Extinction

Extinction
The Definition and Causes

What is Extinction?
 Extinction occurs when the last existing

member of a given species dies

In other words…there aren’t any more left!

 It is a scientific certainty when there are

not any surviving individuals left to reproduce  Functional Extinction
 

Only a handful of individuals are left Odds of reproduction are slim

Causes of Extinction
 Genetics and Demographics
 

Small populations = increased risk Mutations
• Causes a flux in natural selection • Beneficial genetic traits are overruled

Loss of Genetic Diversity
• Shallow gene pools promote massive inbreeding

 Habitat Degradation     One of the most influential Has many causes Some due to humans Some due to other factors .Causes Con’t.

Habitat Degradation  Toxicity     Kills off species directly through food/water Indirectly via sterilization Can occur in short spans (a single generation) Can occur over several generations • Increasing toxicity • Increasing competition for habitat resources .

Habitat Degradation  Destruction of Habitat    “Save the Rainforests!” Elimination of living space Change in habitat • Rainforest to pasture lands  Leads to diminishing resources • Increases competition  Can be caused by natural processes • Volcanoes. drought. floods. etc… .

 Predation   Competition Disease  Coextinction  Mass Extinction  Planned Extinction .Causes Con’t.

etc… • Sometimes on purpose. zebra muscles. rats.Predation  Introduction of predators   Invasive alien species Transported by humans • Cattle. sometimes not    Can eat other species Eat food sources Introduce diseases .

Coextinction  The loss of one species leads to the loss of another  Chain of extinction  Can be caused by small impacts in the beginning  A predator looses its food source  Affected by interconnectedness in nature .

Mass Extinction  Aka: an extinction event  A sharp decrease in the number of species on Earth in a short period of time  Coincides with a sharp drop in speciation  The process by which new biological species arise Last one was 65M years ago  There have been at least 5  .

Mass Extinction Diagram .

. • Though all point the finger to climate change. • With contemporary extinction being attributed to HUMAN activity.Mass Extinction  Nearly 2/3rds (or more) of all animal species that ever existed on the planet are now gone.  Numerous factors go into the extinction of a specific species.

 Hypotheses for initial extinction: • Sea level depletion vs. Temperature decrease  Though these hypotheses aren’t mutually exclusive. . they may have conspired together.Mass Extinction  Began about three-million years ago (Continental Glaciations).

4. Permian Triassic Extinction (250).Mass Extinctions 1. Ordovician-Silurian Extinction (440). (#= millions of years ago) . Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction (65). 3. 2. End Triassic Extinction (200). Late Devonian Extinction (364). 5.

Planned Extinction  Human controlled  Thought of to help humans  Deadly viruses  Smallpox • Extinct in the wild  Polio • Near extinct (only in small parts of the world) .

Natural Causes of Extinction .

Climatic Heating and Cooling .

html .johnstonsarchive.net/spaceart/cylmaps.Changes in Sea Level or Currents  www.

Asteroids  Causes complete devastation  Flattening and crater at or around impact sitehundreds of miles wide  Reverberations felt around the world .

iit.html .Cosmic Radiation  www.edu/~ipro313s/home.

Acid Rain  Kills acid intolerant species .

Disease/Epidemics  Can wipe out entire species  Frog with fungus disease  Killing frogs and other amphibians .

Spread of Invasive Species .

Human activities are mostly responsible for the present extinction rates.Natural factors usually occur at a slower rate and therefore cause a low extinction rate. Human activities occur at a faster rate and cause higher extinction rates. http://www.mb.ca/conservation/sustain/extinct.gov.pdf .

Human Causes of Extinction .

Top Human Causes of Extinction: Increased human population Destruction/Fragmentation of habitat Pollution Climate change/Global warming .

HOWEVER: •In Australia—earliest humans: 64.000 years ago •In the Americas—80% of large animals became extinct around the same time as first human presence there .000 years ago extinction—30.000-60.Extinctions caused by humans are generally considered to be a recent phenomena.

.

.Based on these. human induced extinctions are not necessarily a new phenomena. extinction by humans today is becoming much more rapid. and other studies done by The international Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). However.

000 times higher than the natural extinction rate.000 times higher.The rapid loss of species today is estimated by some experts to be between 100 and 1.000-11. . while others estimate rates as high as 1.

86% of mammals and 88% of threatened amphibians .Habitat Degradation Habitat loss and degradation affect 86% of all threatened birds.

portions of the Himalayas and southern Australia could have a profound impact on indigenous plants and animals Williams and his research partners used computer models to estimate how various parts of the world would be affected by regional changes consistent with the IPCC's climate models. large portions of the Earth’s surface may experience climates not found at present and some 2th century climates may disappear.Climate change/Global Warming John W. Their findings indicated that “By the end of the 21st century.” . Williams from UW-Madison suggests that changes in regions such as the Peruvian Andes.

Williams said. providing new opportunities for other species to thrive.Their studies also suggest isolated climates such as the Peruvian Andes could change drastically enough to lead to species extinctions.S. . and eastern India. Regions where novel climates are expected to form in tropical and subtropical regions include the western Sahara. southeastern U. The climate change might also create new climates.

Extinction Hotspots .

Where and what are hotspots?  “The concept of biodiversity hotspots was penned by British ecologist Norman Myers in 1988 as a means to address the dilemma of identifying the areas most important for preserving species.   .” (national geographic) Hotspots are included in 6 continents excluding Antarctica. Hotspots are heavily distributed along shore lines and near the equator.

 Hotspots are effected by many factors including      Logging Agriculture Hunting Climate change Government  Hotspots can be added and removed from the classification of “hotspot” by what recovery or lack of prevention is taking place in each area. .

500 plant species found nowhere else in the world.What is required to be considered a hotspot  “The region must support at least 1.” . and it must have lost at least 70 percent of its original habitat.

org/xp/Hotspot  http://www.biodiversityhotspots.Interactive maps  http://www.org/pointmapper/aze .zeroextinction.

What is Biodiversity?    Biodiversity is the variation of taxonomic life forms for a given biome or ecosystem Boosts Ecosystem productivity Measure of the health of a biological system .

Benefits of Biodiversity  Food and drink  Medicines  Industrial materials  Ecological services  Leisurely. cultural. and  aesthetic values .

Causes of Biodiversity Loss         Pollution Loss of tropical forest Spread of urban areas Warfare Large dam construction Road building Tourism Loss of traditional lifestyles .

Consequences of Biodiversity Loss        Loss of food Decrease in biomass Collapse of food web Loss of keystone species Reduction of ecosystem efficiency and community productivity Loss of medicinal supplies Increased vulnerability of species to disease and predation .

Monoculture of crops lets the yield Crops become susceptible to pests or viruses 75% of crop varieties are extinct Due to the spread of modern agriculture .

4 million hectares are destroyed annually .Tropical Forest Cutting    Cover 13% of Earth Home to 50% of all known plant and animal species FAO reports 15.

The Convention on Biological Diversity Mission Statement “The objectives of this convention are the conservation of biological diversity. The United States signed it in 1993 but has yet to put it into action still today . 189 countries have signed and implemented it. sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.”  Since it was adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

.The Convention on Biological Diversity 2010 Biodiversity Target Members adopted a plan to significantly reduce the present rate of biodiversity loss at the global. regional and national level by the year 2010.

v.J.org. 2005. 475.fws. 2007 <http://darwin. C. Trombulak..References            Ceballos.html>. Liu." 27 Aug..arizona.org/Resources/Education/conservation_literacy_english. and Ehrlich. 1721-1727. Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Endangered Species Hotspots in the United States: Conservation Biology.. p. Holsinger. p. 904-908.panos. Petcchey. G. US Fish and Wildlife Service <http://www. Mammal Population Losses and the Extinction Crisis: Science.biosci. Fahrig. D.487.uk/pdf/reports/ biodiversity.. v.pdf>. 15. J.uconn.html>. <http://nitro.. 2002. Effect of Habitat Fragmentation on the Extinction Threshold: A Synthesis: Ecological Applications. P.. K. 1995..pdf>. p..html>. O..       .eeb. p. Principles of Conservation Biology: Recommended Guidelines for Conservation Literacy from the Education Committee of the Society for Bald Eagle.edu/eeb310/lecture-notes/extinctions/node3. 291. Gittleman.conbio. 12 Mar. Kent. L. Extinction and the loss of functional diversity: They Royal Society. Rutledge. Lepczyk. J. 1995. 2002. Stpehen C. 296. Conservation Biology: Conservation Biology <http://www. et. v. K.L.. 2004. 12. Xie.. "The Causes of Extinction. 346-353. Al. The Risk of Extinction—What you don’t know will hurt you: Science. 2001. Lecture by Bruce Walsh at University of Arizona.edu/courses/EEB105/lectures/extinction/extinction.. Warnock.. J. Madeley.gov/endangered/i/b/msab0h. J. and Gaston. Extinction. Biodiversity: A Matter of Extinction: The challenge of protecting the South’s biological heritage <http://www. v.

Al. et.conbio.arizona. 1995.pdf>.html>.html>. 2004.gov/endangered/i/b/msab0h. .org/Resources/Education/conservation_literac y_english. Lecture by Bruce Walsh at University of Arizona. Stpehen C. <http://nitro. Conservation Biology: Conservation Biology <http://www.biosci.edu/courses/EEB105/lectures/extinctio n/extinction.fws.References Trombulak. US Fish and Wildlife Service <http://www.. Principles of Conservation Biology: Recommended Guidelines for Conservation Literacy from the Education Committee of the Society for Bald Eagle. Extinction.

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