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Sustaining Biodiversity: The Species Approach. Chapter 9. Core Case Study: The Passenger Pigeon: Gone Forever. Passenger pigeon hunted to extinction by 1900 Commercial hunters used a "stool pigeon” Archeological record shows five mass extinctions

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core case study the passenger pigeon gone forever
Core Case Study: The Passenger Pigeon: Gone Forever
  • Passenger pigeon hunted to extinction by 1900
  • Commercial hunters used a "stool pigeon”
  • Archeological record shows five mass extinctions
  • Human activities: hastening more extinctions?
9 1 what role do humans play in the premature extinction of species
9-1 What Role Do Humans Play in the Premature Extinction of Species?
  • Concept 9-1A We are degrading and destroying biodiversity in many parts of the world, and these threats are increasing.
  • Concept 9-1B Species are becoming extinct 100 to 1,000 times faster than they were before modern humans arrived on the earth (the background rate), and by the end of this century, the extinction rate is expected to be 10,000 times the background rate.
human activities are destroying and degrading biodiversity
Human Activities Are Destroying and Degrading Biodiversity
  • Human activity has disturbed at least half of the earth’s land surface
    • Fills in wetlands
    • Converts grasslands and forests to crop fields and urban areas
  • Degraded aquatic biodiversity
extinctions are natural but sometimes they increase sharply
Extinctions Are Natural but Sometimes They Increase Sharply
  • Background extinction
  • Extinction rate
  • Mass extinction: causes?
  • Levels of species extinction
    • Local extinction
    • Ecological extinction
    • Biological extinction
some human activities cause premature extinctions the pace is speeding up 1
Some Human Activities Cause Premature Extinctions; the Pace Is Speeding Up (1)
  • Premature extinctions due to
    • Habitat destruction
    • Overhunting
some human activities cause premature extinctions the pace is speeding up 2
Some Human Activities Cause Premature Extinctions; the Pace Is Speeding Up (2)
  • Conservative estimates of extinction = 0.01-1.0%
    • Growth of human population will increase this loss
    • Rates are higher where there are more endangered species
    • Tropical forests and coral reefs, wetlands and estuaries—sites of new species—being destroyed
  • Speciation crisis
endangered and threatened species are ecological smoke alarms
Endangered and Threatened Species Are Ecological Smoke Alarms
  • Endangered species
  • Threatened species,vulnerable species
    • Characteristics of such species
science focus estimating extinction rates is not easy
Science Focus: Estimating Extinction Rates Is Not Easy
  • Three problems
    • Hard to document due to length of time
    • Only 1.8 million species identified
    • Little known about nature and ecological roles of species identified
  • Document little changes in DNA
  • Use species–area relationship
  • Mathematical models
9 2 why should we care about preventing premature species extinction
9-2 Why Should We Care about Preventing Premature Species Extinction?
  • Concept 9-2 We should prevent the premature extinction of wild species because of the economic and ecological services they provide and because they have a right to exist regardless of their usefulness to us.
species are a vital part of the earth s natural capital
Species Are a Vital Part of the Earth’s Natural Capital
  • Instrumental value
    • Use value
      • Ecotourism: wildlife tourism
      • Genetic information
    • Nonuse value
      • Existence value
      • Aesthetic value
      • Bequest value
  • Ecological value
science focus using dna to reduce illegal killing of elephants for their ivory
Science Focus: Using DNA to Reduce Illegal Killing of Elephants for Their Ivory
  • 1989 international treaty against poaching elephants
  • Poaching on the rise
  • Track area of poaching through DNA analysis of elephants
  • Elephants damaging areas of South Africa: Should they be culled?
are we ethically obligated to prevent premature extinction
Are We Ethically Obligated to Prevent Premature Extinction?
  • Intrinsic value: existence value
  • Edward O. Wilson: biophilia phenomenon
  • Biophobia
science focus why should we care about bats
Science Focus: Why Should We Care about Bats?
  • Vulnerable to extinction
    • Slow to reproduce
    • Human destruction of habitats
  • Important ecological roles
    • Feed on crop-damaging nocturnal insects
    • Pollen-eaters
    • Fruit-eaters
  • Unwarranted fears of bats
9 3 how do humans accelerate species extinction
9-3 How do Humans Accelerate Species Extinction?
  • Concept 9-3 The greatest threats to any species are (in order) loss or degradation of its habitat, harmful invasive species, human population growth, pollution, climate change, and overexploitation.
loss of habitat is the single greatest threat to species remember hippco
Loss of Habitat Is the Single Greatest Threat to Species: Remember HIPPCO
  • Habitat destruction, degradation, and fragmentation
  • Invasive (nonnative) species
  • Population and resource use growth
  • Pollution
  • Climate change
  • Overexploitation
science focus studying the effects of forest fragmentation on old growth trees
Science Focus: Studying the Effects of Forest Fragmentation on Old-Growth Trees
  • Tropical Biologist Bill Laurance, et al.
  • How large must a forest fragment be in order to prevent the loss of rare trees?
case study a disturbing message from the birds 1
Case Study: A Disturbing Message from the Birds (1)
  • Habitat loss and fragmentation of the birds’ breeding habitats
    • Forests cleared for farms, lumber plantations, roads, and development
  • Intentional or accidental introduction of nonnative species
    • Eat the birds
case study a disturbing message from the birds 2
Case Study: A Disturbing Message from the Birds (2)
  • Seabirds caught and drown in fishing equipment
  • Migrating birds fly into power lines, communication towers, and skyscrapers
  • Other threats
    • Oil spills
    • Pesticides
    • Herbicides
    • Ingestion of toxic lead shotgun pellets
case study a disturbing message from the birds 3
Case Study: A Disturbing Message from the Birds (3)
  • Greatest new threat: Climate change
  • Environmental indicators
  • Economic and ecological services
science focus vultures wild dogs and rabies unexpected scientific connections
Science Focus: Vultures, Wild Dogs, and Rabies: Unexpected Scientific Connections
  • Vultures poisoned from diclofenac in cow carcasses
  • More wild dogs eating the cow carcasses
  • More rabies spreading to people
some deliberately introduced species can disrupt ecosystems
Some Deliberately Introduced Species Can Disrupt Ecosystems
  • Most species introductions are beneficial
    • Food
    • Shelter
    • Medicine
    • Aesthetic enjoyment
  • Nonnative species may have no natural
    • Predators
    • Competitors
    • Parasites
    • Pathogens
case study the kudzu vine
Case Study: The Kudzu Vine
  • Imported from Japan in the 1930s
  • “ The vine that ate the South”
  • Could there be benefits of kudzu?
some accidentally introduced species can also disrupt ecosystems
Some Accidentally Introduced Species Can Also Disrupt Ecosystems
  • Argentina fire ant: 1930s
    • Pesticide spraying in 1950s and 1960s worsened conditions
  • Burmese python
prevention is the best way to reduce threats from invasive species
Prevention Is the Best Way to Reduce Threats from Invasive Species
  • Prevent them from becoming established
  • Learn the characteristics of the species
  • Set up research programs
  • Try to find natural ways to control them
other causes of species extinction 1
Other Causes of Species Extinction (1)
  • Population growth
  • Overconsumption
  • Pollution
  • Climate change
other causes of species extinction 2
Other Causes of Species Extinction (2)
  • Pesticides
    • DDT: Banned in the U.S. in 1972
  • Bioaccumulation
  • Biomagnification
case study where have all the honeybees gone
Case Study: Where Have All the Honeybees Gone?
  • Honeybees responsible for 80% of insect-pollinated plants
  • Dying due to?
    • Pesticides
    • Parasites
    • Bee colony collapse syndrome
case study polar bears and global warming
Case Study: Polar Bears and Global Warming
  • Environmental impact on polar bears
    • Less summer sea ice
    • PCBs and DDT
  • 2007: Threatened species list
illegal killing capturing and selling of wild species threatens biodiversity
Illegal Killing, Capturing, and Selling of Wild Species Threatens Biodiversity
  • Poaching and smuggling of animals and plants
    • Animal parts
    • Pets
    • Plants for landscaping and enjoyment
  • Prevention: research and education
individuals matter jane goodall
Individuals Matter: Jane Goodall
  • Primatologist and anthropologist
  • 45 years understanding and protecting chimpanzees
    • Chimps have tool-making skills
rising demand for bush meat threatens some african species
Rising Demand for Bush Meat Threatens Some African Species
  • Indigenous people sustained by bush meat
  • More hunters leading to local extinction of some wild animals
9 4 how can we protect wild species from premature extinction 1
9-4 How Can We Protect Wild Species from Premature Extinction? (1)
  • Concept 9-4A We can use existing environmental laws and treaties and work to enact new laws designed to prevent species extinction and protect overall biodiversity.
  • Concept 9-4B We can help to prevent species extinction by creating and maintaining wildlife refuges, gene banks, botanical gardens, zoos, and aquariums.
9 4 how can we protect wild species from premature extinction 2
9-4 How Can We Protect Wild Species from Premature Extinction? (2)
  • Concept 9-4C According to the precautionary principle, we should take measures to prevent or reduce harm to the environment and to human health, even if some of the cause-and-effect relationships have not been fully established, scientifically.
international treaties help to protect species
International Treaties Help to Protect Species
  • 1975: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
    • Signed by 172 countries
  • Convention on Biological Diversity (BCD)
    • Focuses on ecosystems
    • Ratified by 190 countries (not the U.S.)
case study the u s endangered species act 1
Case Study: The U.S. Endangered Species Act (1)
  • Endangered Species Act (ESA): 1973 and later amended in 1982, 1983, and 1985
  • Identify and protect endangered species in the U.S. and abroad
  • Hot Spots
  • Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) colony
case study the u s endangered species act 2
Case Study: The U.S. Endangered Species Act (2)
  • Mixed reviews of the ESA
    • Weaken it
    • Repeal it
    • Modify it
    • Strengthen it
    • Simplify it
    • Streamline it
science focus accomplishments of the endangered species act 1
Science Focus: Accomplishments of the Endangered Species Act (1)
  • Species listed only when serious danger of extinction
  • Takes decades for most species to become endangered or extinct
  • More than half of the species listed are stable or improving
  • Budget has been small
science focus accomplishments of the endangered species act 2
Science Focus: Accomplishments of the Endangered Species Act (2)
  • Suggested changes to ESA
    • Increase the budget
    • Develop recovery plans more quickly
    • Establish a core of the endangered organism’s survival habitat
we can establish wildlife refuges and other protected areas
We Can Establish Wildlife Refuges and Other Protected Areas
  • 1903: Theodore Roosevelt
  • Wildlife refuges
    • Most are wetland sanctuaries
    • More needed for endangered plants
    • Could abandoned military lands be used for wildlife habitats?
gene banks botanical gardens and wildlife farms can help protect species
Gene Banks, Botanical Gardens, and Wildlife Farms Can Help Protect Species
  • Gene or seed banks
    • Preserve genetic material of endangered plants
  • Botanical gardens and arboreta
    • Living plants
  • Farms to raise organisms for commercial sale
zoos and aquariums can protect some species 1
Zoos and Aquariums Can Protect Some Species (1)
  • Techniques for preserving endangered terrestrial species
    • Egg pulling
    • Captive breeding
    • Artificial insemination
    • Embryo transfer
    • Use of incubators
    • Cross-fostering
zoos and aquariums can protect some species 2
Zoos and Aquariums Can Protect Some Species (2)
  • Limited space and funds
  • Critics say these facilities are prisons for the organisms
case study trying to save the california condor
Case Study: Trying to Save the California Condor
  • Largest North American bird
  • Nearly extinct
    • Birds captured and breed in captivity
  • By 2007, 135 released into the wild
    • Threatened by lead poisoning
the precautionary principle
The Precautionary Principle
  • Species: primary components of biodiversity
  • Preservation of species
  • Preservation of ecosystems