Characteristics of Species Prone to
Low reproductive rate
Feeds at high tropic levels
Fixed migratory patterns
Problems Measuring Extinctions
Extinction typically takes a long time.
Not all species have been identified.
Not much is know about identified species.
International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural
IUCN Red List Database
Red List Categories
What is the difference between a threatened and
How many species are currently threatened?
What criteria does the IUCN use to establish an
Which species meet each of these criteria in your
What factors contribute to a particular species
World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Problems Estimating Extinction Rates
Assumptions about the earth’s total number of
The proportion of species found in each ecosystem
The rate at which ecosystems are being damaged
The reliability of the method used to make these
Extinction-Level Events (ELE)
Caused by global environmental disruptions that
result in large percentages of marine and terrestrial
species dying out.
Major Extinction Periods and Causes
Determining Species Extinction
WHAT EFFECTS ARE HUMAN
ACTIVITIES HAVING ON
Humans and Extinction Rates
.0001% before humans
0.1 – 1% now, probably conservative
At this rate 1 million species would be lost in 200
20% of species might be gone by 2030
Most ecologists consider humans to be an extinction
Current Mass Extinction
Ecological Roles of Bats
70% feed on crop-
The pollinate flowers on
many tropical islands
Fruit eating bats
They are a keystone
species and help to
Vulnerable to Extinction
They reproduce slowly
They live in huge colonies in caves and abandoned
mines, which people sometimes block
About ¼ of bat species are listed as endangered
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF HABITAT
LOSS AND DEGRADATION?
Primary Causes of Habitat Depletion (HIPPO)
Three Greatest Contributors to Terrestrial Species Loss
Plowing of Grasslands
Greatest Cause of Marine Biodiversity Loss
Contributors to Habitat Loss in U.S.
Divides populations into isolated groups
More vulnerable to predators, invasive species, and
Creates barriers that can hinder species from
dispersing and colonizing new areas
Ecological Role of Birds
Control Rodent Populations
Control Insect Populations
Pollinate Flowering Plants
Scavenging Dead Animals
Birds as Indicator Species
Live in every climate
Respond quickly to environmental change in their
Are easy to tack and count
Environmental Issue: Ivory-Billed Woodpecker
National Public Radio Broadcasts
Audio Evidence of Ivory-Billed
Audubon Bird Count, Lost
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF
Role of Introduced Species
Provide food crops
Provide lumber and ornamentals
Problems of Introduced Species
Biggest cause of animal and plant extinctions
They threaten 1,260 endangered and threatened
species in the U.S.
And 95% in Hawaii
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF
Modes of Transmission
Stowaways on aircraft
In the ballast water of tankers
Hitchhikers on imported products
Argentina Fire Ant
Wiped out 90% of native ant
Painful stings can kill deer
fawns, birds, and pets
Damage crops, such as corn
Disrupted phone service and
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO REDUCE
THE THREAT FROM NONNATIVE
Reducing the Threat
Identify major characteristics that allow species to
become successful invaders
Identify the types of ecosystems that are vulnerable
Inspect imported goods that may be infected
Characteristics of Successful Invader Species
High reproductive rate
Short maturation time
High dispersal rate
Release of growth-inhibiting chemical
High genetic variability
EXPLODING DEER POPULATIONS:
SHOULD WE PUT BAMBI ON
Deer kill more than 200
people each year, more
each year in the U.S.
than any other wild
Collisions occur more
than 1.5 million times
HOW SERIOUS IS THE ILLEGAL
TAKING OR KILLING OF WILD
Profit of Poaching
Mountain Gorilla - $150,000
Panda Pelt – $100,000
Chimpanzee - $50,000
Amazon Macaw - $30,000
Rhinoceros Horn - $28,000 (per
Endangered Species from Pet Trade
The Rising Demand for Bushmeat
Increase in African
Increase in logging road
and access to remote areas
Increase demand by high-
Source of income for poor
WHAT ARE THE ROLES OF
CLIMATE CHANGE AND
Water use and pollution
and soil nutrient loss Freshwater
Water availability demand
Changes in Deforestation
water supply and precipitation Erosion,
temperature and temperature pollution, and
CO2, CH4, changes in
N2O emissions water flow
and fragmentation Forest product
Climate change of habitat supply and
Changes in Loss and
transpiration fragmentation Loss and
and albedo Loss of habitat fragmentation
Habitat diversity Reduced
Wildlife Fund and Climate Change
HOW CAN INTERNATIONAL
TREATIES HELP PROTECT
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
species of animals
and 28,000 species
of plants are
protected by CITES
HOW CAN NATIONAL LAWS
HELP PROTECT ENDANGERED
Most wide reaching act passed by the U.S.
National Marine Fisheries Services monitors ocean species.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services monitors all other wildlife species.
Act forbids federal agencies to carry out, fund or authorize projects
that would endanger species or their habitat.
Forbids American to purchase endangered species
There are 1,260 species currently on the list.
Top 6 Hotspots in United State
San Francisco Bay area
SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT
COMPENSATE LANDOWNERS WHEN
ENDANGERED SPECIES DECREASE THE
ECONOMIC VALUE OF THEIR LAND?
Part of the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Gives the government the right to force citizen to
sell their property needed for public good.
Richard Pombo and the Endangered Species Act
Problems w/ Endangered Species Act
Act not doing too well, only 10 have been removed
Problems determining what is “critical habitat”; not
enough empirical data
Tends to lower the value of the land
If governments gave everyone the market value of
their land it would cripple the government
HOW CAN PRIVATE LANDOWNERS
BE ENCOURAGED TO PROTECT
Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs)
Protecting critical nesting sites
Maintaining travel corridors for endangered species
Paying to relocate species to another suitable habitat
Removing competitors and predators
Paying money to have the government buy suitable habitat
SHOULD THE ENDANGERED
SPECIES ACT BE WEAKENED?
House Approves Revised Endangered Species Act
Efforts to Weaker the ESA
Make protection of endangered species on private
Have governments compensate landowners for their
Make it harder to list newly endangered species.
Eliminate the need to designate critical habitats.
SHOULD THE ENDANGERED
SPECIES ACT BE STRENGTHENED?
Efforts to Strengthen the ESA
Find out what species and ecosystem the country has.
Locate and protect the most endangered ecosystems and
species within such systems.
Put more emphasis on preventing species from becoming
threatened and ecosystems from becoming degraded.
Provide private landowners who agree to help protect
endangered ecosystems with significatn financial incentives.
HOW CAN WILDLIFE REFUGES AND
OTHER PROTECTED AREAS HELP
PROTECT ENDANGERED SPECIES?
America’s National Wildlife Refuge System
Bird Migratory Routes
National Refuges help to protect wetlands along bird migration routes
CAN GENE BANKS, BOTANICAL
GARDENS, AND FARMS HELP SAVE
MOST ENDANGERED SPECIES?
Gene Banks, Zoos, Aquariums and Botanical
100 gene banks currently store seed from the 14 plants and
provide 90% of the food we eat.
1,600 botanical gardens world-wide, which help to educate
visitors about the need for plant conservation
201 accredited U.S. zoos provide sanctuaries for threatened
or endangered species and help to educate people about
Seed Banks Move to Save Threatened Species
CAN ZOOS AND AQUARIUMS
HELP PROTECT MOST
Preserving Endangered Species
Conservation Techniques in Zoos and Game
Surgical Implantation of Eggs into Surrogate Mothers
Use of Incubators
Cross-Fostering of Endangered Species
Use of Computer Databases to Match Compatible DNA
Strands for Breeding
Problems with Zoos
Some activists interpret zoos as human
domination over equal creatures
Some criticize their educational value as being
superficial and useless.
Some groups however do not fundamentally
reject the existence of zoological gardens, but
they point to the often unnatural and
controversial conditions of keeping animals in
captivity, particularly in small cages without
any environmental enrichment.
Some activists say behavioral patterns such as
pacing, rocking and swaying indicate suffering
of animals in unsuitable enclosures.
Science of inventing, establishing, and maintaining
new habitats to conserve species diversity in places
where people live, work and play.
Reconciliation Ecology In Action
Neighbors banding together
to replace monoculture yards
with diverse habitats for
butterflies and birds.
Garden rooftops on buildings
Large parks in cities that have
many different ecosystems.