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AGST 3000 Agriculture, Society and the Natural World

Websites rog.html sivespecies.cfm s.cfm?newsId=8F4A82F1-EE32-D71A21F0F54EC683910C

Preparation for Class

Define the following:

threatened endangered critical habitat candidate species habitat conservation plans (HCPs) recovery plans

What are the three classifications of species listed as endangered or threatened?

Look up the website on the red-legged frog and look at the history, current status, reasons for decline, and ideas for recoverybe prepared to discuss as an indicator species for other endangered species recovery

For class discussion

Look up the Endangered Species Act and identify the process that it takes to get a species off the Endangered or Threatened list. What is the objective of the Endangered Species Program administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service?

Read about Whooping Craneshow many individuals did the population get down to, in what year, and how many are there now? In Class JournalDo you think that the government should have the right to regulate farming practices on private property or to restrict its use by private landowners?

Definition of Endangered
Species judged to be endangered with extinction*
* Listed on the Endangered Species List by state, federal, international and some private organizations.

Definition of Threatened

animal or plant species likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

Number by state of Endangered or Threatened Species

Causes of Extinction:
Natural Hunting



Predators Non-predatory Exotics Habitat Modification

Natural Causes
Extinction is a natural biological process, based on fossil record birds typically have a species lifespan of 2 million years and mammals about 600,000 years.

Unwise and unregulated hunting has contributed to the extinction of some species; Passenger Pigeon, Whales, Spotted cats, rhinos.

Introduced Predators

Exotic species often out-compete native species (Mongoose was introduced to control rats) What invasive species threatens the survival of native species in the San Joaquin Delta and what is the Fish and Wildlife Service doing about it?

How was this species introduced? Are there any other potential harmful effects, other than competition with native species?

Non-predatory Exotics
Agents of competition and disease

Goats in Hawaii, Starlings out compete many song birds,

Sitka deer in central Texas out-compete White-tails.

-Loss of habitat or habitat fragmentation due to human development i.e.

urban sprawl, industrial development.

History of Wildlife Conservation:

President Theodore Roosevelt acted to create the first National Wildlife Refuge in 1903

1916 Migratory Bird Treaty Act led to regulation of water fowl hunting. 1930s Soil Conservation Service, Civilian Conservation Corps all helped to establish and preserve wildlife habitat. 1908 National Bison Range established to protect and preserve the remaining buffalo. 1940 Bald Eagle Protection Act.

Endangered Species Act of 1966

1962 Rachel Carson Silent Spring she studied the effects of DDT and created widespread concern and public awareness about the environment.

Authorized the Secretary of the Interior to determine the wildlife facing extinction in the United States. Emergency Powers. U.S. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife does background research on species proposed for listing.

Endangered Species Act of 1966 continued

Authorized the acquisition of terrestrial habitat using funds from the Land and Water Conservation Act as a means of protecting endangered species.

Importation of endangered species and their products was prohibited.

1973 the Act was modified to include plants and it also stressed that the integrity of ecosystems be maintained because of scientific, aesthetic, education, historical and ecological values.

How many listed species have designated critical habitat?


U.S. species have designated critical habitat. How many candidate species are there? 144 species of animals are candidate species. 145 species of plants are candidate species.

Conservation and Recovery Plans

How many habitat conservation plans (HCPs) have been approved? 482 habitat conservation plans have been approved. How many listed species have approved recovery plans? 1030 species have approved recovery plans

How many species in the United States are listed as threatened and endangered or proposed for listing as threatened or endangered?

388 U.S. species of animals are listed.

599 U.S. species of plants are listed.

21 U.S. species of animals are currently proposed for listing.

0 U.S. species of plants are currently proposed for listing.

Concerns with the Endangered Species Act:


vs. Science Rights



Politics rather than Science often times determines the listing of animals:

voices with more $$ to lobby are often heard first. popular with the public are often targeted: big animals and mammals rather than plants and insects
is an easy target, only 2% of the population.



Violates personal property rights.

Allowed land/habitat of the designated Endangered Species to be taken out of production or managed by govt agencies.

Takes too long!!

Animals identified as endangered undergo a long research process. Look up the Endangered Species Act and identify the process that it takes to get a species off the Endangered or Threatened list.

Solutions to the Endangered Species Dilemma? Class Discussion What is the objective of the Endangered Species Program administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service?