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Bisc 309 – Conservation Biology. Bisc 309 – Guests + Assignment Managing Species at Risk Court case: Failure of Dept Fisheries and Oceans to identify.

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Presentation on theme: "Bisc 309 – Conservation Biology. Bisc 309 – Guests + Assignment Managing Species at Risk Court case: Failure of Dept Fisheries and Oceans to identify."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bisc 309 – Conservation Biology

2 Bisc 309 – Guests + Assignment Managing Species at Risk Court case: Failure of Dept Fisheries and Oceans to identify critical habitat for nooksak dace Lawsuit launched by Ecojustice May 4-7, 2009 10am onwards 3 rd Floor, 701 West Georgia Street, Vancouver Freshwater water fish in lowland streams of the Fraser Valley

3 Bisc 309 – Lectures From molecules to landscapes in 13 weeks or 40 minutes

4 Conservation of molecules or genetic diversity WHY is this important? Loss of genetic variation may Reduce individual survival/productivity Reduce populations ability to adapt increase extinction risk

5 Habitat loss Pollution Overexploitation Invasive species Small fragmented isolated popn’s Inbreeding Loss of genetic diversity Reduced survival and reproduction Reduced ability to adapt Reduced N An Extinction Vortex

6 Examples Low genetic diversity reduces reproductive output or survival

7 Conservation of molecules or genetic diversity How big is big enough? 5000 individuals ? What are the issues? Genetic processes are slow Purging may counter inbreeding We don’t measure variation for selected traits Other factors are more immediate/important Recovery targets are rarely based on genetics

8 March 2008: Panda genome to be sequenced in a bid to conserve species “ the giant panda is a global conservation symbol and deserving of such an effort” Oliver Ryder, endangered species biologist

9 Conservation of Small populations Why are small populations a concern? Small populations are especially vulnerable to stochastic processes allee effects that reduce population growth ---> an extinction vortex

10 Environmental stochasticity EG Onager Strong effects on λ in all populations Demographic stochasticity EG Dusky seaside sparrow Strong effects on λ in small populations

11 Managing small populations Population viability analysis a tool to assess extinction risk Questions/Issues How do they work? What are the problems? What else can you use them for?

12 Managing small populations Reintroductions Key questions When do they work best? What other factors need to be considered?

13 Conservation concerns Habitat loss, Degradation and Fragmentation habitat Edge effects

14 Primates 634 species 50% on IUCN Red List Major threat – habitat loss Africa – red colobus Asia – Grey shanked douc langur

15 Conservation concerns Habitat loss and degradation Can produce edges sink habitat ecological traps population declines

16 Managing habitat loss and degradation Establishing reserves Restoring habitat

17 Conservation concerns Habitat loss and Fragmentation Patches, area/isolation effects

18 Area Isolation Occupancy Metapopulations and the matrix

19 Managing patches and metapopulations Corridors Simberloff asked question CONSERVATION BARGAINS OR POOR INVESTMENTS? We evaluated evidence that animals/plants use corridors corridors influence demography corridors influence genetic structure corridors influence diversity

20 do corridors influence species diversity? Gilbert et al. 1998 ProcRSoc 265: 577-82 Expt with Moss micro-arthropod communities on rocks

21 Conservation concerns Invasive species Pine trees in Africa African dung beetles in Australia Australian Possum in New Zealand New Zealand snails in North America

22 Invasive species KEY QUESTIONS What characteristics of a community favour invasions? Can we predict which species have large impacts? Do invasions lead to community meltdown? How will removal impact the current community?

23 Managing invasive species Biological Control “is the only long term solution” to invasive weeds/pests Judy Myers (UBC) % foliage removed Plant biomass Purple loosestrife control

24 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit 1992 United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity Each party must as far as possible 1.Establish a system of protected areas or areas where special measures need to be taken to conserve biological diversity 2.Develop where necessary guidelines for the selection, establishment and management of protected areas

25 Do protected areas work? Percent natural vegetation AmazonAtlantic coast forest Congo forestWest African forest Joppa et al PNAS 2008

26 Do protected areas work? A + B Brazil C Nigeria D Ghana

27 Do marine protected areas work? Mosqueira et al. 2000 Animal Conservation (236) Target species 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 - 1 (110) Non-target species Overall (541) Response ratio More fish in reserve More fish out of reserve Overall effect of 12 reserves around the world

28 How do you design a reserve system that includes and sustains all biodiversity and ecosystem processes of the region? What features can be used as surrogates for overall biodiversity?

29 Reserve networks – case studies Different approaches - what lessons were learnt Cape Floristic Region Phillipines

30 Conservation concern – climate change

31 Climate change is having detectable effects Loss of sea-ice reduces access to prey and has led to a decline in body weights and reproductive success Could adapt by switching to snow goose eggs Climate change, by improving conditions for chytrid fungus, is implicated in extinctions of 74 harlequin frog species


33 The main message Climate Humans Biodiversity Adaptation and mitigation are necessary Biodiversity/conservation plays a role in climate regulation Biodiversity/conservation is central to tackling climate change

34 Climate change If we act as if it’s too late, then it will be However, unlikely success might be we can’t abandon efforts to cut carbon emissions – we don’t have a better option George Monbiot Rich nations have promised $18 billion to help poor nations with climate change but they have disbursed only 5% of that Guardian

35 Conservation Biology “do you build models or actually do something” Kathy Martin (CWS, UBC, forest ecologist) Biology provides the tools to help identify trends, evaluate data, test hypotheses and suggest solutions Economics, Development and Politics are critical for their implementation and success

36 Your job Spread the word Use the biology Build models And Actually do something

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