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Chapter 5: Sustaining Biodiversity- Species and Ecosystem Approaches

International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (I.U.C.N)
Red Data Book- list of species judged to be endanger of extinction.
US FWS
+ Annual review

+ Candidate Notice of Review:
– Announced TODAY- 145 species listed as candidates

Five Key Factors leading to endangered status.
+ Natural Causes
– Natural lifespan of a given species 600K-2MY.

+ Hunting
– Food, medicine, trophy…”collateral damage”.

+ Introduced predators

+ Non-predatory exotics

+ Habitat modification

Which species are more likely to become endangered?
+ Characteristics indicating susceptibility:

– Restricted distribution or narrow habitat needs.
* Indiana bat

– Species of economic importance:
* Especially those crossing international boundaries.
* Whales, sea turtles, salmon.

– Large bodied species intolerant of humans.
* Wolves, Grizzly bears, Big Cats in general.

– K-selected reproductive strategy species.
* Mountain gorilla, California condor.

– Highly specialized species (physical, behavior).

Endangered Species Protection (History of protection, US)
– Pelican Island NWR, 1903
* First NWR, wading bird protection.

– National Bison Range, 1940
* Property protection for plains bison.

– Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 1918
* Protects all migratory birds from hunting/shooting.

Endangered Species Protection Act, 1966
+ First that specified potential extinction.

+ Authorized acquisition/protection of habitat.

+ Sponsored research on species.

+ Formalized NWR system as means of protection.

Endangered Species Protection Act (1969)
+ Numerous “re-authorizations”
– Variety of changes

+ 1969
– Expanded to include invertebrates.
– Prohibited import of ES & products.
– Foreign species added and CITES created.
* Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Wild Flora and Fauna).

Endangered Species Act (1973)
+ 1973, formal start of ESA – Expanded further to plants.
* Excluded insect pests from consideration.

– Recognition of ES as components.
* Sub-species
* Populations

– Defined “endangered” & “threatened”.

– Required federal agencies to consult FWS in issues impacting any ES.

Endangered Species Act (1978)
+ “God Squad”
– Controls which species/projects are listed vs. exempted.
* 1-no acceptable alternatives to proposed action.
* 2-action in public interest, no violation of international agreement.
* 3-benefits of action exceed alternatives.
* 4-action of regional significance and mitigation actions taken
Endangered Species Act (1982)
+ Prohibited economic considerations in determination of listing.

+ Established time tables for consideration.

+ Procedures for consultation during initial stages.

+ Provided for “incidental takings” exemptions for private entities.

+ Encouraged establishing experimental populations for recovery of species

Endangered Species Act (As it currently stands)
+ 1988
– Monitoring required; emergency listing possible.
– Prohibition of “take” or “malicious destruction” on Federal land that violates state law.

+ 2004
– Exempted DoD from critical habitat designations provided an integrated management plan in place.

The Triage Theory applied to Wildlife
+ Can’t save them all, which ones do we save?

– Likely to perish/go extinct even if treated.

– Likely to survive/persist even without care.

– Likely to survive/persist IF given intensive care.

Factors influencing which species we save
+ Relative difficulty in helping the species.
– Land area required/habitat specificity.

+ Genetic variability
– Population size and proximity to others.

+ Economic relationship/value to humans.

+ Biological uniqueness
– Madagascar/endemic species.

Endangered Species Management
(Identification and recovery planning)
+ Individualized on a case-by-case basis:

– Habitat preservation/acquisition
* Manipulation to suit.

– Control programs
* Predators
* Competition
* Parasites

– Supplemental feeding

– Captive breeding

– Census requirements

Agencies that manage Endangered Species & other wildlife (Federal Cabinet Level)
+ Dept Interior
– USFWS- NWR system, migratory birds.
– USGS- primary research arm.
– NPS- National Parks, Monuments, Scenic Rivers.
– BLM- 55% of all federal land (primarily in west).
– BIA- works with tribes for grazing, resource rights.
– BofR- primarily water development in west.

+ Dept of Agriculture
– US Forest Service
* National forest/timber management.
> Spotted owls
> Pacific Salmon
– APHIS
* Wildlife damage, import/export of goods, pest control.
– NRCS
* Provides technical assistance on soil & water issues.
– Commerce
* National Marine Fisheries Service
– Defense
* Army Corps of Engineers
> Navigable waters management, dredging

Agencies that manage Endangered Species & other wildlife (State level)
+ State Level
– Nomenclature issues
– NY DEC
– CT DEP
– RI DEM
– MA F&G
– MN DNR

+ Cooperation & Funding with States
– Section 6
– Some amendments (1988)

Where does the $ come from? (Wildlife management in general)
+ Traditionally consumptive users
– P-R funds
– License sales
– Special stamp sales
– Registration of vehicles
– Tax check-off
* State funds

+ Endangered Species Specifically
– Section 6- Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund.
* “traditional” grants:
> Surveys, propagation & reintroduction, education, plan development.
* “non-traditional” grants:
> Habitat Conservation Plan Land Acquisition.
> Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance.
> Recovery Land Acquisition.

The Recovery Plan (Kirtland’s warbler)
1. DEVELOP and maintain some 36,000-40,000 acres of suitable nesting habitat for the Kirtland’s warbler on a sustained basis. This will be done through planned rotation cuttings on 140,000 acres of jack pine stands within designated management areas.

2. PROTECT the Kirtland’s warbler on its wintering grounds and along its migration route.

3. REDUCE key factors adversely affecting reproduction and survival of the Kirtland’s warbler.

4. MONITOR breeding population of the Kirtland’s warbler to evaluate responses to management practices and environmental changes.

5. Develop and implement emergency measures to prevent extinction.

Management Efforts
1. Currently, the MDNR, USFS, and Service manage more than 219,000 acres of jack pine forest.

2. This secondary objective has not been fully met. The Commonwealth of The Bahamas has established regulations that protect the Kirtland’s warbler from direct impacts and
enable the protection of wintering habitat.

3. This secondary objective has been met. Human activities which may be detrimental to the Kirtland’s warbler population have been controlled.
– Kirtland’s warbler habitat is protected during the breeding season by closure of the habitat to unauthorized use.
– Other factors that adversely affect the Kirtland’s warbler, such as nest parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds, have been controlled.

4. This secondary objective has been met. A census of singing males is conducted annually throughout all known and potential nesting habitat in Michigan.

+ More recently, annual surveys have been initiated in both Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada. The census results are used to determine overall population trends.

What is the cost? (Kirtland’s warbler)
+ Since 1972, an average of 4,000 cowbirds per year have been removed from Kirtland’s warbler breeding areas.
~ 160,00 cowbirds over 40 years

+ Kirtland’s warbler reproductive success has improved dramatically since cowbird trapping began.
– Nest parasitism rate has declined from the 1966-71 average of 69% to less than 5%.
– Average clutch size has increased from 2.3 eggs per nest to more than four.
– Average number of young warblers fledged per nest increased from less than one to almost three birds during the same period.
– 2002 annual census counted over 1000 singing males for the second year in a row.

The Dollars of it all
+ 1986-1988 Plan expected costs.

+ In 1985 US dollars
– 2,247,000
* 40,000 each year to trap cowbirds.
* 4,000 cowbirds/year or $10/cowbird.
* 195,000/ year for habitat in MI.
* 330,000/ year for wintering habitat work (Bahamas)

+ Converted to 2012 dollars
– 4,830,000 just for those 3-years!

What qualifies as exotic?
+ Any species not native to an ecosystem, introduced by humans to a new system.
– Cattle egrets to NA= natural.
– Starlings to NYC= exotic.

+ How/why do exotics arrive?
– Intentional
* Sport, aesthetics, bio-control.
– Accidental
* Shipwrecks, cargo, escapes.

Exotic Wildlife (Intentional release)
+ Sport/hunting
-Interest in new species.
– Create more opportunity.
– Replace extirpated species.

+ Aesthetics
– Aust/NZ acclimation society
– Pleasant looking/attractive

+ Bio-control
– Mongoose to control rats.
– Foxes in Oz for rabbits

Exotic Wildlife (Accidental release)
+ Shipwreck
– Cats off W. Oz, swam 2+ miles to islands.

+ Cargo
– Asian long-horned beetle
– Emerald ash-borer Arrived in wooden crates used as packing material

+ Escapes
– Horses in W. US & Oz
– Camels in Oz

Exotic Wildlife
+ Impacts of exotics
– Over exploit native prey.
* Fox, cats in Oz
– Introduce new diseases
– Compete with natives
* Horses, camels in outback
– Overpopulate
– Alter habitat
* Herbivores
> Feral horses in W. US
How do we manage these exotics?
+ Education
– Prevent original release
– Importance of native systems
– Biological need to manage

+ Removal
– Non-lethal
* Adoption of feral horses
* Adoption of feral cats from colonies

+ Lethal
– Trap
– Shoot
– Poison

Historical management= (+ more information)
= control of processes
+ Key/focal products
– Timber/wood
– Livestock
Singular focus=
= loss of diversity
– Species (Botkin 1990)
– Community (Picket & White 1985)
– Ecosystem (Odum et. al 1987)
Changing Viewpoint & Culture
+ Movement away from Anthropocentric
– Resourcism: everything a resource for human use

+ Sustainability requires
– Plans for human demands are long term
– Understanding Earth’s resources ARE exhaustible
– Technology cannot continue to extend limits

Defining “wildlife”
+ Historical (and narrowest)
– Focus on game birds & mammals

+ Focus shifted over time
– Includes all wild animals
* Insects & other invertebrates
– Result of changing culture and increased understanding
* Also consumer vs. non-consumer user driven

Managing Wildlife (Two primary approaches)
+ Direct:
– generally animal/population manipulation

+ Indirect:
habitat manipulation

Indirect management
+ Intended:
– Planned & intentional habitat changes

+ Ancillary:
– Improvements resulting from another, primary land use process**

** not a substitute for carefully planned projects

Biodiversity
Variety of life and their associated ecological processes.
Biodiversity management
+ Aims to reduce “new”
endangered species.

+ Reduces associated costs.

Management for Biodiversity must take place on…
+ Landscape basis
– Large scale down to small.
* Requires long-term & effective planning.
Management for Biodiversity (Dual Philosophy Approach)
+ Dual Philosophy Approach
– Protection: retention of natural state (at least control)
– Intervention: hands-on or hands-off means of causing changes
* Increase cutting
* Decrease fire suppression practices

+ Less is more
– Understand impacts on all species

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