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This course is intended to provide an introduction to wildlife ... Order Tubulidentata (aardvark) Order Dasyuromorphia (dasyuroid marsupials and marsupial ...

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wildlife in the modern world esrm 1502
Wildlife in the Modern WorldESRM 150

Purpose of this course:

  • This course is intended to provide an introduction to wildlife biology and conservation by investigating the suite of pressures influencing species’ survival.


  • Print slides from website for note taking
  • Material from guest speakers is fair game for exam questions
  • Two Midterm Exams (100 pts each)
  • Short Writing Assignments (40 pts)
  • Final Exam (200 pts)
  • Discussion Section (200 pts)
  • Total: 640 pts
what are we going to be talking about6

What are we going to be talking about?

“Wildlife” = Any animals living in a wild state (non-domesticated) and by consensus include birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians

Taxonomy: Birds

Class Aves (birds)

Order Anseriformes (ducks, geese, swans, and relatives)

Order Galliformes (chicken-like birds)

Order Caprimulgiformes (nightbirds)

Order Apodiformes (hummingbirds and swifts)

Order Balaenicipitiformes (shoebill or whale-headed stork)

Order Charadriiformes (shorebirds and relatives)

Order Ciconiiformes (storks and relatives)

Order Coliiformes (mousebirds)

Order Columbiformes (doves and pigeons)

Order Coraciiformes (kingfishers and relatives)

Order Cuculiformes (cuckoos and relatives)

Order Falconiformes (diurnal birds of prey)

Order Galbuliformes

Order Gaviiformes (loons)

Order Gruiformes (coots, cranes, and rails)

Order Mesitornithiformes (mesites)

Order Musophagiformes (turacos)

Order Opisthocomiformes (hoatzin)

Order Passeriformes (perching birds)

Order Pelecaniformes (pelicans, tropicbirds, cormorants, and relatives)

Order Phoenicopteriformes (flamingos)

Order Piciformes (woodpeckers and relatives)

Order Podicipediformes (grebes)

Order Procellariiformes (tube-nosed seabirds)

Order Psittaciformes (parrots)

Order Sphenisciformes (penguins)

Order Strigiformes (owls)

Order Trogoniformes (trogons)

Order Turniciformes (buttonquail)

Order Struthioniformes (cassowaries, emus, kiwis, ostriches, and rheas)

Order Tinamiformes (tinamous)

Taxonomy: Mammals

Class Mammalia (mammals)

Order Monotremata (monotremes)

Order Afrosoricida (tenrecs and golden moles)

Order Carnivora (carnivores)

Order Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates)

Order Cetacea (dolphins, porpoises, and whales)

Order Chiroptera (bats)

Order Cingulata (armadillos)

Order Dermoptera (flying lemurs)

Order Erinaceomorpha (gymnures and hedgehogs)

Order Hyracoidea (hyraxes)

Order Lagomorpha (hares, pikas, and rabbits)

Order Macroscelidea (elephant-shrews)

Order Perissodactyla (horses, rhinoceroses, and tapirs)

Order Pholidota (pangolins)

Order Pilosa (edentates)

Order Primates (primates)

Order Proboscidea (elephants)

Order Rodentia (rodents)

Order Scandentia (tree shrews)

Order Sirenia (dugongs, manatees, and sea cows)

Order Soricomorpha (insectivores)

Order Tubulidentata (aardvark)

Order Dasyuromorphia (dasyuroid marsupials and marsupial carnivores)

Order Didelphimorphia (American marsupials)

Order Diprotodontia (kangaroos, possums, wallabies, and relatives)

Order Microbiotheria (monito del monte)

Order Notoryctemorphia (marsupial moles)

Order Paucituberculata (shrew opossums)

Order Peramelemorphia (bandicoots and bilbies)

Taxonomy: Reptiles

Class Reptilia (reptiles)

Order Testudines (tortoises and turtles)

Order Crocodilia (caimans, crocodiles, and relatives)

Order Rhynchocephalia (tuataras)

Order Squamata (amphisbaenians, lizards, and snakes)

Taxonomy: Amphibians

Class Amphibia (amphibians)

Order Caudata (salamanders)

Order Gymnophiona (caecilians)

Order Anura (frogs and toads)

human relationships with wildlife
Human Relationships with Wildlife
  • For as long as we have been “human”, we have lived intimately with wildlife, dependent not only upon them for food, clothing, and tools, but also for nurturing our sense of wonder, our sense of place, and our sense of humor.
human relationships with wildlife14
Human Relationships with Wildlife
  • Hunter-gatherers
    • Mobile
    • Require large areas
    • Small groups
    • Dependent on groups
Human Relationships with Wildlife

Agricultural Revolution

  • Increase in:
    • Population (and perhaps more importantly, population densities)
    • Disease
    • Wealth
    • Specialization
    • Sedentary Lifestyle - exploit rel. small area of land intensively

Anatolia (modern Turkey)

Human Relationships with Wildlife
  • Agriculture means modifying environment to exploit resources more effectively
    • Changes plants and animals and land itself
    • Erosion
    • Urbanization
human population
Human population

Groom et al. 2006. Principles of Conservation Biology. 3rd Ed.

era of abundance 1600 1849
Era of Abundance: 1600-1849
  • Market hunters
  • Industrial Revolution → recreational hunters
  • New York Sportsmen’s Club (1844)
    • enforcement of taxes, game sales, hunting seasons
  • First closed hunting season on wildlife (deer)

Grizzly hides

era of overexploitation 1850 1899
Era of Overexploitation: 1850-1899
  • Coincided with increases in
    • human settlement of North America
    • technological developments with Industrial Revolution (weapons, plows, railroads)
    • Market hunting
  • Excess harvesting of bison, elk, prairie chickens, eastern grizzly, wolves, deer, passenger pigeon
  • Protectionist sentiment was growing through this period
historic examples of exploitation
Historic examples of Exploitation
  • Pleistocene Overkill Hypothesis
    • In areas where humans invaded, animals had not evolved evasive mechanisms to avoid human predators
  • Early humans killed relatively large numbers of large mammals
human occupation of earth
Human Occupation of Earth

(Diamond 1998--Guns, Germs, and Steel)

recent extinctions are most common in areas recently occupied by humans
Recent Extinctions are Most Common in Areas Recently Occupied by Humans

Recent Occupancy

Many Recent


Colors indicate when significant extinction events occurred. Numbers indicate % of fauna that has gone extinct in last 100,000 years (Burney 1993)

recent extinctions are most common in areas recently occupied by humans25
Recent Extinctions are Most Common in Areas Recently Occupied by Humans

Recent Occupancy

Many Recent


Few Recent

Extinctions, Long

Occupancy by Humans

Colors indicate when significant extinction events occurred. Numbers indicate % of fauna that has gone extinct in last 100,000 years (Burney 1993)

examples of overexploitation
Examples of Overexploitation
  • Predator control had a major impact on wildlife populations from 1700s to the mid-20th century
  • Wolves are laid out in the snow after the two-hour hunt and the hunters tally the day's bag, as well as the bounty money of $35 per animal.

© Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS

examples of overexploitation27
Examples of Overexploitation
  • American bison once numbered over 60 million in North America.
  • By 1890, there were only about 150 left
  • Pile of American bison skulls waiting to be ground for fertilizer (mid-1870s).
examples of overexploitation28
Examples of Overexploitation
  • Various wildlife species have become extinct in the past 200 years in North America
  • Examples: Plains Grizzly, Carolina Parakeet, Heath Hen, Eastern Elk

Carolina Parakeets ate crops after their grassland habitat was destroyed and then were shot by farmers

examples of overexploitation29
Examples of Overexploitation
  • There may have been as many as 2.2 billion Passenger Pigeons in North America.
  • After uncontrolled commercial hunting, the last wild Passenger Pigeon was shot in 1900
era of protection 1900 1929
Era of protection: 1900-1929

Drastic declines of wildlife and other resources alarmed the public

  • Primary tool: Legal protection
  • Established
    • State game and fish departments
    • First bag limits
  • Still a negative attitude toward predators
era of protection 1900 192931
Era of protection: 1900-1929
  • Supreme Court case “Geer vs. Connecticut” established public ownership of wildlife (1896)
  • Yellowstone National Park
    • Original protection of

area, not resources within

    • 1st federal action in

conservation (1872)

    • Became first area where

wildlife were protected


Automobiles facilitated NP overcrowding and contributed to wildlife degradation by breaking down traditional habits and feeding patters. A buck begs at car. (National Park Service Historic Photograph Collection,1926)

era of protection 1900 192932
Era of protection: 1900-1929
  • Lacey Act (1900)
  • Federal protection of migratory wildlife (1918)
    • Scientific results are first used to protect non-game species
  • First national wildlife refuge established (1903)
    • Executive order from T. Roosevelt: Pelican Island, FL
era of game management 1930 1965
Era of game management: 1930-1965
  • Recognition that we needed more knowledge about ecology and biology of animals
  • Wildlife conservation oriented toward game animals (those favored by hunters)
  • Contributions of Aldo Leopold (Game Management) led to training of wildlife biologists
definition of wildlife management
Definition of Wildlife Management
  • Wildlife management is the application of ecological knowledge to populations of vertebrate animals and their plant and animal associates in a manner that strikes a balance between the needs of those populations and the needs of people (Robinson and Bolen 1999).
basic approaches of wildlife management
Basic approaches of wildlife management
  • Preservation by allowing nature to take its course without human intervention.
  • Direct manipulation of animal populations by trapping, shooting, poisoning, and stocking.
  • Indirect manipulation of animal populations by altering the vegetation or water that is present.
era of game management 1930 196536
Era of game management: 1930-1965
  • Increased public funding of conservation efforts
  • Ding Darling (former chief of U.S. Biological Survey) creates editorial cartoons to show nation plight of wildlife
era of game management 1930 196537
Era of game management: 1930-1965
  • Duck stamps authorized by Congress to raise funds for wetland preservation
  • First North American Wildlife Conference Held
  • Federal government plays a major role in wildlife conservation
  • Wilderness Act Passed (1964)
era of game management 1930 196538
Era of game management: 1930-1965
  • Journal of Wildlife Management established (1936)

Quote from first issue:

The policy of the Wildlife Society “embraces the practical ecology of all vertebrates and their plant and animal associates” and “while emphasis may often be placed on species with special economic importance, wildlife management along sound biological lines is also a part of the greater movement for conservation of our entire native fauna and flora”.

era of environmental management 1966 present
Era of Environmental Management: 1966-present
  • Shift towards looking at environment from more holistic approach
  • Science is used to direct environmental management
  • Prominence of endangered species conservation
  • Many landmark laws passed
    • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)-1970
    • Clean Water Act (CWA)-1972
    • Endangered Species Act (ESA)-1973
What is Wildlife Science?





Population Growth

Community Organization

Ecosystem Organization

Processes & Interactions

Threatened & Endangered species

Reserve Design




Increase or Decrease Populations

Sustainable Harvest

Monitor Population Status

information needs for wildlife conservation
Information Needs for Wildlife Conservation
  • Habitat requirements
  • Assessment of past and current populations
    • Growth or decline?
  • Major limiting factors
    • Ability to survive, reproduce and disperse
  • How to manage the population(s)?
    • Habitat protection
    • Captive breeding
    • Legal protection
Era of Environmental Management: 1966-present

Examples of Success in Wildlife Conservation

  • American Bison
  • From the surviving 150

individuals, there are

now over 30,000 bison

in many different herds

Era of Environmental Management: 1966-present

Examples of Success in Wildlife Conservation

  • White-tailed (E. U.S.) and mule deer (W. of Cascades to Dakotas)
  • Suffered from loss of habitat and overharvesting
  • Habitat restoration and better protection resulted in many recovered populations and even over-population in places
Era of Environmental Management: 1966-present

Examples of Success in Wildlife Conservation

  • Elk (wapiti)
  • Suffered from over-harvesting and loss of habitat
  • Habitat restoration & better protection have led to many recovered populations
Era of Environmental Management: 1966-present

Examples of Success in Wildlife Conservation

  • Gray wolf
  • Persecuted for centuries, ongoing in some places
  • Change of attitudes has made restoration efforts possible (e.g. Yellowstone NP)
  • Still controversial species, especially with respect to ranching