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Weeks 7-11 Lecture Notes

by: Miri Taple

Weeks 7-11 Lecture Notes BIO 227

Miri Taple
Cal Poly

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These notes cover the material talked about in weeks 7-11 lectures
Wildlife Conservation Biology
Dr. Lisa Needles
Class Notes
Bio, Wildlife conservation
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Miri Taple on Tuesday February 23, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to BIO 227 at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo taught by Dr. Lisa Needles in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 8 views.


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Date Created: 02/23/16
11/9/2015  Lecture  Notes     Reserve/  Reserve  Design:   •   Nature  conservancy-­  concentrated  in  the  eastern  U.S.-­  privately  owned  land   •   West  coast  has  most  of  the  publicly  protected  land-­  big  shift  in  thinking  about   conservation  when  expanding  west.     •   CITES-­  convention  on  international  trade  in  endangered  species  of  wild  fauna   and  flora   11/16/2015  Lecture  Notes     Recovering  Imperiled  Species     •   Examples  of  imperiled  species  brought  back:  Bald  Eagle  and  Brown  Pelican     •   Preventing  extinction  is  not  good  enough,  ultimate  goal  must  be  recovery     •   Recovered  species  have:   o   Self  sustaining  population     o   Resumed  their  ecological  roles:  predators,  prey,  nutrient  cycling,  etc.     o   They  are  fully  functional  members  of  their  ecological  community   •   Key  steps  to  recover  imperiled  species:   o   Document  that  the  species  is  truly  declining     o   Study  its  basic  ecology  and  natural  history     o   Identify  the  factors  causing  its  decline     o   Address  or  correct  these  factors     •   How  to  determine  population  size?     o   Census:  complete  count  of  individuals  (rarely  practical)   o   Estimation:  use  random  samples  and  extrapolate  less  effort     §   2  major  estimation  approaches:   •   Area-­based  sampling   •   Mark-­recapture     •   Area  based:    count  number  of  individuals  in  a  random  subset  of  the  total  area   (examples:  Aerial  sampling  for  Florida  manatees,  whale  transects)   •   Estimated  population  size  =  (total  number  of  individuals  counted)/  ((proportion  of   study  area  surveyed)  x  (probability  of  detection))   o   C/  (A  x  P)   o   Ex.  How  many  hippos  present  but  not  seen  (P=  probability  of  detection),  P   ranges  from  0-­1,  probability  that  an  individual,  if  present,  is  actually   detected   •   Desert  tortoise  have  extremely  low  probability  of  detection.    Due  to  them  being   underground,  their  color,  vast  area,  sparsely  distributed,  tough  terrain,  etc.   •   Aerial  transects  to  monitor  duck  and  geese  populations   •   Mark-­recapture:   o   N  =  estimated  size  of  whole  population     o   M  =  number  of  individuals  in  first  sample  (these  individuals  are  then   marked,  then  released)   o   n  =  size  of  second  sample     o   m  =  number  of  previously  marked  individuals  in  the  second  sample   (“recaptures”)   o   m/n  =  M/N  therefore,  N  =  (Mn)  /  m   o   examples  of  marking:  bird  bands,  mammal  ear  tags,  passive  integrated   transponder  (PIT  tag)   §   PIT  tag:  micro  chipping,  subcutaneous  injection  of  chip  using   special  hypodermic  needle.  Ex.  PIT  tag  in  sea  turtle  flipper     §   Using  natural  markings:  ex.  Individual  humpback  whales  can  be   distinguished  by  natural  markings  on  flukes,  ex.  Marbled   salamander-­  images  match  using  computer  program   §   Camera  traps  for  elusive  organisms:  ex.  Wolverines,  snow   leopards,  tigers   •   Studying  a  species’  basic  ecology  (natural  history)   o   Distribution  and  geographic  range   o   Demographic  information:  population  size,  sex  ratio,  breeding  style   (monogamy,  polygamy,  etc.),  age  of  first  reproduction,  reproductive   output,  mortality  rates   o   Resource  utilization:  habitat  use,  food,  other  critical  resources     •   Animal  location  and  habitat  utilization     o   Use  of  receivers-­  receiving  antennas     o   Telemetry  transmitters     o   Satellite  telemetry-­  gives  you  real  time  data  (constant  data  stream)   •   Determining  the  factors  causing  decline:   o   What  is  the  limiting  factor?   1.   Brainstorm  all  likely  potential  causes  focusing  on  the  usual  suspects:   habitat  destruction,  over  harvesting,  exotic  species,  disease   2.   Measure  each  factor  where  the  species  still  persists  and  where  it  has   been  eradicated  or  highly  reduced.     3.   Develop  hypotheses  for  the  causes  of  the  decline.   4.   Test  hypotheses  using  manipulations  or  experiments.     •   CASE  STUDY:  California  Condor     o   Lead  bullets  cause  of  decline;;  CA  has  called  to  phase  out  lead  bullets  by   2019   o   Trapped  all  remaining  condors  and  brought  them  into  captivity  (1987:  only   22  left  at  that  point)   o   Captive  breeding  for  release  (10  yrs.)   o   To  estimate  self-­  sustaining  population     o   Now  200  CA  condors-­  breeding  in  the  wild   o   Lead  and  micro  trash-­  people  have  to  constantly  trap  and  treat  (vicious   cycle  and  still  heavily  managed)   •   CASE  STUDY:    Red  Wolf     o   50  in  the  wild,  approximately  200  in  captivity,  breeds  with  coyotes   o   only  now  in  North  Carolina     o   highly  managed  species     •   CASE  STUDY:    Mariana  Crow     o   Critically  endangered  bird  in  pacific     o   Rota-­  habitat  destruction     o   Guam-­  brown  tree  snake,  live  quail  traps  for  brown  tree  snakes  (hard  to   eradicate).   •   In  the  USA,  the  primary  mechanism  to  protect  and  recover  endangered  species   is  :  Endangered  Species  Act  of  1973       11/18/2015  Lecture  Notes     Office  of  Spill  Prevention  and  Response     MWVCRC  programs:  spill  response,  marine  bird  research,  investigation  of  marine   wildlife  health  and  mortality  events,  sea  otter  research   •   MWVCRC  was  constructed  in  1997  as  the  sea  otter  facility  for  the  CDFW  and   oiled  wildlife  care  network   •   Necropsy  =  autopsy  for  animals     •   Biologists  and  veterinarians  work  on  oil  spills-­  for  through  training  to  enter  toxic   site   •   Stranded  =  any  animal  that  ends  up  on  beach-­  live  or  dead   •   Hazing  =  frighten  animals  away  from  a  given  area  to  protect  them     •   Understanding  causes  of  mortality  directs  them  in  a  way  to  solve  problems  and   help  protect  them   Southern  Sea  Otter  Research  Alliance     •   Population  surveys-­  count  every  otter,  aerial  and  from  good  vantage  points,   monitor  trend  of  growth  annually   •   Otters  were  once  all  over  the  north  pacific  rim,  fur  trade  diminished  their   populations     •   Current  status  of  otters  in  CA:   o   Range  expansion   o   Federally  protected  under  ESA  and  under  marine  mammal  protection  act     o   Recovery  plan  is  developed   o   Delisting  criteria-­  3,090  individuals  starts  consultation  process,  slowly  they   are  approaching  this  number   •   potential  causes  for  shark  bitten  mortality:   o   more  great  white  sharks  along  our  coast?   o   GWS  protected   o   GWS  primary  prey  base  is  booming   o   Can’t  do  anything  about  GWS  attacks  because  they  are  also  a  protected   species,  instead  we  can  mitigate  other  mortality  causes  (pollution,  boat   strikes,  etc.)   Endangered  Species  Act     •   ESA  of  1973     •   The  most  important  aspect  of  the  ESA  is  often  overlooked  in  the  details  of  how   the  act  is  administered   •   The  ESA  specifically  grants  all  species  the  intrinsic  right  to  exist     •   It  says  that  humans  may  not  wantonly  cause  the  extinction  of  species,  and  not   just  the  charismatic  “warm  and  fuzzy”  species     a)   Listing  under  the  ESA   creates  two  lists  of  species:   1)   Endangered  =  in  danger  of  extinction  throughout  all  or  a  significant  portion  of  its   range.   2)   Threatened  =  likely  to  become  an  endangered  species  within  the  foreseeable   future  throughout  all  or  a  significant  portion  of  its  range.   What  kinds  of  species  are  listed  under  the  ESA?   •   Not  just  the  USA,  can  be  international   •   Any  living  organism     •   All  species  of  plants  and  animals  except  pest  insects  that  are  eligible  for  listing     •   Can  include  subspecies,  varieties,  and  for  vertebrates,  distinct  populations     How  many  species  are  listed?   •   2,141  listed  species:  1,516  US  (71%),  625  foreign  (29%)  more  plants  than   animals     •   any  taxonomic  hierarchy  (order,  family,  genus,  species,  subspecies,  etc.)   •   examples:  full  species  (giant  kangaroo  rat),  subspecies  (san  Joaquin  kit  fox,   Florida  panther),  distinct  population  segments  (grizzly  bear  in  lower  48,  gray  wolf   in  lower  48)   distinct  population  segments  of  southern  resident  killer  whales     •   resident  primarily  eat  fish     •   transient  or  Bigg’s  primarily  feed  on  other  marine  mammals   •   offshore  feed  on  fish  and  sharks   distinct  population  segments  of  pacific  steelhead   •   southern  California  they  are  endangered  otherwise  they  are  threatened  for  the   most  part     How  are  species  listed?   •   Section  4:  biological  status  and  threats  to  existence     1)   Damage  to  species’  habitat     2)   Overutilization  of  the  species   3)   Disease  and  predation     4)   Inadequacy  of  existing  population,  etc.     How  are  the  species  protected?   •   Prohibits  the  “take”  of  listed  animals     o   Take  is  defined  as  “to  harass,  harm,  pursue,  hunt,  shoot,  wound,  kill,  trap,   capture  or  collect,  or  attempt  to  engage  in  any  such  conduct”   o   Term  “harm”  is  defined  as  “an  act  which  actually  kills  or  injures  wildlife  by   significantly  impairing  essential  behavior  patterns  (breeding,  feeding,   sheltering)”   Recovery     •   Law’s  ultimate  goal  is  to  “recover”  species  so  that  they  don’t  need  protection     •   U.S.  Fish  and  Wildlife  Service  and  National  Marine  Fisheries  Service     o   Designation  of  critical  habitat     o   Works  with  states  and  private  landowners     International  Species     •   ESA  implements  US  participation  in  CITES     •   Prevent  extinction  due  to  international  trade     How  do  the  species  get  listed?   a)   Management  agency  proposes  them     b)   Public  petition     Distribution  of  the  ESA  listed  species:   1.   Hawaii  2.  California  (due  to  high  number  of  endemic  species)   Protection  for  listed  species:   a)   No  federal  actions  may  jeopardize  the  survival  of  listed  species     b)   No  person  can  take  species     c)   Government  must  develop  a  recovery  plan  for  each  listed  species     When  the  guidelines  are  met…  the  species  is  either  down  listed  or  delisted     •   58  species  have  been  delisted:  30  of  them  recovered,  10  went  extinct,  18   removed  because  the  original  listing  was  erroneous     Success  or  failure?   •   Critics:  less  than  1%  of  listed  species  have  been  recovered     •   Defendants:  less  than  1%  of  species  listed  have  gone  extinct     Problems/  criticisms:   a)   Emergency  room  medicine,  too  little  too  late     b)   Species-­  specific  approach  instead  of  communities  or  “functioning  ecosystems”   c)   Conflicts  with  private  landowners       Lecture  Notes  11/23/15   Continuation  of  Endangered  Species  Act:   a)   Emergency  medicine:  by  the  time  the  species  is  listed  under  the  ESA,  it  is   already  in  deep  trouble  and  maybe  too  far  gone  to  recover   •   median  population  size  at  time  of  listing:     vertebrates:  1,075   invertebrates:    999   plants:    120     •   some  conservationists  argue  that  there  needs  to  be  a  mechanism  to   address  species  conservation  “pro-­actively”   b)   doesn’t  focus  on  communities  or  ecosystems   •   the  ESA  has  a  single  species  focus,  does  not  address  ecosystems   •   so  can  be  very  inefficient,  and  can  create  management  conflicts  when   there  are  2  or  more  listed  species  in  the  same  area   •   some  have  argued  that  we  need  an  “endangered  communities”  or   “endangered  ecosystems”  act   •   debate  about  what  the  definition  of  species  is,  however.     c)   Implementation  on  private  lands     •   Precursors  to  the  ESA  prevented  “take”  of  listed  species  only  on  national   wildlife  refuges     •   1973  law  expanded  this.  Making  it  a  federal  crime  to  “take”  listed  species   on  any  property,  including  private  property     •   extent  of  the  issue:  90%  of  listed  species  occur  to  some  extent  on  private   lands,  66%  of  listed  species  had  most  of  their  habitat  on  private  land   •   protection  of  listed  species  on  private  lands  can  restrict  “otherwise  legal”   activities  such  as  development  and  agriculture   •   this  can  lead  to  perverse  incentives:  kill  the  species  or  destroy  the  habitat   before  the  government  finds  out   •   private  landowners  have  argued  that  the  gov.  has  denied  their  use  of  the   land  and  effectively  “taken”  the  land  as  a  nature  preserve  for  listed  species   •   they  demand  compensation  for  this  loss,  under  the  “takings  clause”     Conservation  and  recovery  of  the  channel  island  fox:   •   live  on  6  of  the  8  California  Channel  Islands     •   population  crashes  in  the  mid  1990s     •   San  Miguel  350  to  15     •   Santa  Rosa  1200  to  14   •   Santa  Cruz  2000  to  135   •   2004  listed  as  federally  endangered  species     •   cause  of  decline:  (review)  pigs  provided  food  source  for  golden  eagles  which   subsequently  ate  the  foxes     •   skunks  were  also  affected  by  these  eagles     Removal  of  Non-­Native  Ungulates     •   1980’s-­  99:  National  Park  Service  and  The  Nature  Conservancy:  sheep  removal   on  Santa  Catalina     Eagle  Management:  remove  golden  eagles  and  add  bald  eagles     •   bald  eagles  lost  in  1960s  due  to  egg  shell  thinning  from  DDT     •   1999-­2005:  Santa  Cruz  predatory  bird  research  introduced  them  again   Island  fox  captive  breeding  program:   •   remaining  wild  foxes  on  SRI  and  SMI  captured  to  start  captive  breeding  and   releases     •   14  foxes  brought  into  captivity  on  both  SMI  and  SRI     •   Catalina  had  captive  breeding  facilities     •   Now  discontinued     Techniques  to  recover  basic  species     When  basic  protections  aren’t  enough  …   a.   Double  clutching   i.   Whooping  cranes,  population  declined  to  15  individuals  by  1940.     Listed  in  1967,  approximately  200  birds  today.    Endangered  from   habitat  loss.         b.   Head  starting-­  allows  survival  rate  of  young  to  be  higher  than  in  the  natural   environment     i.   Sea  turtle  nests  and  hatchlings  are  subject  to  tremendous  mortality.     People  take  their  hatchlings  while  still  eggs  or  young  and  take  them   to  lab,  release  them  when  they’re  older.   c.   Cross  fostering-­  usually  applied  to  birds,  take  eggs  from  one  species  and   put  them  in  the  nest  of  another  species  to  help  raise  them       i.   Mexican  gray  wolves,  take  their  young  and  have  them  raised  by   other  wolves.    Whooping  crane  chicks,  birds  imprint  on  whatever   takes  care  of  them  when  they’re  young.    Problem:  sometimes  the   birds  don’t  know  who  to  breed  with  when  they’re  adults,  so  they   take  measures  to  not  have  species  imprint  on  them.       d.   Captive  breeding     i.   Benefits:     1.   temporarily  remove  pop.  From  threats  in  wild  environment   2.   Offspring  from  captive  populations  can  be  released  to  the   wild  to  supplement  existing  populations,  restore  extirpated   populations,  or  establish  new  populations  in  new  areas   3.   Research  possibilities   4.   Promote  public  education,  awareness  of  conservation  issues     ii.   Limitations:     1.   is  often  very  hard  to  establish  self-­sustaining  captive   populations     2.   Captive  populations  are  usually  small;;  high  risk  of  genetic   effects   3.   Captivity  leads  to  domestication     4.   Disease  and  other  factors  related  to  high  density     •   It  is  intensive  and  expensive  and  invasive,  not  to  be  entered  lightly   •   It  can  be  valuable,  even  essential.    It  may  be  better  than  the  alternative     •   But  it  is  no  panacea,  and  does  not  necessarily  “rescue”  species  from  dangerous   wild  circumstances     •   Rather,  it  intentionally  puts  species  into  different  circumstances,  with  different   risks  and  dangers     e.   De-­extinction?   i.   Close  to  being  able  to  make  a  species  come  back  to  life,  or   something  similar     ii.   Cannot  bring  dinosaurs  back  to  life,  DNA  has  life  of  its  own,  and   since  they  died  millions  of  years  ago  we  cannot  extract  their  DNA,  it   is  too  old.       iii.   Example:    passenger  pigeon     1.   Genetic  samples  are  taken  from  stuffed  passenger  pigeons   on  display  at  museums.       2.   Passenger  pigeon  genome  is  compared  with  that  of  its  close   relative,  the  band-­tailed  pigeon   3.   Those  DNA  segments  specific  to  the  passenger  pigeon  are   then  introduced  to  the  genome  of  the  band-­tailed  pigeon     4.   Primordial  germ  cells  are  then  introduced  into  a  pigeon’s  egg   5.   Passenger  pigeons  hatch  out  of  these  eggs     In  favor  of  de-­extinction  video:   •   Flocks  of  passenger  pigeon,  hunted  rapidly  until  the  only  thing  left  was  display  in   museum,  the  birds  saved  the  buffalos,  people  realized  it  was  a  problem.   •   Deep  tragedy  that  comes  along  with  species  going  extinct     •   Good  techniques  exist  to  reconstruct  the  whole  genome     •   George  Church-­  evolution  machine,  precision  down  to  base  pair     •   Form  of  synthetic  hybridization     •   Revive  and  restore  non-­profit     •   Cloning  is  moving  along,  there  is  work  but  it  will  advance     •   Without  passenger  pigeon  parents  how  can  they  learn  to  be  a  pigeon,  use  other   pigeons  to  show  them  how  to  flock  and  find  feeding  grounds     •   Competitive  with  conserving  species  that  are  still  here  but  are  declining?    Red  list   and  new  green  list,  build  on  good  news     •   Example:  California  condor,  captive  breeding  will  also  be  used  on  de-­extinction  of   animals     •   Humans  have  made  a  huge  hole  in  nature  and  now  we  have  the  moral  obligation   to  protect  and  revive  species.     •   Save  living  species  with  de-­extinction,  or  rescue  an  ecosystem   Opposed  to  de-­extinction  video:   •   No  ecological  role  anymore  because  they  have  been  gone  for  so  long     •   Unforeseen  consequences     •   Just  because  we  can,  does  it  mean  we  should?       •   Concern  over  animal-­welfare,  where  to  park  herd  of  wooly  mammoths,  to  zoo  is   not  restoration     •   Usually  wouldn’t  stand  a  chance  surviving     •   Risks  outweigh  benefits,  can  reverse?    Capacity  to  create  organisms  that  never   existed  in  order  to  create  something  new,  can  be  dangerous  pathogens.        


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