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Historic Perspective on Wildlife in North America Understanding “why” sometimes requires perspective Vicariance Biogeography (sec. 20.3 of text) Climate change & associated shifts in habitat Human impact Example of Vicariance Biogeography Panamanian Land Bridge formed ~ 2.5 mya

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historic perspective on wildlife in north america
Historic Perspective on Wildlife in North America
  • Understanding “why” sometimes requires perspective
  • Vicariance Biogeography (sec. 20.3 of text)
  • Climate change & associated shifts in habitat
  • Human impact
slide6

Prehistoric vs. Current Extinctions

1) Species of all types, sizes, from all regions & habitats

2) Magnitude of human-caused extinction

3) Time scale of species losses

4) Size and growth rate of human population

history of wildlife conservation in the us
History of Wildlife Conservation in the US
  • Periods/ eras:
  • Pre-European settlement
  • Abundance & Overexploitation
  • Protection & Game Management
  • Environment Awareness
  • 1990s onwards …
pre european settlement 1600
Pre-European Settlement(<1600)
  • Native American dependence on wildlife
  • Evidence of habitat modification & semi-domestication
  • Co-existence
abundance overexploitation 1600 1900
Abundance & Overexploitation(1600-1900)
  • Wildlife perceived as unlimited resource
  • Market hunting decimated many species
  • Bounties on predators common
slide11

Great Auk

Heath Hen

Carolina Parakeet

abundance overexploitation 1600 190012
Abundance & Overexploitation(1600-1900)
  • Overuse coincided with westward expansion
  • Extinction of many common species
  • Beginning of conservation laws for game species
protection game management 1900 1960s
Protection & Game Management (1900-1960s)
  • Extirpation (& near-extirpation) of previously common species
  • Recognition of overexploitation
  • End market hunting
  • Laws to control harvest
protection game management 1900 1960s continued
Protection & Game Management (1900-1960s) continued ….
  • Establishment of state fish & game departments
  • Wildlife Conservation as a Science (Leopold wrote “Game Management” in 1933)
  • Conservation focus on game species
environmental awareness mid 1960s
Environmental Awareness(> mid-1960s)
  • Greater public interest in wildlife conservation & environmental issues
  • View of “wildlife” expands to include nongame species and non-consumptive uses
  • Focus on species reintroduction (ESA) & restoration of ecosystems
  • Wildlife as a part of biodiversity (1990’s)