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of the Natural World Ch 14

A bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) near Trinity on the east coast of Newfoundland

Learning Objec;ves
A"er studying this chapter you should be able to 1. Explain how ex;nc;ons have always provided a context for the evolu;on of life and the development of ecosystems. 2. Outline how anthropogenic inuences are causing the modern global crisis of ex;nc;on and endangerment. 3. Provide examples of species that have become ex;nct or endangered as a result of human ac;vi;es, including cases from Canada, as well as illustra;ons of success stories of species recoveries.

Learning Objec;ves
5. Explain how protected areas are necessary for the preserva;on of indigenous biodiversity. 6. Outline the key roles played by governments, non- governmental organiza;ons, and ecologists in conserving biodiversity.

The Declining Natural World and Conserva;on

Natural world declining due to human ac;vity. Mi;ga;on measures required.

Conserva6on means: 1. Sustainable use of renewable natural resources. 2. Stewardship of natural world for future genera;ons.
Can include use by humans, if used in a sustainable manner

Crea;on of Na;onal Parks; Migratory Birds Conven;on Act

History of Conserva;on in Canada

Ban Na;onal Park established in 1885 was rst in Canada and third in world. First was Yellowstone Na;onal Park 13 years earlier. Algonquin Park established in 1893, rst park in Ontario. Parks not only preserve nature s;ll had ;mber harves;ng and mining. Commission of Conserva;on established in 1909 under leadership of Wilfred Laurier.

The Biodiversity Crisis

Currently, there is a high ex;nc;on rate of species and communi;es on a global scale. Causes are mainly due to human ac;vi;es (anthropogenic ex;nc;on). Ex;nc;ons are natural occurrences.
5 previous mass ex;nc;on episodes. Currently experiencing 6th major ex;nc;on. E.O. Wilson predicts that 50% of current species will become ex;nct within next century.
Fig. 14.1; p. 420

Prehistoric and Recent Ex;nc;ons

Appearance of prehistoric humans in a region led to disappearance of most large-bodied animals. Dodo (Raphus cucullatus), 1662. Passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius), 1914. Ivory-billed woodpecker (Campephilus principalis), 20th century (Dan Mennill). Eskimo curlew (Numenius borealis). Last conrmed sigh;ng in 1963, but may s;ll exist in remote areas.
Numenius borealis Royal Ontario Museum

Tropical Deforesta;on
Tropical forests support most of the Earths biota. Conversion of land to agriculture.
Industrial agriculture, e.g., oil palm planta;ons.
These two trees are remnants of a tropical rainforest that used to grow at this site in Costa Rica.

Deforesta;on in Selected Countries

[Con,nued on the next slide.]

14.2; p. 430

Deforesta;on in Selected Countries

[Con,nued from the previous slide.]

14.2; p. 430

2011 Interna;onal Year of Forests

Raise awareness on sustainable management, conserva;on and sustainable development of all types of forests.

Of Forests and Men By Yann Arthus-Bertrand


Alien (Non-Na;ve) Species

Global problem: e.g., North American species in Europe, European species in North America. Deliberate or accidental introduc;ons. Invasive aliens can become abundant in natural habitats and cause damage.
Toronto Garlic mustard (Alliaria pe:olata)

Pathogens, e.g., chestnut blight, or insects, e.g., Asian long-horned beetle.

Invasive species dominate urban environments. They may also spread in pris;ne habitats, especially when environmental condi;ons are changing.

Biodiversity at Risk

Biodiversity Assessment of Major Groups of Organisms in Canada

Table 14.3; p. 433

Species-at-Risk Act (2002)

In 1992, Canada ra;ed the UNs Conven;on on the Conserva;on of Biological Diversity.
Provides legal protec;on to species-at-risk. Must create programs and legisla;on.

SARA protects

Mammals, birds, sh, rep;les, amphibians, molluscs, arthropods, vascular plants, mosses, lichens.

Cri;cal habitat

Prohibits killing, harming, harassing, taking a listed species or destroying any residence. Loop hole

that por;on of the habitat that is essen;al for the survival or recovery of a species listed under the SARA.

The Commihee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Mandated by the Federal Government of Canada 10 specialist subcommihees Commihee on Tradi;onal Ecological Knowledge 6 categories (status) of conserva;on risk: Ex6nct: no longer exists anywhere in world. Ex6rpated: local popula;ons no longer exist; found elsewhere. Endangered: imminent risk of ex;nc;on or ex;rpa;on in all or major por;ons of Canada. Threatened: Likely to become endangered without interven;on. Special concern: Previously vulnerable becoming threatened. Data decient: Not sucient data to determine status.

Canadian Examples
Ex6nct E.g. passenger pigeon. Ex6rpated E.g. Atlan;c grey whale,
Mustela nigripes
The black-footed ferret was ex;rpated in Canada, but was re-introduced in 2009 (Grasslands Na;onal Park, Saskatchewan).

Endangered E.g. swin fox, right


Threatened: E.g., grey fox

Grus americana The whooping crane is endangered throughout its natural range in North America.

Recovery Strategy
To promote an increase of their popula;on to a viable level. Must be created for all ex;rpated, endangered, and threatened species. *Special concern N/A

Conserva;on Biology
Scien;c knowledge to help biodiversity to survive. Interdisciplinary eld.
Conserva;on gene;cs, Popula;on biology, Landscape ecology, Ecological economics, Environmental sociology

Ac;ons needed to sustain biodiversity: Conserve diversity in areas used by humans. Preserve biodiversity in protected areas.

Concepts in Conserva;on Biology

Minimum viable popula6on (MVP): the smallest popula;on size that allows for persistence in the wild. Minimum viable area (MVA): the smallest amount of suitable habitat that allows for persistence in the wild. Theory of Island Biogeography: predicts how immigra;on and ex;nc;on rates inuence species richness over long ;me periods .

Theory of Island Biogeography

MacArthur and Wilson (1963) Model explaining paherns of species richness on islands as a result of immigra;on and ex;nc;on rates. The number of species on an island is balanced between immigra;on and ex;nc;on.

Equilibrium Model of Island Biogeography

What about the inuence of island size and isola;on on immigra;on and ex;nc;on rates? Rates of immigra;on Isola;on Rates of ex;nc;on Island size

Keystone species: dispropor;onate inuence. Flagship species: important for marke;ng conserva;on.
E.g., giant panda WWF (Ailuropoda melonoleuca), peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus).
Enydra lutris

Ursus marinus

Umbrella species: wide- ranging animals with large home range. Due to large areas involved, conserva;on of these species is posi;ve for other species too.

Protected Areas
Set aside from intensive economic use. Protect species. Onen economically important (tourism). Some;mes hun;ng and shing allowed. Educa;onal value. Parks Canada.

Nature Conservancy of Canada acquires property to establish protected areas.

p. 444


Conserva;on Management
It is not enough just to leave the protected areas to themselves. We need to: Prevent poaching and cuqng ;mber. Prevent unauthorized vehicle use. Replace missing natural factors, such as re or large animals. Manage reintroduc;ons.

Conserva;on Successes
Biodiversity reports are onen depressing. In the long term, bad news doesnt mo;vate to act. Communica;on of good news is encouraging: e.g., blue lists* to quan;fy the successes (opposed to red lists of threatened species).
*Gigon et al. 2000, Conserva;on Biology 14, 402-413

Gygnus buccinator

The trumpeter swan was thought to be near ex;nc;on by the early 1900s. It has recovered well since then.

Key Players
Conven;on on Biological Diversity (Interna;onal) Canadian Biodiversity Strategy Species at Risk Act (SARA) COSEWIC

Environmental Non- Governmental Organiza;ons (ENGOs)

Greenpeace World Wildlife Fund Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Sierra Club (Canada) David Suzuki Founda;on Ducks Unlimited (Canada)

Ecology as a Career
Ecologists are highly qualied scien;sts. Onen with M.Sc. or Ph.D. degree. Working in:
Universi;es Private sector such as consul;ng companies. Federal and provincial agencies.

Jobs of an ecologist vary from computer modelling and experimental laboratory work to eld work in remote areas.


-Canadian Wildlife Service -Ministry of Natural Resources -Department of Fisheries and Oceans -Conserva;on Authority


-Elementary -Secondary -University


Ecology Careers


Environmental Consul;ng

Non-governmental Organiza;ons -Bay Area Restora;on Council

-Marsh Monitoring Program -Nature Conservancy of Canada