on education and awareness in hopes of keeping conservation efforts at a maximum. The Annapurna is a highly favoured tourist destination with over 40 000 tourists hiking the area. An entry fee has been implemented to lower the number of people visiting the area. http://rip.physics.unk.edu/nepal/NPC. ...read more.

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