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 not an effective way to ensure a secure, long-term
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23. Conservation of Endangered Species in the Wild -...

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