GERMANY By: sabia rahman

  • Germany has more of a forestry ecosystem. Almost a third of Germany is covered in forest, most of it is under productive forestry management. Forestry ecosystem are characterized by high biomass/surface ratios, creating sinks for air borne pollutants from far and near. Because of their ecological importance and their sensitivity, there is an urgent and vital need for environment watch programmes incorporating Germany's Environmental Specimen Bank, to observe these ecosystem.
  • a. Forests are biologically diverse systems, representing some of the richest biological areas on Earth. They offer a variety of habitats for plants, animals and microorganisms. However forest biodiversity is increasingly threatened as a result of deforestation, fragmentation, climate change and other stressors.
  • b. Biodiversity is important in ecosystems because it prevents extinction of species, allows organisms to adapt to changes in the environment and provides a range of materials and foods for survival. Biodiversity is categorized into species diversity, genetic diversity and ecosystem diversity.
  • The unique organism that I have chosen for my project is the harbor seal.
  • a. Harbor seals are spread out through temperature and arctic waters of the northern hemisphere. This seal is considered a non migratory, species, breeding and feeding in the same area throughout the year.
  • i. Pacific harbor seals are found North of the equator in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In the northeast pacific, they arrange from Alaska to Baja California, Mexico. They are mostly near shore coastal waters are often seen on rocky islands, sandy beaches, mudflats, bays, and estuaries.
  • b. The worldwide harbor seal population is about 500,000 individuals. They are usually found in small groups, but sometimes occur in numbers up to 500.There has been considerable concern as to the effects on harbor seals of environmental contaminants.
  • i.Harbour seals in many areas remain in the vicinity of their traditional breeding sites all year round. This restricted range means that the viability of local or isolated harbour seal populations can be at risk.
Habitat and Niche
  • Range/Habitat. Pacific harbor seals are found north of the equator in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In the northeast Pacific, they range from Alaska to Baja California, Mexico. They favor near-shore coastal waters and are often seen on rocky islands, sandy beaches, mudflats, bays, and estuaries. Harbor seals feed on fish, mollusks, squid and crustaceans. They are vulnerable to predation by great white sharks and humans.
  • A fatty tissue called "blubber" keeps them warm
  • Most harbor seal pups shed a white wooly coat before they are born.
  • On land, the harbor seal moves by a caterpillar-like motion.
  • It is against the law to disturb harbor seals and other marine mammals
  • Harbor seals have small front flippers only about the size of a human hand
  • Harbor seal pups can swim at birth and can dive for up to 2 minutes when they are only 2-3 days old


Created with images by NASA Goddard Photo and Video - "Switzerland" • U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Northeast Region - "Photo of the Week - Harbor seal at Nantucket National Wildlife Refuge, MA"

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