Conservation-reliant species

Last updated
Percentages of United States listed species which are conservation-reliant. Conservation reliant species08.jpg
Percentages of United States listed species which are conservation-reliant.

Conservation-reliant species are animal or plant species that require continuing species-specific wildlife management intervention such as predator control, habitat management and parasite control to survive, even when a self-sustainable recovery in population is achieved. [1]

Contents

History

The term "conservation-reliant species" grew out of the conservation biology undertaken by The Endangered Species Act at Thirty Project (launched 2001) [2] and its popularization by project leader J. Michael Scott. [3] Its first use in a formal publication was in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment in 2005.[ citation needed ] Worldwide use of the term has not yet developed and it has not yet appeared in a publication compiled outside North America.

Passages of the 1973 Endangered Species Act (ESA) carried with it the assumption that endangered species would be delisted as their populations recovered. It assumed they would then thrive under existing regulations and the protections afforded under the ESA would no longer be needed. However, eighty percent of species currently listed under the ESA fail to meet that assumption. To survive, they require species-specific conservation interventions (e.g. control of predators, competitors, nest parasites, prescribed burns, altered hydrological processes, etc.) and thus they are conservation-reliant. [4]

Criteria

The criteria for assessing whether a species is conservation-reliant are: [5]

  1. Threats to the species’ continued existence are known and treatable.
  2. The threats are pervasive and recurrent, for example: nest parasites, non-native predators, human disturbance.
  3. The threats render the species at risk of extinction, absent ongoing conservation management.
  4. Management actions sufficient to counter threats have been identified and can be implemented, for example: prescribed fires, restrictions on grazing or public access, predator or parasite control.
  5. National, state or local governments, often in cooperation with private or tribal interests, are capable of carrying out the necessary management actions as long as necessary.

Management actions

There are five major areas of management action for conservation of vulnerable species:

  1. Control of other species may include: control of exotic fauna, exotic flora, other native species and parasites and disease.
  2. Control of direct human impacts may include control of grazing, human access, on and off-road vehicles, low impact recreation and illegal collecting and poaching.
  3. Pollution control may include control of chemical run-off, siltation, water quality and use of pesticides and herbicides.
  4. Active habitat management may include fire management and control, control of soil erosion and waterbodies, habitat restoration and mechanical vegetation control.
  5. Artificial population recruitment may include captive propagation (forced immigration) or captive breeding. [5]

Case study

Bengal tiger at Bannerghatta National Park, Bangalore, India. Indian Tiger.jpg
Bengal tiger at Bannerghatta National Park, Bangalore, India.

A prominent example is in India, where tigers, an apex predator and the national animal, are considered a conservation-reliant species. This keystone species can maintain self-sustaining wild populations; however, they require ongoing management actions because threats are pervasive, recurrent and put them at risk of extinction. The origin of these threats are rooted in the changing socio-economic, political and spatial organization of society in India. Tigers have become extinct in some areas because of extrinsic factors such as habitat destruction, poaching, disease, floods, fires and drought, decline of prey species for the same reasons, as well as intrinsic factors such as demographic stochasticity and genetic deterioration.

Recognizing the conservation reliance of tigers, Project Tiger is establishing a national science-based framework for monitoring tiger population trends in order to manage the species more effectively. India now has 28 tiger reserves, located in 17 states. These reserves cover 37,761 square kilometres (14,580 sq mi) including 1.14% of the total land area of the country. These reserves are kept free of biotic disturbances, forestry operations, collection of minor forest products, grazing and human disturbance. The populations of tigers in these reserves now constitute some of the most important tiger source populations in the country. [6]

Future

The magnitude and pace of human impacts on the environment make it unlikely that substantial progress will be made in delisting many species unless the definition of "recovery" includes some form of active management. Preventing delisted species from again being at risk of extinction may require continuing, species-specific management actions. Viewing "recovery" of "conservation-reliant species" as a continuum of phases rather a simple "recovered/not recovered" status may enhance the ability to manage such species within the framework of the Endangered Species Act. With ongoing loss of habitat, disruption of natural cycles, increasing impacts of non-native invasive species, it is probable that the number of conservation-reliant species will increase.

It has been proposed that development of "recovery management agreements", with legally and biologically defensible contracts would provide for continuing conservation management following delisting. The use of such formalized agreements will facilitate shared management responsibilities between federal wildlife agencies and other federal agencies, and with state, local, and tribal governments, as well as with private entities that have demonstrated the capability to meet the needs of conservation-reliant species. [7]

See also

Related Research Articles

Brisbane Water National Park Protected area in New South Wales, Australia

The Brisbane Water National Park is a protected national park that is located in the Central Coast region of New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The 11,506-hectare (28,430-acre) national park is situated 47 kilometres (29 mi) north of Sydney, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) west of Woy Woy, and 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) southwest of Gosford.

South Bruny National Park Protected area in Tasmania, Australia

The South Bruny National Park is a national park located on Bruny Island, Tasmania, Australia, about 50 kilometres (31 mi) south of Hobart. The park contains the Cape Bruny Lighthouse. The highest point of the park is Mount Bruny at 504 metres (1,654 ft).

Mooloolah River National Park Protected area in Queensland, Australia

The Mooloolah River National Park is a nationally protected area located on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. It covers an area of 830.9 hectares and is bordered by the Mooloolah River to the east, Claymore and Dixon Roads to the west, and the Lower Mooloolah River Environmental Reserve to the south. It is bisected by the Sunshine Motorway with the northern, 161.93 hectare component of the Park being a later addition. The Park was initially vacant crown land prior to national park designation in 1960. Surrounding land uses include livestock grazing, urban development and the campus of the University of the Sunshine Coast. It is the second largest mainland park on the coastal lowlands in South East Queensland after Noosa National Park and represents an example of low-lying coastal floodplain distinctive of the region.

This is an index of conservation topics. It is an alphabetical index of articles relating to conservation biology and conservation of the natural environment.

Project Tiger

Project Tiger is a tiger conservation programme launched in April 1973 by the Government of India during Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's tenure. Kailash Sankhala was the first director of Project Tiger. As the Bengal Tiger is the national animal of India, this project aims to stem the dwindling population of the big cats and work to increase their numbers.

Conservation biology The study of threats to biological diversity

Conservation biology is the study of the conservation of nature and of Earth's biodiversity with the aim of protecting species, their habitats, and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction and the erosion of biotic interactions. It is an interdisciplinary subject drawing on natural and social sciences, and the practice of natural resource management.

Habitat conservation

Habitat conservation is a management practice that seeks to conserve, protect and restore habitats and prevent species extinction, fragmentation or reduction in range. It is a priority of many groups that cannot be easily characterized in terms of any one ideology.

Laysan duck Species of bird

The Laysan duck, also known as the Laysan teal, is a dabbling duck endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. Fossil evidence reveals that Laysan ducks once lived across the entire archipelago, but today survive only on Laysan Island and two atolls. The duck has several physical and behavioral traits linked to the absence of ground-based predators in its habitat. By 1860, the ducks had disappeared from everywhere except Laysan Island. The introduction of European rabbits by guano miners at the end of the 19th century brought the bird to the brink of extinction in 1912, with twelve surviving individuals. Rabbits were eradicated from the island in 1923 and numbers of Laysan ducks began to rise, reaching 500 by the 1950s. In an effort to ensure the long-term future of this duck, 42 birds were translocated to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in 2002. These thrived in their new surroundings, and another group were later relocated to Kure Atoll.

Endangered Species Act of 1973 United States Law

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is the primary law in the United States for protecting imperiled species. Designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a "consequence of economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and conservation", the ESA was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973. The U.S. Supreme Court called it “the most comprehensive legislation for the preservation of endangered species enacted by any nation". The purposes of the ESA are two-fold: to prevent extinction and to recover species to the point where the law's protections are not needed. It therefore “protect[s] species and the ecosystems upon which they depend" through different mechanisms. For example, section 4 requires the agencies overseeing the Act to designate imperiled species as threatened or endangered. Section 9 prohibits unlawful ‘take,’ of such species, which means to “harass, harm, hunt...” Section 7 directs federal agencies to use their authorities to help conserve listed species. The Act also serves as the enacting legislation to carry out the provisions outlined in The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The Supreme Court found that "the plain intent of Congress in enacting" the ESA "was to halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction, whatever the cost." The Act is administered by two federal agencies, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). FWS and NMFS have been delegated the authority to promulgate rules in the Code of Federal Regulations to implement the provisions of the Act.

Habitat fragmentation

Habitat fragmentation describes the emergence of discontinuities (fragmentation) in an organism's preferred environment (habitat), causing population fragmentation and ecosystem decay. Causes of habitat fragmentation include geological processes that slowly alter the layout of the physical environment, and human activity such as land conversion, which can alter the environment much faster and causes the extinction of many species. More specifically, habitat fragmentation is a process by which large and contiguous habitats get divided into smaller, isolated patches of habitats.

Northern hairy-nosed wombat

The northern hairy-nosed wombat or yaminon is one of three extant species of wombats. It is one of the rarest land mammals in the world and is critically endangered. Its historical range extended across New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland as recently as 100 years ago, but it is now restricted to one place, a 3-km2 range within the 32-km2 Epping Forest National Park in Queensland. In 2003, the total population consisted of 113 individuals, including only around 30 breeding females. In the last census taken in 2013, the estimated population was 196 individuals, with an additional 9 individuals at the Richard Underwood Nature Refuge at Yarran Downs near St. George in southern Queensland. In recent years, the population has experienced a slow but steady increase to an estimated 230 individuals in 2015.

Swift parrot Critically endangered species of Australian bird

The swift parrot, is only found in southeastern Australia. The species breeds in Tasmania during the summer and migrates north to south eastern mainland Australia from Griffith-Warialda in New South Wales and west to Adelaide in the winter. It is a nomadic migrant, and it settles in an area only when there is food available. The species is critically endangered and the severe predation of sugar gliders on breeding females and nests. Sugar glider predation is worst where logging is severe, so these threats interact in Tasmania. Genetic evidence for the effective population size suggests that the minimum potential population size is now fewer than 300 individual swift parrots. The genetic evidence supports the results of earlier studies that use demographic information about swift parrots to show the species could be extinct by 2031.

An endangered species recovery plan is a document describing the current status, threats and intended methods for increasing rare and endangered species population sizes. The U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973 requires that all species considered endangered must have a plan implemented for their recovery, but the format is also useful when considering the conservation of any endangered species. Recovery plans act as a foundation from which you can build a conservation effort and they can help to make conservation more effective.

Community (ecology) Associated populations of species in a given area

In ecology, a community is a group or association of populations of two or more different species occupying the same geographical area at the same time, also known as a biocoenosis. The term community has a variety of uses. In its simplest form it refers to groups of organisms in a specific place or time, for example, "the fish community of Lake Ontario before industrialization".

Geocrinia alba, commonly known as the white-bellied frog, is a small frog in the family Myobatrachidae. It occupies an area near Margaret River in swampy depressions adjoining creeks. Threats from altered ecology have made this a critically endangered species of south-western Australia.

Ohlone tiger beetle Species of beetle

The Ohlone tiger beetle, Cicindela ohlone, is endemic to California. It was discovered in 1987 and named and described in 1993. C. ohlone is part of the genus Cicindela and is most closely related to C. purpurea.

Scottsdale Reserve Protected area in New South Wales, Australia

Scottsdale Reserve is a 1,328-hectare (3,280-acre) nature reserve on the Murrumbidgee River in south-central New South Wales, Australia. It is 79 kilometres (49 mi) south of Canberra, and 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) north of Bredbo. It is owned and managed by Bush Heritage Australia (BHA), which purchased it in 2006. The purchase was supportive of projects aiming to connect existing fragmented remnant habitat such as K2C. Since the 1870s up until 2006, the land was used for agriculture – primarily sheep grazing with some minor cropping. A significant component of the Reserve has been cleared of native vegetation.

Endangered species Species of organisms facing a very high risk of extinction

An endangered species is a species that is very likely to become extinct in the near future, either worldwide or in a particular political jurisdiction. Endangered species may be at risk due to factors such as habitat loss, poaching and invasive species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List lists the global conservation status of many species, and various other agencies assess the status of species within particular areas. Many nations have laws that protect conservation-reliant species which, for example, forbid hunting, restrict land development, or create protected areas. Some endangered species are the target of extensive conservation efforts such as captive breeding and habitat restoration.

Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve Protected area in Victoria, Australia

Established in 1965, the Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve is located 45 km east of Melbourne in the Upper Yarra Valley, near the towns of Yellingbo, Launching Place, Yarra Junction, Hoddles Creek, Cockatoo, Emerald, Monbulk and Seville. Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve is a narrow riparian reserve with stream-frontage land along the Woori Yallock, Shepherd, Cockatoo, Macclesfield and Sheep Station Creeks.

Overexploitation Depleting a renewable resource

Overexploitation, also called overharvesting, refers to harvesting a renewable resource to the point of diminishing returns. Continued overexploitation can lead to the destruction of the resource. The term applies to natural resources such as: wild medicinal plants, grazing pastures, game animals, fish stocks, forests, and water aquifers.

References

  1. J. Michael Scott, US Geological Survey; Dale Goble, University of Idaho Law School (December 2008). "Endangered Species and Other Conservation Reliant Species". 9th National Conference on Science, Policy, and the Environment (Washington, D.C.). NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR SCIENCE AND THE ENVIRONMENT. Archived from the original on 2010-06-13. Retrieved 2009-02-27.
  2. Goble, Dale; J. Michael Scott; Frank W. Davis (2006). The Endangered Species Act at Thirty: Renewing the Conservation Promise. I. Island Press. pp. xii, 299. ISBN   978-1-59726-009-1.
  3. Scott, J. Michael (Jan 2007). "AOU Conservation Award, 2006". The Auk. The American Ornithologists' Union. 124 (1): 353–355. doi: 10.1642/0004-8038(2007)124[353:ACA]2.0.CO;2 . ISSN   0004-8038.
  4. Conservation Reliant Species: Our New Relationship with Nature
  5. 1 2 Scott, J. Michael Scott; Dale Goble; Aaron Haines (August 21, 2008). "Conservation Reliant Species:Our New Relationship with Nature?" (PDF). CSP3900 Conservation Science Web Conference Series. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
  6. R Maraj, J Seidensticker (2006). "Assessment of a Framework for Monitoring Tiger Population Trends in India" (PDF). A Report to the IUCN: World Conservation Union and India's Project Tiger. Govt. of India, Project Tiger. pp. 7–9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
  7. Scott, J. Michael; Goble, Dale D.; Wiens, John A.; Wilcove, David S.; Bean, Michael; Male, Timothy (September 2005). "Recovery of imperiled species under the Endangered Species Act: The need for a new approach". Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 3 (7): 383–89. doi:10.1890/1540-9295(2005)003[0383:ROISUT]2.0.CO;2. ISSN   1540-9295. Archived from the original on 2012-02-23. Retrieved 2009-02-22.