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Species on The Brink & SIO 296 Wrap Up. Phaedra Doukakis Sarah Mesnick. Vaquita. Sturgeon. New concepts, common themes. Abalone. Baiji. Where are we in the spectrum of decline?. Stages of decline: Pre-exploitation (“natural”) Exploited Overfished Commercially extinct

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Species on the brink sio 296 wrap up

Species on The Brink & SIO 296 Wrap Up

Phaedra Doukakis

Sarah Mesnick


Vaquita
Vaquita

Sturgeon

New concepts, common themes

Abalone



Where are we in the spectrum of decline?

  • Stages of decline:

  • Pre-exploitation (“natural”)

  • Exploited

  • Overfished

  • Commercially extinct

  • Locally extinct

  • Functional extinction (biological or ecological extinction; intervention required, e.g., condor)

  • Globally extinct

Murphy 1966 and Hill et al. 2009

Often, we begin to act too late and do too little…

Compared to decline, we know relatively little about recovery


Pollutants (no threat …cleanest blubber)

Inbreeding depression (no threat (yet)…many calves, naturally rare)

Lack of Colorado River flow (no threat now)

Dead vaquita fat

Many calves

Many fewer vaquita than normal levels

Bycatch (accidental death in fishing nets)

Estimated 78/year…is that too many?

PRIORITIZING THREATS

I’m fat….

but not so happy



Life-history Important mitigation options

Late maturity, infrequent reproduction

Caspian Sea 1966


3 mitigation options

San Diego

Vaquita: Tiny distribution;

Naturally rare

Described as a new species

In 1958 (Norris & McFarland)



Serial depletion species and populations areas
Serial Depletion: Species and Populations/Areas Effect, Sex Ratios

From Hobday et al. 2001

.


Value & Rarity Effect, Sex Ratios

$8,000/kilo for black caviar

$115.00/lb for abalone

Guinness World Record Most Valuable Fish: Russian sturgeon 2,706 lb caught in 1924: 540 lb of caviar, today worth nearly $1.35-2.7 million.


Tools: Using genetics to regulate trade and markets Effect, Sex Ratios

Eggs look like eggs; high potential for fraud.


Genetics & Restoration Effect, Sex Ratios

  • Museum specimens

  • Atlantic sturgeon in some area of western Europe as of 1000 years ago

  • Reintroduce with this species; will it work? Releasing juveniles in river systems


Genetics taxa designation gs
Genetics: Taxa designation - GS Effect, Sex Ratios

Northern DPS

Southern DPS


Wild black abalone ws

Genetics: DISEASE RESISTANCE? Effect, Sex Ratios

Wild Black Abalone +/- WS

Red Abalone

+/- WS


Tools: AQUACULUTRE AS A REPLACEMENT FOR WILD Effect, Sex Ratios

World Abalone Production (FA0)


Total Production Effect, Sex Ratios

Can we distinguish wild from farmed?

FAOSTAT data




Green sturgeon: Effect, Sex Ratios

Abundance estimates

Habitat use and characteristics

Critical Habitat


Application
Application Effect, Sex Ratios

  • Risk Assessment: assess information on threats (anthropogenic and environmental) +

  • Population Assessment: determine population abundance, status and trajectories under different management scenarios =

  • Set conservation priorities and recovery plans

  • Is sustainable take possible and under what circumstances?

  • Monitoring & Enforcement: fisheries and markets


Take homes latest version
Take-homes (latest version) Effect, Sex Ratios

  • Holistic - taking into account all sources of mortality and risk

  • Multilateral – unilateral management does not work; need all stakeholders and countries (inter-connected and global economy)

  • Adaptive – because change is fundamental to population dynamics, management must be adaptive; response times may differ … adaptive (real-time) management requires new (and real-time) knowledge of the biology, ecology and movement patterns of oceanic conditions, fishes, protected species and human activities

  • Precautionary - necessary to deal with uncertainty in the direction of change and importance of the species ecosystem role.

  • Prioritized - Prioritization important (limited resources (dollars, time and attention) so must prioritize species and threats quantitatively)

  • Long-term data sets are critical for understanding trends, relationships, cycles.

  • Long-term commitment is needed (recovery takes time); timeframe may be short (no time to waste)

  • Creative, synergistic alternatives (products, fishing gear), solutions (agreements, MPAs, catch shares) and monitoring (genetic, acoustic, markets) are needed – this is where you come in


1. Natural population fluctuations in abundance, recruitment and geographic range can contribute to natural variations in extinction risk below critical points in population structure.

2. Variations in extinction risk affect the potential for extinction from natural causes (which could be stochastic) and can be exacerbated by human activities whether these directly target the species or not (Vaquita).

3. The slow pace by which humans recognize threats to species and the lags in political systems mean that valuable species or those with large natural fluctuations in abundance are particularly threatened.

4. Climate change adds a particularly damaging aspect to threats to species since future changes are expected to: (a) increase natural variability, and (b) have considerable built in momentum that will make it difficult to reduce a threat once it appears (like acidification).

5. Little or no money to monitor or regulate international trade in species for which there is no commercial take (other than ESA).


  • 6. We have lots of data for some species (sardines, pollock, Med Bluefin Tunas) but still are unable to predict populations to prevent over-exploitation, or unable to do so on a time scale that allows the political system to react to protect an already overexploited species. There are, in effect, multiple intersecting time scales to consider: a) the natural population variation in extinction risk, b) the lag time involved in effective monitoring of those natural cycles (particularly when there is no money for monitoring), c) the lag time involved in taking regulatory action to protect the species, and d) the lag involved in political alterations in regulatory decisions. Since the later phases of this cycle can involve many years, particularly if international trade or highly migratory species are involved, species who's population dynamics can place them rapidly at risk are particularly susceptible to extinction.


Take homes species on the brink
Take-homes (Species on the Brink) Med Bluefin Tunas) but still are unable to predict populations to prevent over-exploitation, or unable to do so on a time scale that allows the political system to react to protect an already overexploited species. There are, in effect, multiple intersecting time scales to consider: a) the natural population variation in extinction risk, b) the lag time involved in effective monitoring of those natural cycles (particularly when there is no money for monitoring), c) the lag time involved in taking regulatory action to protect the species, and d) the lag involved in political alterations in regulatory decisions. Since the later phases of this cycle can involve many years, particularly if international trade or highly migratory species are involved, species who's population dynamics can place them rapidly at risk are particularly susceptible to extinction.

  • Ideas?


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