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Sustaining Biodiversity The Species Approach

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					 Sustaining Biodiversity: The Species

                              Last known wild
                              pigeon was killed on
Passenger                     March 24, 1900
• Background extinction- continuous, low level
  of extinction of species that has happened
  since life began 3.56 billion years ago
• Mass extinction – extinction of many species
  in a relatively short period of geological time
• Extinction Rate: Percentage or number of
  species that go extinct within a certain time
  period such as a year
Three Types of Biological Extinction
• Local extinction occurs when a species is no
  longer found in an area it once inhabited but is
  still found elsewhere in the world – losses of one
  or more populations of species
• Ecological extinction occurs when so few
  members of a species are left that it can no
  longer play its ecological roles in the biological
  communities where it is found
• Biological extinction – a species is no longer
  found anywhere on the earth – forever and
  represents an irreversible loss of natural capital
All Extinct Species
            Reasons for Extinction
• Both the rate of species loss and the extent of biodiversity loss
  are likely to increase during the next 50-100 years because of
  the projected growth of the world’s human population and
  resource use per person
• Current and projected extinction rates are much higher than the
  global average in parts of the world that are highly endangered
  centers of biodiversity
• We are eliminating, degrading, fragmenting, and simplifying
  many biologically diverse environments- such as tropical forests,
  tropical corral reefs, wetlands, and estuaries – that serve as
  potential colonization sites for the emergence of new species
• We may be limiting the long-term recovery of biodiversity by
  reducing the rate of speciation for some species
 Before extinction . . . Endangered
• Endangered species has so few individual
  survivors that the species could soon become
  extinct over all or most of its natural range
  (the area in which it is normally found)
• These species may soon disappear from the
Before Endangered . . . Threatened
• Theses species are still abundant in its natural
  range, but because of declining numbers, they
  are likely to become endangered in the near
• International Union for the Conservation of
  Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) (World
  Conservation Union) publish the annual RED
  List – the world standard for listing the world’s
  threatened species
 What makes a species Vulnerable
• “The first animal species to go are the big, the
  slow, the tasty, and those with valuable parts
  such as tusks and skins,” biodiversity expert
  Edward O. Wilson
• Behavioral Characteristics that make them
  prone to extinction
• Easy to kill (flocks of birds), Key deer (nicotine
  addicts) prone to humans and cars due to
  them walking highways for cigarette butts
Why prevent Premature Extinction
• We should prevent the premature extinction
  of wild species because of the economic and
  ecological services they provide
• They have a right to exist regardless of their
  usefulness to us
Premature Extinction
           Instrumental Value
• The usefulness of a species to us in providing
  many of the ecological and economic services
  that make up the earth’s natural capital
• It takes two values, one is use value, which
  benefit us in the form of economic goods and
  services, ecological services, recreation,
  scientific information, and the continuation of
  such uses for future generations
            Instrumental Value
• Species diversity also provides economic benefits
  from wildlife tourism, or ecotourism
• Genetic information that allows species to adapt
  to changing environmental conditions through
• One of the tragedies of the current extinction
  crisis is that we do not know what we are losing,
  because no one has ever seen or named many of
  the species that are becoming extinct
            Instrumental Value
• The other major form of instrumental value is
  nonuse values
• Existence value – the satisfaction of knowing that
  a redwood forest, a wilderness, orangutans exist
• Aesthetic value – appreciation for its beauty
• Bequest value – the fact that people will pay to
  protect some forms of natural capital for use by
  future generations
• Ecological Value – it is a vital component of the
  key ecosystem functions of energy flow, nutrient
  cycling, and population control
      Science, Elephants, Poaching
• 400,000 elephants remaining in the wild
• 1989 an international treaty instituted a ban on the trading of
• It reduced but did not stop the poaching
• 2004, sharp rise due to China’s high prices for ivory
• 2007, scientists began developing a DNA-based map of elephant
  populations that allows them to use DNA analysis of seized
  illegal ivory to determine where the elephants were killed
• Elephant populations have exploded to the point that some
  countries are considering (culling – killing) enough elephant each
  year to stop the destruction the overpopulation is causing, they
  would sell the ivory to help in conservation efforts
               Intrinsic Value
• Some scientists believe that each wild species has
  intrinsic or existence value based on its inherent
  right to exist and play its ecological roles,
  regardless of its usefulness to us
• We have an ethical responsibility to protect
  species from becoming prematurely extinct as a
  result of human activities and to prevent the
  degradation of the world’s ecosystems and its
  overall biodiversity
• We have an ethical obligation to control our
  resource consumption to help protect all species
• Billions of years of biological connections
  leading to the evolution of the human species,
  we have an inherent genetic kinship with the
  natural world
• Phenomenon – love of life
• People want to live where they can see water
  and forests, we love parks, wildlife, hiking,
  camping, the outdoors
• Important ecological roles
• Insect eaters: crop-damaging and mosquitoes
• Pollinating flowers
• Distribution of plants through undigested
• Fear of bats leads dislike
• ¼ of the world’s bat population listed on
  endangered species list
• Conservation biologist summarize the most
  important causes of premature extinction
  using the acronym HIPPCO: Habitat
  destruction, degradation, and fragmentation;
  Invasive (nonnative) species; Population and
  resource use growth (too many people
  consuming too many resources); Pollution;
  Climate change; and Overexploitation
           Habitat Destruction
• Deforestation in tropical areas is the greatest
  eliminator of species, followed by the
  destruction and degradation of coral reefs and
  wetlands, plowing of grasslands, and pollution
  of streams, lakes, and oceans.
          Temperate Biomes
• Have been affected more by habitat loss and
  degradation than have tropical biomes
  because of widespread economic
  development in temperate countries over the
  past 200 years
              Island Species
• Many them are endemic species found
  nowhere else on earth
• US Hawaii islands are America’s “extinction
  capital” 63% of its species at risk
         Habitat Fragmentation
• By roads, logging, agriculture, and urban
• Occurs when contiguous area of habitat is reduced in
  area and divided into smaller, more scattered, and
  isolated patches, or habitat islands
• Can decrease tree populations in forest, block
  migration routes, and divide populations of species
  into smaller and more isolated groups that are more
  vulnerable to predators, competitor species, disease
  and catastrophic events
Due to
• Creates barriers that limit the abilities of some
  species to disperse and colonize new areas, to
  get enough to eat, and to find mates
• 70% of the world’s nearly 10,000 know bird
  species are declining in numbers, and roughly
  one of every eight (12%) of these bird species
  is threatened with extinction, mostly because
  of habitat loss, degradation, and
• Intentional or accidental introduction of
  nonnative species such as cats, rats, snakes
  and mongooses
     More reasons for extinction
• Seabirds get caught in fishing lines and drown
• Migrating birds get caught in power lines,
  communication towers and skyscrappers
• Climate Change for wetland, mountain, Arctic
           Reasons to Worry
• Birds are environmental indicators
• Perform a number of important economic and
  ecological services in ecosystems throughout
  the world
• Play a key role in pollination and seed
           Nonnative Species
• Most species introductions are beneficial to
  us, but they often displace native species
• Introduced species such as corn, wheat, rice,
  and other food crops, and cattle, poultry, and
  other livestock provide more than 98% of the
  U.S. food supply
• Some nonnative species have no competitors,
  predators, parasites, or pathogens to help
  control their numbers
            Nonnative Species
• These species can reduce or wipe out populations
  of many native species, trigger ecological
  disruptions, cause human health problems, and
  lead to economic losses
• Kudzu (plant) was introduced to control soil
  erosion (engulfs hillsides, gardens, trees)
• European Wild Boar (no way to stop them)
• Feral cats and abandoned cats breed in wild
  (know for killing 568 million birds per year)
   Accidentally Introduced Species
• Hitch hikers from global trade, travel and tourism
• Argentina fire ant accidentally introduced in Mobile,
  Alabama (Wipe out 90% of native ant populations)
  Invade fields and yards, kill deer fawns, birds, livestock,
  pets, and at least 80 people who were allergic to their
• Burmese python snake came from Southeast Asia as a
  pet is increasing but people no longer want them when
  they get to big dumped into the Everglades
• 2100 could be found in most of the southern half of the
               Ways to Prevent
• Fund massive research program to identify the major
  characteristics of successful invader species and the
  types of ecosystems that are vulnerable to invaders
• Greatly increase ground surveys and satellite
  observations to detect and monitor species invasions
  and develop better models for predicting how they
  will spread
• Set up inspection of imported goods and goods
  carried by travelers that are likely to contain invader
                 Ways to Prevent
• Identify major harmful invader species and establish
  international treaties banning their transfer from one country
  to another, as is now done for endangered species
• Require cargo ships to discharge their ballast water and
  replace it with saltwater at sea before entering ports, or
  require them to sterilize such water or pump nitrogen into the
  water to displace dissolved oxygen and kill most invader
• Increase research to find and introduce natural predators,
  parasites, bacteria, and viruses to control populations of
  established invaders
       Population Growth and
• Human population growth and excessive and
  wasteful consumption of resources have
  greatly expanded the human ecological
• Eliminated vast areas of wildlife habitat
• These factors have caused premature
  extinction of many species
• Threatens some species with extinction
• U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, each year
  pesticides kill about one-fifth of the beneficial
  honeybee colonies in United States
• More than 67 million birds and 6-14 million
• Threaten about one-fifth of the country’s
  endangered and threatened species
              Climate Change
• Conservation International predicted that
  climate changed caused mostly by global
  warming could drive more than a quarter of
  all land animals and plants to extinction by the
  end of this century
• Polar bears and 10 of the world’s 17 species of
  penguin as already threatened due to the loss
  of ice in polar habitats by higher temperatures
• Are on the decline due to pesticides, parasitic mites, and
  African honeybees (killer bees)
• Honeybees pollinate 110 commercially grown crops that
  are vital to the U.S. agriculture including up to 1/3 of fruit
  and vegetable crops
• Bee colony collapse disorder occurs when worker bees
  vanish without a trace and abandon their queen
• 2.4 million honeybee colonies have been lost in U.S.
• Declines around the world have been reported
• Bee colony disorder could lead to agricultural collapse
           Bioaccumulation and biomagnification of DDT banned in 1972

In the
Of the
                 Polar Bears
• World’s 20,000-25,000 polar bears are found
  in 19 populations distributed across the frozen
• Bears use the ice in the winter to hunt and eat
  seal to store fat for the spring and summer
  months when the ice melts
• Each year the ice melts earlier leaving less and
  less time for the bears to hunt seal and store
  fat to survive
                      Polar Bears
• They must fast longer, leaving them weak and unable to
  reproduce and care for their young
• As polar bears grow hungrier, they may enter human
  settlements for food, drown in search of food from swimming to
  far, or starve to death searching for food on dry land because of
  loss of ice
• Another threat is a build up of toxic PCBs, DDT and other
  pesticide in fatty tissue
• Poachers are another threat to Polar Bears
• Polar Bears were added to the RED list of endangered species
• 2008 U.S. government listed the polar bear as threatened under
  the Endangered Species Act
• Poaching endangers many larger animals and
  some rare plants
• Rapidly growing wildlife smuggling is a high-
  profit, low risk business because few of the
  smugglers are caught or punished
• At least 2/3 of all live animals smuggled
  around the world die in transit
• Pet trade is another cause of wild species loss
Illegal Fur Trade
           Poaching of Animals
•   Live mountain gorilla = $150,000
•   Giant Panda Pelt = $ 100,000
•   A chimpanzee = $ 50,000
•   An Imperial Amazon Macaw = $30,000
•   Poached rhinoceros horn = $ 25,000 per
                    Jane Goodall
• Primotologist and anthropologist spent 45 studying
   chimpanzee social and family life
• 1977, established the Jane Goodall institute which works to
   protect chimpanzee’s and their habitats
• Travels the world educating the world about chimpanzee’s
   and the need to protect their environment
• Written 23 books and produced 14 films
about the lives and importance of
• In 1900, 100,000 tigers roamed free in the world,
  now 3,500 remain free
• Loss of habitat due to forestation and
• All 5 tiger subspecies are endangered in the wild
• Tigers are threatened because of their coats
• Few if any tigers may be left in the wild in 20
                 Bush Meat
• Indigenous people in much of West and
  Central Africa have sustainable hunted wildlife
  for bush meat, a source of food, for centuries
• In the last two decades, bush meat hunting is
  skyrocketed due to population growth and
  seeking to make a living by providing
  restaurants with exotic meat
• Led to the local extinction of many wild
  animals in parts of West Africa
    Reducing Animal Populations
• Bush meat hunting reduces the populations of
  gorilla, orangutan, chimpanzee, elephant, and
  hippopotamus populations
• Threatens forest carnivores such as crowned
  eagles and leopards, by depleting their main
  prey species
• Butchering and eating some forms of bush
  meat has helped spread the disease of
  HIV/AIDS and Ebola virus to humans
               Protecting Wildlife
• 1975, Convention on International Trade in Endangered
  Species (CITES) signed by 172 countries, bans hunting,
  capturing, and selling of threatened or endangered species.
• CITES has helped reduce international trade in many
  threatened animals including elephants, crocodiles, cheetahs,
  and chimpanzees
• Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) ratified by 190
  countries, (but not U.S.), legally commits participating
  governments to reversing the global decline of biodiversity
  and to equitably sharing the benefits from use of the world’s
  genetic resources (Landmark in International Law because it
  focuses on ecosystems not individual species)
     U.S. Endangered Species Act
• 1973 was designed to identify and protect
  endangered species in the United States and abroad
  (amended in 1982, 1985, and 1988)
• Act is probably the most far-reaching environmental
  law ever adopted by any nation (controversial)
• ESA, National Marine Fisheries Service responsible
  for listing endangered or threatened ocean species
• ESA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services list all other
  endangered and threatened species
         Endangered Species Act
• The ESA makes it illegal for Americans to sell or buy
  any product made from an endangered or
  threatened species or to hunt, kill, collect, or injure
  such species in the United States
• ESA requires all commercial shipments of wildlife and
  wildlife products enter or leave the country through
  one of nine designated ports
• 1982, ESA was amended to give private landowners
  economic incentives to help save endangered species
  living on their lands
                ESA continued
• Habitat conservation plan – landowner, developer, or
  logger is allowed to destroy some critical habitat in
  exchange for taking steps to protect members of the
• Some believe the ESA should be weakened or repealed,
  and others believe it should be strengthened and
  modified to focus on protecting ecosystems
• People against the act believe it puts the rights and
  welfare of endangered plants and animals above those
  people, economic loss by hindering the development on
  private lands
              Wildlife Refuge
• More than ¾ of the refuges serve as wetland
  sanctuaries vital for protecting migratory
• 1/5 of U.S. endangered and threatened
  species have habitats in the refuge system
• Conservation biologists urge state legislature
  to allow abandoned military lands that
  contain significant wildlife habitat to become
  national or state wildlife refuges
               Gene Banks
• Preserve genetic information and endangered
  plant species by storing their seeds in
  refrigerated, low-humidity environments
• Banks are expensive to operate and can be
  destroyed by fires and other mishaps
           Botanical Gardens
• Contain living plants representing almost 1/3
  of the world’s known plant species
• Contain only 3% of the world’s rare and
  threatened plant species
• Have too little space and funding to preserve
  most of those species
               Wildlife Farms
• Are for commercial sale
• Farms in Florida raise alligators for their meat
  and hides
• Butterfly farms flourish in Papua New Guinea,
  where many butterfly species are threatened
  by development activities
          Zoos and Aquariums
• Being used to preserve some individuals of
  critically endangered animal species, with the
  long-term goal of reintroducing the species
  into protected wild habitats
• Preserving through egg pulling, captive
  breeding, artificial insemination, embryo
  transfer, incubators
• Goal of captive breeding is to build up the
  population to be introduced back to wild
• Exhibit unusual and attractive fish and some
  marine animals such as seals and dolphins
  help to educate the public about the need to
  protect such species
• Limited funds make it hard for public
  aquariums to serve as gene banks especially
  marine mammals that need large volumes of

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