Biological Weapon Effects on Biological Diversity.

Essay by JenPawlikUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, October 2003

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"The cost of developing small-scale but nonetheless sophisticated bioweapons facilities and arsenals is in the range of $10,000 to $100,000" (Dudley 590). Natural viruses are readily and inexpensively available and have just as much capability as other viruses to disrupt the biological diversity. Biological weapons can have serious ramifications on the biological diversity as a whole, and not just to the ones in which the biological weapons are created for.

Will a biological weapon effect only a certain population of organisms, or will the ramifications be greater? "No elaborate delivery technologies or methods are necessary for clandestine, economically targeted bioweapons attacks on agricultural crops or livestock" (Dudley 584). In 1887, an epidemic outbreak of the Rinderpest virus killed nearly 95% of wildebeest, cattle and African buffalo. (Dudley 586) For more than a century, the African buffalo has not been able to make a strong come back, and therefore remain in small populations.

The Indigenous African people fell upon economic hardship and hunger, while two-thirds of the Nilotic pastoral people starved to death. The findings provide evidence that the virus is even more catastrophic to habitats, then just a select population of species. The virus of choice to use in a biological weapon would be one that is exigent and at times impossible to eliminate. Reoccurrences of viruses such as anthrax, bovine tuberculosis and rinderpest, have made it difficult for species to regain a healthy population size again. Biological weapons can cause great problems for immediate and far futures. The immediate future will be the species that are susceptible to the virus and will deplete as a result. The far future will be the species dependent upon the depleted species in which they will have to find new means of surviving in order to survive, thus causing a shake-up in biological...