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Sustaining Biodiversity: The Species Approach

Chapter 9Slide2

Core Case Study: The Passenger Pigeon: Gone Forever

Passenger pigeon hunted to extinction by 1900

Commercial hunters used a "stool pigeon”

Geological record shows five mass extinctions

Human activities: hastening more extinctions?Slide3

Figure 9.1Lost natural capital: passenger pigeons have been extinct in the wild since 1900 because of human activities. The last known passenger pigeon died in the U.S. state of Ohio’s Cincinnati Zoo in 1914.Slide4

9-1 What Role Do Humans Play in the Premature Extinction of Species?

Concept 9-1A

We are degrading and destroying biodiversity in many parts of the world, and these threats are increasing.

Concept 9-1B

Species are becoming extinct 100 to 1,000 times faster than they were before modern humans arrived on the earth (the background rate), and by the end of this century, the extinction rate is expected to be 10,000 times the background rate.Slide6

Human Activities Are Destroying and Degrading Biodiversity

Human activity has disturbed at least half of the earth’s land surface

Fills in wetlands

Converts grasslands and forests to crop fields and urban areas

Degraded aquatic biodiversitySlide7

Extinctions Are Natural but Sometimes They Increase Sharply

Background extinction

Extinction rate

Mass extinction: causes?

Poorly understood, but involve global changes in environmental conditions.

Levels of species extinction

Local extinction, or extirpation

Ecological extinction

Biological extinctionSlide8

Some Human Activities Cause Premature Extinctions; the Pace Is Speeding Up (1)

Premature extinctions due to

Habitat destruction

Overhunting, or overexploitationSlide9

Some Human Activities Cause Premature Extinctions; the Pace Is Speeding Up (2)

Conservative estimates of extinction = 0.01-0.1%

Growth of human population will increase this loss to 10 000 times (to 1%)

Rates are higher where there are more endangered species

Tropical forests and coral reefs, wetlands and estuaries—sites of new species—being destroyed

Speciation crisisSlide10

Animal Species Prematurely Extinct Due to Human ActivitiesSlide11

Figure 9.3Effects of a 0.1% extinction rate.Slide12

Endangered and Threatened Species Are Ecological Smoke Alarms

Endangered species

International Union for the for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), or the World Conservation Union.

Since 1960, published Red List

In 2007, listed 16, 306 animals and plants that are in danger of extinction—60% higher than in 1995.

Threatened species


vulnerable species

Characteristics of such species


Grizzly bear

Kirkland’s warbler

Knowlton cactus

Florida manatee



Utah prairie dog



Humpback chub

Golden lion tamarin

Siberian tiger

Giant panda



Whooping crane

Northern spotted owl

Blue whale

Mountain gorilla

Florida panther

California condor

Hawksbill sea turtle

Black rhinoceros

Figure 9.4

Endangered natural capital



ome species that are endangered or threatened with premature extinction largely because of human activities. Almost 30,000 of the world’s species and roughly 1,300 of those in the United States are officially listed as being in danger of becoming extinct. Most biologists believe the actual number of species at risk is much larger.Slide14

Fixed migratory patterns

Blue whale, whooping crane, sea turtle

Feeds at high trophic level

Bengal tiger, bald eagle, grizzly bear

Narrow distribution

Elephant seal, desert pupfish

Commercially valuable

Snow leopard, tiger, elephant, rhinoceros, rare plants and birds

Low reproductive rate (K-strategist)

Blue whale, giant panda, rhinoceros




African violet, some orchids

Large territories

California condor, grizzly bear, Florida panther

Specialized niche

Blue whale, giant panda, Everglades kite

Figure 9.5

Characteristics of species that are prone to ecological and biological extinction.


Which of these characteristics helped lead to the premature extinction of the passenger pigeon within a single human lifetime?Slide15

Figure 9.6

Endangered natural capital: percentage of various types of species threatened with premature extinction because of human activities (Concept 9-1A). Question: Why do you think fishes top this list? (Data from World Conservation Union, Conservation International, World Wide Fund for Nature, 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)Slide16

Science Focus: Estimating Extinction Rates Is Not Easy

Three problems

Hard to document due to length of time

Only 1.8 million species identified

Little known about nature and ecological roles of species identified

Document little changes in DNA

Suggests species survive for 1 to 10 million years before going extinct.


species–area relationship

On average, 90% loss of habitat results in a 50% loss of species living in that habitat.

Mathematical modelsSlide17

9-2 Why Should We Care about Preventing Premature Species Extinction?

Concept 9-2

We should prevent the premature extinction of wild species because of the economic and ecological services they provide and because they have a right to exist regardless of their usefulness to us.

“It will take 5-10 million years for natural speciation to rebuild the biodiversity we are likely to destroy during your lifetime.”Slide18

Species Are a Vital Part of the Earth’s Natural Capital

Instrumental value

– usefulness to us in providing ecological and economic services.

Use value


: wildlife tourism

Genetic information

Loss in diversity of crop species is cause for concern.

Food crops, recreation, scientific information, lumber, paper, etc.

Nonuse value

Existence value

Aesthetic value

Bequest value

Ecological value

Energy flow, nutrient cycling, and population control—the scientific principles of sustainability that sustain and support life on earth.Slide19

Figure 9.7

Natural capital degradation: endangered orangutans in a tropical forest. In 1900, there were over 315,000 wild orangutans. Now there are less than 20,000 and they are disappearing at a rate of over 2,000 per year because of illegal smuggling and clearing of their forest habitat in Indonesia and Malaysia to make way for oil palm plantations. An illegally smuggled orangutan typically sells for a street price of $10,000. According to 2007 study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), projected climate change will further devastate remaining orangutan populations in Indonesia and Malaysia. Question: How would you go about trying to set a price on the ecological value of an orangutan?Slide20

Figure 9.8Natural capital: nature’s pharmacy. Parts of these and a number of other plant and animal species (many of them found in tropical forests) are used to treat a variety of human ailments and diseases. Nine of the ten leading prescription drugs originally came from wild organisms. About 2,100 of the 3,000 plants identified by the National Cancer Institute as sources of cancer-fighting chemicals come from tropical forests. Despite their economic and health potential, fewer than 1% of the estimated 125,000 flowering plant species in tropical forests (and a mere 1,100 of the world’s 260,000 known plant species) have been examined for their medicinal properties. Once the active ingredients in the plants have been identified, they can usually be produced synthetically. Many of these tropical plant species are likely to become extinct before we can study them.Slide21

Figure 9.9Many species of wildlife, such as this endangered scarlet macaw in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest, are a source of beauty and pleasure. These and other colorful species of parrots can become endangered when they are removed from the wild and sold (sometimes illegally) as pets.Slide22

Science Focus: Using DNA to Reduce Illegal Killing of Elephants for Their Ivory

1989 international treaty against poaching elephants

Poaching on the rise

Track area of poaching through DNA analysis of elephants

Elephants damaging areas of South Africa: Should they be culled? Slide23

Are We Ethically Obligated to Prevent Premature Extinction?

Intrinsic value

, or

existence value

Species have an inherent right to exist and play their ecological roles, regardless of their usefulness to us.

Edward O. Wilson:




Science Focus: Why Should We Care about Bats?

Vulnerable to extinction

Slow to reproduce

Human destruction of habitats

Important ecological roles

Feed on crop-damaging nocturnal insects



Unwarranted fears of batsSlide25

9-3 How do Humans Accelerate Species Extinction?

Concept 9-3

The greatest threats to any species are (in order) loss or degradation of its habitat, harmful invasive species, human population growth, pollution, climate change, and overexploitation. Slide26

Loss of Habitat Is the Single Greatest Threat to Species: Remember HIPPCO (1)


abitat destruction, degradation, and fragmentation


nvasive (nonnative) species


opulation and resource use growth




limate change




Underlying Causes

• Population growth

• Rising resource use

• Undervaluing natural capital

• Poverty

Direct Causes

• Habitat loss

• Pollution

• Commercial hunting and poaching

• Habitat degradation and fragmentation

• Climate change

• Sale of exotic pets and decorative plants

• Introduction of nonnative species

• Overfishing

• Predator and pest control

Causes of Depletion and Premature Extinction of Wild Species

Figure 9.10

Underlying and direct causes of depletion and premature extinction of wild species (

Concept 9-3

). The major direct causes of wildlife depletion and premature extinction are habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation. This is followed by the deliberate or accidental introduction of harmful invasive (nonnative) species into ecosystems.Slide28

Figure 9.11

Natural capital degradation:

reductions in the ranges of four wildlife species, mostly as the result of habitat loss and hunting. What will happen to these and millions of other species when the world’s human population doubles and per capita resource consumption rises sharply in the next few decades?


Would you support expanding these ranges even though this would reduce the land available for people to grow food and live on? Explain. (Data from International Union for the Conservation of Nature and World Wildlife Fund)Slide29

Loss of Habitat Is the Single Greatest Threat to Species: Remember HIPPCO (2)

Globally, habitat loss, greatest in temperate biomes, pace picking up in tropics.

Endemic species

Hawaii, the extinction capital of America—63% of species at risk.

Habitat islands

Habitat fragmentation

The Bali Mynah is distributed and endemic to the island of Bali, where it is the island's only surviving endemic species.  This rare bird was discovered in 1910 and is one of the world's most critically endangered birds.   In fact, it has been hovering immediately above extinction in the wild for several years.Slide30

Science Focus: Studying the Effects of Forest Fragmentation on Old-Growth Trees

Tropical Biologist Bill



et al


How large must a forest fragment be in order to prevent the loss of rare trees?

Case Study: A Disturbing Message from the Birds (1)

70% of the worlds 10,000 birds are declining; 12% are threatened with extinction.

Habitat loss and fragmentation of the birds’ breeding habitats

Forests cleared for farms, lumber plantations, roads, and development

Intentional or accidental introduction of nonnative species

Eat the birdsSlide32

One in every eight bird species (12%) is threatened with extinction. Three-fourths live in forests.




75% of birds species

Sumatra’s lowland forests

Lumber and

palm plantations, used for


115 bird species



of rainforests for farms and ranches; 93% loss of Atlantic coastal rainforest; clearing of savannah-like


for soybean plantations

30% of bird species, 70% of grassland species

North America

Habitat loss and fragmentation of breeding habitat;

replaced by roads and other developments.


of species


Introduction of non-native

bird-eating species

52 of 388 parrot species


Pet trade

23 Seabirds



from commercial fishing; pollution

40% of

waterbirdsWorldwideLoss of wetlandsSlide33

Case Study: A Disturbing Message from the Birds (2)

Seabirds caught and drown in fishing equipment

Migrating birds fly into power lines, communication towers, and skyscrapers

Other threats

Oil spills



Ingestion of toxic lead shotgun pelletsSlide34

Case Study: A Disturbing Message from the Birds (3)

Greatest new threat: Climate change

Environmental indicators

Live in every climate and biome

Respond quickly to environmental changes

Easy to track

Economic and ecological servicesSlide35

Figure 9.12Distribution of bird species in North America and Latin America. Question: Why do you think more bird species are found in Latin America than in North America? (Data from The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund, and Environment Canada).Slide36

Cerulean warbler

Sprague’s pipit

Bichnell’s thrush

Black-capped vireo

Golden-cheeked warbler

Florida scrub jay

California gnatcatcher



Henslow's sparrow

Bachman's warbler

Figure 9.13

The 10 most threatened species of U.S. songbirds. Most of these species are vulnerable because of habitat loss and fragmentation from human activities. An estimated 12% of the world’s known bird species may face premature extinction due mostly to human activities during this century. (Data from National Audubon Society)Slide37

Science Focus: Vultures, Wild Dogs, and Rabies: Unexpected Scientific Connections

Vultures poisoned from


in cow carcasses

More wild dogs eating the cow carcasses

More rabies spreading to peopleSlide38

Some Deliberately Introduced Species Can Disrupt Ecosystems

Most species introductions are beneficial.




Aesthetic enjoyment

Nonnative species may have no natural enemies.





Figure 9.14

Some of the more than 7,100 harmful invasive (nonnative) species that have been deliberately or accidentally introduced into the United States.Slide40

Case Study: The Kudzu VineImported from Japan in the 1930s to control soil erosion.

“ The vine that ate the South”

Could there be benefits of kudzu? Slide42

Kudzu Taking Over an Abandoned House in Mississippi, U.S.Slide43

Some Accidentally Introduced Species Can Also Disrupt Ecosystems

Argentina fire ant: 1930s

Pesticide spraying in 1950s and 1960s worsened conditions

Wiped out competitor ant species and made them more pesticide resistant.

Burmese python Slide44

Figure 9.16The Argentina fire ant, introduced accidentally into Mobile, Alabama, in the 1930s from South America (green area), has spread over much of the southern United States (red area). This invader is also found in Puerto Rico, New Mexico, and California. Question: How might this accidental introduction of fire ants have been prevented? (Data from S. D. Porter, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture)Slide45

Prevention Is the Best Way to Reduce Threats from Invasive Species

Prevent them from becoming established

Learn the characteristics of the successful invader species and the types of ecosystems that are vulnerable to invasion.

Inspection of imports.

Ballast water from cargo ships.

Set up research programs to try to find natural ways to control them: predators, parasites, bacteria and viruses.

Ground surveys and satellite observations to detect and monitor invasions to develop better models for predicting spread.Slide46

Figure 9.17Some general characteristics of successful invader species and ecosystems vulnerable to invading species. Question: Which, if any, of the characteristics on the right-hand side could humans influence?Slide47

Figure 9.18Individuals Matter: ways to prevent or slow the spread of harmful invasive species. Questions: Which two of these actions do you think are the most important? Why? Which of these actions do you plan to take?Slide48

Other Causes of Species Extinction (1)Population growth



Climate changeSlide49

Other Causes of Species Extinction (2)Pesticides

DDT: Banned in the U.S. in 1972



DDT in fish-eating birds (ospreys)

25 ppm

DDT in large fish (needle fish)

2 ppm

DDT in small fish (minnows)

0.5 ppm

DDT in zooplankton 0.04 ppm

DDT in water 0.000003


, or 3


Case Study: Where Have All the Honeybees Gone?

Honeybees responsible for 80% of insect-pollinated plants

Dying due to?



Bee colony collapse syndrome Slide52

Case Study: Polar Bears and Global Warming

Environmental impact on polar bears

Less summer sea ice

PCBs and


Can adversely affect their development, behavior, and reproduction.


2006 Study: Population projected to decline by 30-35%, and may be found only in zoos by end of century.

2007 listed as threatened species

2008 listed as th



under US ESA.Slide53

Figure 9.20Polar bear with seal prey on floating ice in Svalbard, Norway. Polar bears in the Arctic are likely to become extinct sometime during this century because global warming is melting the floating sea ice on which they hunt seals.Slide54

Illegal Killing, Capturing, and Selling of Wild Species Threatens Biodiversity

Poaching and smuggling of animals and plants

Animal parts


Plants for landscaping and enjoyment

When commercially valuable species become endangered, black market prices soar.


: research and educationSlide55

Figure 9.21White rhinoceros killed by a poacher for its horn in South Africa. Question: What would you say if you could talk to the poacher of this animal?Slide56

The hyacinth macaw, Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus, may be worth $10 000 to an exotic bird collector, but worth $165 00 in tourist revenues left in the wild.Slide57

Individuals Matter: Jane GoodallPrimatologist and anthropologist

45 years understanding and protecting chimpanzees

Chimps have tool-making skillsSlide58

Rising Demand for Bush Meat Threatens Some African Species

Indigenous people sustained by

bush meat

More hunters leading to local extinction of some wild


US Agency for International Development, trying to introduce alternatives in some areas.


ish farms

Breeding large rodents, like cane rats.


Figure 9.22Bush meat, such as this severed head of a lowland gorilla in the Congo, is consumed as a source of protein by local people in parts of West Africa and sold in the national and international marketplace. You can find bush meat on the menu in Cameroon and the Congo in West Africa as well as in Paris, London, Toronto, New York, and Washington, D.C. It is often supplied by poaching. Wealthy patrons of some restaurants regard gorilla meat as a source of status and power. Question: How, if at all, is this different from killing a cow for food?Slide60

9-4 How Can We Protect Wild Species from Premature Extinction? (1)

Concept 9-4A

We can use existing environmental laws and treaties and work to enact new laws designed to prevent species extinction and protect overall biodiversity.

Concept 9-4B

We can help to prevent species extinction by creating and maintaining wildlife refuges, gene banks, botanical gardens, zoos, and aquariums. Slide61

9-4 How Can We Protect Wild Species from Premature Extinction? (2)

Concept 9-4C

According to the

precautionary principle

, we should take measures to prevent or reduce harm to the environment and to human health, even if some of the cause-and-effect relationships have not been fully established, scientifically. Slide62

International Treaties Help to Protect Species

1975: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

Signed by 172 countries

Convention on Biological Diversity (BCD)

Focuses on ecosystems

Ratified by 190 countries (not the U.S.)Slide63

Case Study: The U.S. Endangered Species Act (1)

Endangered Species Act (ESA): 1973 and later amended in 1982, 1983, and 1985

Identify and protect endangered species in the U.S. and abroad

Hot Spots

Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) colonySlide64

Case Study: The U.S. Endangered Species Act (2)Mixed reviews of the ESA

Weaken it

Repeal it

Modify it

Strengthen it

Simplify it

Streamline itSlide65

Confiscated Products Made from Endangered SpeciesSlide66

Science Focus: Accomplishments of the Endangered Species Act (1)

Species listed only when serious danger of extinction

Takes decades for most species to become endangered or extinct

More than half of the species listed are stable or improving

Budget has been smallSlide67

Science Focus: Accomplishments of the Endangered Species Act (2)

Suggested changes to ESA

Increase the budget

Develop recovery plans more quickly

Establish a core of the endangered organism’s survival habitatSlide68

We Can Establish Wildlife Refuges and Other Protected Areas

1903: Theodore Roosevelt

Wildlife refuges

Most are wetland sanctuaries

More needed for endangered plants

Could abandoned military lands be used for wildlife habitats?Slide69

Gene Banks, Botanical Gardens, and Wildlife Farms Can Help Protect Species

Gene or seed banks

Preserve genetic material of endangered plants

Botanical gardens and arboreta

Living plants

Farms to raise organisms for commercial saleSlide70

Zoos and Aquariums Can Protect Some Species (1)

Techniques for preserving endangered terrestrial species

Egg pulling

Captive breeding

Artificial insemination

Embryo transfer

Use of incubators


Zoos and Aquariums Can Protect Some Species (2)

Limited space and funds

Critics say these facilities are prisons for the organismsSlide72

What Can You Do? Protecting SpeciesSlide73

Case Study: Trying to Save the California Condor

Largest North American bird

Nearly extinct

Birds captured and breed in captivity

By 2007, 135 released into the wild

Threatened by lead poisoningSlide74

The Precautionary PrincipleSpecies: primary components of biodiversity

Preservation of species

Preservation of ecosystems

By: danika-pritchard
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Sustaining Biodiversity: - Description

The Species Approach Chapter 9 Core Case Study The Passenger Pigeon Gone Forever Passenger pigeon hunted to extinction by 1900 Commercial hunters used a stool pigeon Geological record shows five mass extinctions ID: 585133 Download Presentation

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