Biodiversity is life Biodiversity is our life

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1 Biodiversity is life Biodiversity is our life

2 Benefits of Biodiversity Preserving biodiversity preserves ecosystem services, and directly provides things of value to humans. Food, fuel, and fiber Shelter and building materials Air and water purification Waste decomposition Climate stabilization and moderation Nutrient cycling Soil fertility Pollination Pest control Genetic resources

3 The Future of Biodiversity Key Terms: Germ plasm Endangered Species Act Habitat conservation plan Biodiversity Treaty

4 The Future of Biodiversity Objectives List and describe four types of efforts to save individual species. Explain the advantages of protecting entire ecosystems rather than individual species. Describe the main provisions of the Endangered Species Act. Discuss ways in which efforts to protect endangered species can lead to controversy. Describe three examples of world-wide cooperative efforts to prevent extinctions.

5 Saving Individual Species People around the world are using many methods to preserve individual species. They are: 1. Captive Breeding Programs 2. Germ Plasm Banks 3. Zoos and Botanical Gardens

6 Conservation approaches: Captive Breeding Many endangered species are being bred in zoos to boost populations and reintroduce them into the wild. This has worked so far for the California condor (in photo, condor hand puppet feeds chick so it imprints on birds, not humans). This is worthless if there is not adequate habitat left in the wild. Figure 15.17

7 Captive Breeding Programs Habitat loss, poaching, and lead poisoning brought the California condor to near extinction (there once were millions of them ranging from California to Florida). In 1986, nine remaining California condors were captured to begin a captive breeding program. By 2002, there were 102 condors in captivity and 58 that had been released back into the wild! Another example is the panda, where there are now more than 1,000 pandas saved as a result of captive-breeding. Will the restored populations reproduce and survive in the wild?

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9 Germ Plasm Banks Germ plasm banks store DNA (either seeds, sperm, eggs, or pure DNA) from organisms for future use. The goal is to preserve the DNA of an organism until a time in the future when science is able to recover the species and reproduce it.

10 Conservation approaches: Zoos, Aquariums, Parks, and Gardens Living museums of biodiversity In some cases, these organizations house the few remaining members of a species and might be the species last hope for survival. At best only a fraction of the world s rare and threatened species can be preserved.

11 Botanical Gardens Around the world, more than 90,000 different plants are preserved in botanical gardens. These can range from greenhouses to large open fields of plants. As a result, they store protect a large amount of biodiversity and can be used for research.

12 Conservation approaches: Other Strategies -- Cloning Use of molecular techniques to clone species, raise them in zoos, and reintroduce them to the wild. This technology will be worthless if there is not adequate habitat and protection left for them in the wild.

13 Advantages of protecting entire ecosystems rather than individual species. Most conservationists give priority to protecting entire ecosystems rather than individual species. By protecting entire ecosystems, more species may be saved. How large does a protected preserve need to be to maintain a certain number of species?

14 Conservation approaches: Umbrella Species When habitat is preserved to meet the needs of an umbrella species, it helps preserve habitat for many other species. (Thus, primary species serve as an umbrella for others.) Large species with large home ranges (like tigers and other top predators) are good umbrella species. So are charismatic ones that win public affection, like the panda.

15 Conservation approaches: Biodiversity Hotspots Biodiversity hotspot an area that supports a high number of endemic species (found nowhere else in the world) Endangered golden lion tamarin, endemic to Brazil s Atlantic rainforest, which has been almost totally destroyed Figure 15.18

16 Conservation approaches: Biodiversity Hotspots Global map of biodiversity hotspots, as determined by Conservation International

17 Legal Protection for Species Many nations have laws and regulations designed to prevent the extinction of species (U.S. has some of the strongest). There is controversy about how to enforce laws and about how effective they are.

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19 Conservation approaches: Endangered Species Act Trying to preserve single species threatened with extinction is the goal of endangered species laws, although they often also achieve umbrella conservation. U.S. Endangered Species Act, 1973: Restricts actions that would destroy endangered species or their habitats Forbids trade in products from species Prevents extinction, stabilizes and recovers populations

20 Endangered Species Act U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service compiles lists of all endangered and threatened species in the U.S. There are presently about 1,000 identified endangered species and about 300 identified threatened species.

21 Endangered Species Act Prohibitions 16 USC 1538 (Section 9) (a)(1) It is unlawful for any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to: (A) import or export (B) & (C) take within the U.S. or high seas (D) possess, sell, deliver, carry, transport, or ship any species taken in violation of the Act (E) deliver, receive, carry, transport, or ship in interstate or foreign commerce and in the course of commercial activity any listed T&E species

22 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Act Prohibitions (continued) (F) sell, or offer for sale in interstate or foreign commerce any listed T&E species (G) violate any regulation pertaining to any endangered species or to any threatened species of fish or wildlife

23 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Act Penalties Criminal - endangered species $100,000 per individual $200,000 per organization Up to 1 year imprisonment Criminal - threatened species $25,000 per individual $25,000 per organization Up to 1 year imprisonment Civil Knowingly - $25,000 Strict liability - $500

24 Endangered Species Act Environmentalists criticize the ESA because it takes too long to identify a species as endangered or threatened. Many species have gone extinct while trying to become listed as endangered. Environmentalists also criticize the ESA because it mostly contains cute animals and often does not contain scary or ugly animals on the list.

25 Developers vs. Environmentalists? The ESA is controversial with developers because they want to make money by clearing land and are often prevented from doing so by the Endangered Species Act. People who work in construction or who would have benefited from the jobs become upset about the loss of jobs/income. Most controversies end in compromise, where the needs of the community and the needs of the environment are balanced. Although there are many lawsuits over the Endangered Species Act, most get settled and never go to trial.

26 Endangered Species Act A species recovery plan is prepared for each listed threatened and endangered species. When controversies occur, a habitat conservation plan works as a compromise. A habitat conservation plan attempts to protect one or more species across large areas of land through trade-offs or cooperative agreements.

27 Conservation approaches: International Organizations International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) facilitates efforts to protect species and habitats. Collaboration between 200 government agencies and 700 private conservation organizations.

28 Conservation approaches: International Organizations Many private conservation organizations work to protect species worldwide World Wildlife Fund Nature Conservancy National Geographic Society Greenpeace International Some organizations are buying land to set up international parks to protect entire ecosystems. This has proven to be more effective than almost any other type of effort.

29 Conservation approaches: International Treaties CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, prepared in 1973, is a product of IUCN. Bans international trade and transport of body parts of endangered organisms. Effective in stopping slaughter of African elephants for ivory.

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31 The Biodiversity Treaty U.N. Conference on Environment and Development, Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro, 1992 (over 100 nations and 30,000 people) Biodiversity Treaty aims to: Conserve biodiversity Use it sustainably Ensure fair distribution of its benefits by requiring wealthier nations of the world to give money to the more poor nations in the world to help protect species. The United States signed the treaty in 1994.

32 Conclusions: Challenges Unknown how many species inhabit our planet. Sixth mass extinction? Population declines and extinctions result from habitat alteration, invasive species, pollution, population growth, and exploitation. Is it an uphill battle to save species, habitats, and ecosystems?

33 Conclusions: Solutions Biologists are making strides in determining how many species inhabit our planet. It s not too late to halt the sixth mass extinction. Habitat alteration, invasive species, pollution, and exploitation -- success will ultimately depend on halting human population growth.

34 Conclusions: Solutions Many and varied ways to save species, habitats, and ecosystems have been, and continue to be, developed. The value of biodiversity must be understood by more people.

35 What are some of the things we are doing to protect endangered species, ecosystems, and natural diversity? This is a map of the national wildlife refuge system. It is the job of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to manage over 500 refuges with over 90 million acres for the conversation of endangered species, ecosystems, and natural diversity

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