23. Conservation of Endangered Species in the Wild

23. Conservation of Endangered Species in the Wild -...

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1 Conservation of Endangered Species in the Wild THE POPULATION BOTTLENECK DECLINE PHASE ENDANGERED PHASE RECOVERY PHASE MANAGEMENT GOALS FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES Stop the decline phase of the bottleneck before population gets too small Make the endangered phase as short as possible to avoid risks of prolonged small population size Make the recovery phase as rapid as possible URGENCY REQUIRES SPECIAL MANAGEMENT APPROACHES Must promptly increase population size Analogy to a hospital emergency room is useful (treat life-threatening symptoms first, then when patient is stabilized, treat underlying disease) Endangered species managers must clearly distinguish between ultimate and proximate causes of endangerment These are changes in the species’ environment that underlie the species’ endangerment (habitat loss, exotic species, overkill, pollution, climate change) Ultimate causes can be very difficult to correct in time to save a critically endangered species for which time is rapidly running out But they should be corrected to guarantee a secure future for the species In the meantime attention to proximate causes of endangerment may be needed ULTIMATE CAUSES OF ENDANGERMENT PROXIMATE CAUSES OF ENDANGERMENT These are the symptoms the endangered species is showing because of the ultimate problem Inadequate survival and reproduction, declining numbers, shrinking range, etc. These symptoms can be treated independently of treating ultimate problems Allows the population to make it through the crisis until ultimate causes are eventually resolved
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2 ULTIMATE AND PROXIMATE CAUSES TREATED TOGETHER In a few cases, treatment of ultimate cause alone might result in recovery (e.g., protection from commercial overkill) Treatment of only proximate causes is generally
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