Ecosystems Services Ecosystem dynamics and function Energy and nutrient flow Human Health
The importance of predation - predators have a fundamental influence on structure and function of ecosystem - Predators influence prey population and community - Predation affect prey behavior. Presence of predator allow prey to use behavioral mechanism to reduce predation risk.
Large shark populations down by about 90% or more regionally Found out of 547 species studies 20% were threatened (sharks, rays, chimaeras) Difficult to measure due to mobility and low populations of target species Nicholas Dulvy 2006 Heithaus et al. 2008
How do apex predators influence Nutrients flow? Mainly through Biologic factors Two methods: -Top Down Control -Trophic Cascades
Changes in top predators influence the abundance and behavior of organisms in lower trophic levels
Top predators influence trophic levels two or more levels below them Post 1999
Wolf removal has seen major spikes in Deer, Elk, Moose and other prey populations Wolf re-introduction has seen decreases in prey populations and significant increases in foliage
Last Wolves exterminated in 1926 within the park Re-introduced in 1994-95 Pack reached a record high of approximately 40 individuals Elk populations rise when wolves are exterminated, decreased after peak (resource limited) then decreased to ~pre-extermination levels after re-introduction of wolves
Shark presence shapes prey behavior Shark Bay, Australia Behavior changes -Spatial -Temporal
Defenders of Wildlife Wolf Video Clip Defenders of Wildlife Wolf Video Clip State-funded culling programs Last month, Idaho’s Governor Otter signed a bill creating a $400,000-per-year wolf extermination fund. Approximately 1,300 Wolves have been killed in Idaho alone since 2011
There ARE solutions There ARE things YOU can do to help Scientifically proven equations for success
MPA (Marine Protected Areas) National Parks IUCN Red List ( International Union for Conservation of Nature ) CITES (International Trade Regulations) Magnuson-Stevens Act (Fishery Conservation, Mgmt. USA) Shark Finning Prohibition Act (USA) ESA - Endangered Species Act (USA) Biodiversity Hot Spots
Education based on Long Term Scientific Studies Advocacy based on the facts, environmental lobbyists Awareness & Action: 1. Know the issue from multiple perspectives (Volunteer) 2. Know the history and current situation (Investigate) 3. Make a difference voice your opinion & support research
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Heithaus, MR, A Frid, AJ Wirsing, and B Worm. "Predicting Ecological Consequences of Marine Top Predator Declines." Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 23.4 (2008): 202-10. Print. Kareiva, Peter. “Conservation Biology: Beyond Marine Protected Areas” Current Biology. 16.14 (2006). Print. Knip, D.M, M.R Heupel, and C.A Simpfendorfer. "Evaluating Marine Protected Areas for the Conservation of Tropical Coastal Sharks." Biological Conservation. 148.1 (2012): 200-209. Print. Ripple, William J., and Robert L. Beschta. "Linking wolves and plants: Aldo Leopold on trophic cascades." BioScience 55.7 (2005): 613-621. Robbins, William D, Mizue Hisano, Sean R. Connolly, and J H. Choat. "Ongoing Collapse of Coral-Reef Shark Populations." Current Biology. 16.23 (2006): 2314-2319. Print. Post, Eric, et al. "Ecosystem consequences of wolf behavioral response to climate." Nature 401.6756 (1999): 905-907.
Ian Craick Bernice Longouo Jeremy Raynor A Case Study on the removal of sharks and wolves “ To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution in intelligent tinkering” –Aldo Leopold