Weeks 7-11 Lecture Notes
Weeks 7-11 Lecture Notes BIO 227
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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.