Saving species Bogota, 2010 Stuart L. Pimm Doris Duke Professor of Conservation Ecology Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University And Extraordinary Professor Conservation Ecology Research Unit University of Pretoria
Part I Species extinction
high — 100x to 1000x background,
Part II Tropical deforestation main driver of terrestrial extinctions
Part III Global climate disruption
Could be as bad as habitat loss
Part IV: What does it take to stop extinctions?
How fast? high — 100x to 1000x
Which species? Those with small ranges
Where? geographically concentrated
Why Colombia is so important
Pimm, S. L., P. Raven, A. Peterson, C. H. Sekercioglu, and P. R. Ehrlich. 2006. Human impacts on the rates of recent, present, and future bird extinctions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (U.S.A.) 103: 10941-10946 How fast are species going extinct? To answer that, we need to know how long we’ve known the species Linné 1760 — but most exploration started after 1815
*CD Conservation dependent **Critically endangered We know birds best Extinct when described Date of Description Date of <1600 1600s 1700s 1800s >1900 sum extinction <1600 0 0 6 6 1600s 2 4 4 10 1700s 4 10 13 27 1800s 10 37 1 48 >1900 12 39 12 63 sum 28 90 36 154 CD* 5 16 4 25 Critical** 13 91 53 157 All 1689 7079 1207 9975
*CD Conservation dependent **Critically endangered 39 species described from 1800 to 1899 went extinct in 1900 or later Date of Description Date of <1600 1600s 1700s 1800s >1900 sum extinction <1600 0 0 6 6 1600s 2 4 4 10 1700s 4 10 13 27 1800s 10 37 1 48 >1900 12 39 12 63 sum 28 90 36 154 CD* 5 16 4 25 Critical** 13 91 53 157 All 1689 7079 1207 9975
In 1900, of the known 8701 living species, 51 became extinct in the next 106 years. — That’s 58 extinctions per million species-year [MSY]. Another 21 species are “conservation dependent.” 157 are “critically endangered” Pimm, S. L., P. Raven, A. Peterson, C. H. Sekercioglu, and P. R. Ehrlich. 2006. Human impacts on the rates of recent, present, and future bird extinctions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (U.S.A.) 103: 10941-10946
Lisa Manne, Thomas M. Brooks and Stuart L. Pimm Nature 399 , 258-261 For a given range size, lowland continental species are more likely to be threatened than are species on islands Which species will go extinct?
Where are the extinctions going to be?
The patterns of species richness
Small ranged species are in special places.
Geological history matters
Maps: Clinton Jenkins, data NatureServe
Source Clinton Jenkins; from data from NatureServe Maps: Clinton Jenkins, data NatureServe
Mammals Maps: Clinton Jenkins, data NatureServe
Part II Tropical deforestation Very large — >100,00km 2 per year Disproportionately in places where there is most biodiversity
Tropical forests We are shrinking them rapidly
S.L. Pimm and C. N. Jenkins Scientific American September 2005 Original forest: from WWF Ecoregions Remaining forest: GLC 2000; from SPOT
… and extinctions are going to happen here, and happen very quickly.
Part III: Climate disruption
Massive, complex, involves many different processes
High latitudes are warming more than the tropics… But species in the tropics may be more sensitive
Pararge aegeria Black 1915 to 1939 Red 1940 to 1969 Blue 1970 to 1997 Parmesan et al. (1999) Nature 399: 579-583
Current and predicted range of Tijuca atra
Tijuca condita lives at even higher elevations
Part IV: What can we do?
Understand what species are at risk
The importance of forest carbon
Restore fragmented habitats
— especially those that connect lowlands to uplands
Understand the problem: How many species are at risk of extinction in Colombia?
German Forero-Medina, Lucas Joppa & Stuart L. Pimm (In press. Conservation Biology) Understanding how species might shift their ranges
Question: How many species of plants and animals in Colombia are within 2 o C of the nearest mountain top? In other words, how species will likely go extinct if there is a 2 o C rise in temperature*? *And the world leaders did reach an agreement to keep it that low in Copenhagen
Carbon emissions from deforestation are >15% of the total More than all vehicles. More than the European Union Brazil and Indonesia follow China and the USA as the top greenhouse gas emitting Forest emissions are a huge, global problem
But REDD has to be done right! The "Procuenca Initiative" in the Andes region of western Colombia may be the first in the world to sell certified forest carbon credits with a biodiversity protection component. But alarms are sounding about the potential negative social and environmental consequences. Under way since 2001, the programme will begin to operate in the international market next year, having received official registration Apr. 16 under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
There is huge potential for restoration Globally, restoring cattle pastures would sequester 5 x 10 6 x 10 2 x 7.5 = 3.75 Gigatons C per year for 20 years +
1 ha has ~150 t Carbon 1 ha can sequester 7.5 t Carbon per year for 20 years + Globally 7 million km 2 cleared 2 million km 2 for crops, 5 million km 2 for cattle pasture.
Three Biomes present less than 5% level of protection while containing high relative number of threatened species. These are the Zonobioma húmedo tropical del Pacífico y Atrato (19 species), Zonobioma alternohígrico y/o subxerofítico tropical del Alto Magdalena (16 species), and the Zonobioma seco tropical del Caribe (13 species) All of these biomes are located in flat lowland areas, in the western and northern plains, and the valley between the Andes. German Forero-Medina, Lucas Joppa & Stuart L. Pimm (Under review)
The Pacific biome Zonobioma humedo tropical del Pacifico y el Atrato . German Forero-Medina, Lucas Joppa & Stuart L. Pimm (Under review)
Species richness of ~200 endemic passerine birds Case 1: Coastal Brazil
S.L. Pimm and C. N. Jenkins Scientific American September 2005