RNR 2031

Wildlife include
free-ranging, undomesticated animals in natural environment
wilife management encompases
the animals, their habitats, and the people who have a stake in those resources
Ecological themes influencing extinction
1. life history theory (r vs k selected species)
2. Optimal diet theory (hollings disc equation)
3. apparent competition
Human themes influencing extinction
1. invasive species
2. habitat alteration
3. Harvest
Also: community and ecosystem changes (like removing a keystone speccies) and translocatiing animal diseases
Basic facts about mamorth
2.5-3.5 m high, 4-6 tons
distributed throughout non-glaciated parts of North America and Europe during the pleistocene epoch, most extince 12,000 years ago (though some lives until 4,000 ya)
when was the Last Iceage?
110,000-12,000 ya
last glacial maximum was how long ago?
21,000 ya
What allowed the clovis people to migrate to north america?
The opening of the Cordilleran corridor around ~12,000 years ago connected Asia and North America
The Clovis people
– largely regarded ass the first human inhabitants o est. a culture in N.A.
– Clovis points appeared around 11,500-11,000 ya
Evidence favoring the overkill by the Clovis people?
– Arrival of the Clovis precisely coincides with the extinction of at least 17 megafauna genera in North America
– Some well-documented (and many less well-documented) mammoth kill sites
– Clear evidence that overhunting has strongly contributed to extinction on islands
were hunted to extinction within 100 years after the Maori arrived in New Zealand (~1300AD)
Evidence against overkill by the Clovis people?
-Evidence is sparse…only a handful of sites
– Continents are not small islands (dispersal, evolution, etc.)
– Clovis may not have been the first to North America
– Lots of extinctions around 12,000 year ago; many in areas devoid of Clovis
Evidence in favor of climate causing extinctions
>15 megafaunal extinctions around the northern hemisphere coincided with the onset of the Younger Dryas
Systemic changes in climate and vegetation more likely to wreak extinction events
Evidece against climate causing extinctions
Clearly doesn’t hold for a place like Australia where the climate didn’t change much
Climatic shifts no worse than previous ones
You’re telling me wooly mammoths died out because it got colder?
r-selected species
small, short-lived, fast to mature, produce many offspring. Good in unpredictable environments
k-selected species
large, long-lived, slow to mature, produce few offspring. Good in stable environments
Early environmental “ethics”
– In feudal times, nobles owned the wildlife; poaching was a fatal transgression
– Released from these shackles in the New World, “ethics” consisted of “take what you want”
– Wildlife became a commons, subject to tragedy of the commons
– “Nature” (forests, etc.) was an annoyance to be subjugated.
Great Auk
– Swift and agile on water, but clumsy on land
– Birds could be herded up gangplanks and right onto boats
– Chicks strung onto fish hooks and used as bait
– Driven to extinction by desire for their feathers to make pillows
– The last nesting pair was killed on July 3rd, 1844 and their sole egg summarily crushed.
The Labrador Duck
– North Atlantic sea duck, never particularly common
– Quietly disappeared in 1875, possibly due to declines in prey availability and human alterations to Atlantic coastlines
Waterfowl market hunting
waterfowl driven to near extinction. market hunters killed hundreds a day
American Bison
The historic range of the bison ranged from Alaska to the Gulf Coast, and nearly from coast to coast
Before the middle of the 19th century, Native American plains tribes coexisted with the bison
Heavy reliance on the bison for food, hides, bones, etc.
In the 1870s, the U.S. Army waged war on the plains tribes…and a primary tactic was to kill the bison on which they relied.
“Buffalo Bill” Cody would sometimes shoot >200 bison in a single day
Hides would be sold on the east coast, tongues as a delicacy. But most buffalo would be left to rot.
Passenger Pigeon
Once the most abundant bird on the planet (3-5 billion)
Audubon watched a flock pass overhead for 3 days (300 million/hr)
Railroads could quickly ship pigeons to market, and telegraphs allowed hunters to track nomadic movements
Adults were baited with alcohol-soaked grain or suffocated by fires lit below their nests
Captive pigeons, their eyes sewn shut, were set up as decoys on small perches called stools (which is the derivation of “stool pigeon” for one who betrays his colleagues)
Extinction came rapidly
3 million shipped in Michigan in 1878 (by a single hunter); extinct in the state by 1889
Driven by extreme overharvest, combined with habitat loss and colonial nesting behavior
Martin vs. Waddell (1842) –
Landowner claimed rights to an oyster bed in NJ public waters
Crown lands passed to the state after independence
“The policy of England since Magna Charta — for the last six hundred years — has been carefully preserved to secure the common right of piscary for the benefit of the public.”
Geer vs. Connecticut (1896)
Effectively extended states rights to terrestrial wildlife as a public resource
Early “regulations”
– The first restrictions on hunting were voluntary, imposed by wealthy sportsman on each other (Carroll’s Island Ducking Club on the Chesapeake (1832), New York Sportsmen’s Club (1844), Ibis Gun Club in California (1879)
– Many used their power and influence to codify these regulations into state law
– After 1901, the bag limit on ducks in California was set at 50 per day
Chain and growth of early regulation
no spring hunting (and no selling in the spring) led to closed seasons, led to licenses led to bag limits led to closing of markets
– Bridger extolled the virtues of the area in the 1830s and then in 1871 Hayden’s expedition confirmed those stories
– Ulysses S. Grant designated Yellowstone as the first National Park in 1872.
– 1877 Secretary of the Interior eliminates commercial take of wildlife, logging
– But no enforcement!
– 1883 congress authorizes use of U.S. Army
Early Agencies
– U.S. Commission on Fish and Fisheries (1871) – First federal involvement in wildlife management
– United States Geological Survey (1879) – Charged with the “classification of public lands and…products of the national domain”
– Forestry Division (1881) – Authorized withdrawing land from the public as “forest reserves”
United States Forest Service
Created in 1905 under Roosevelt, headed by Gifford Pinchot
“To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.”
Long and sometimes sordid history in resource management
Logging and timber sales
Fire suppression
National Park Service
Created in 1916
“To conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for enjoyment of the same in such manner and such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations”
Preservation and recreation will always be in conflict!
National Wildlife Refuge System
Roosevelt designated Pelican Island as a bird sanctuary in 1903
Primary goal was to curb millinery for hats
Eventually refuges administered by USFWS, but USFWS has a convoluted history with no clear beginning…
Lacey Act (1900)
Banned import, export, sale, acquisition of wildlife (fish and plants) that are taken or transported in violation of state laws
Originally directed at migratory game birds to prevent poaching in one state and selling in another
Strengthens state laws and imposes civil and criminal penalties on violators
Today, mostly invoked to regulate the introduction of exotic animals and plants
*Congress has enumerated powers to regulate interstate commerce; hence, the Lacey Act was a simple first step in federally protecting wildlife.*
Weeks-McLean Act (1913)
Lacey Act failed to adequately protect migratory birds, because individual states set hunting regulations
Week-McLean Act ended spring hunting…
…and most importantly, declared that all birds migrating between states were under the jurisdiction of the federal government…
…and the federal government would therefore set hunting regulations
Migratory Bird Treaty Act (1918)
Defined migratory birds, including both game and nongame birds
Closed hunting between 10 March and 1 September, limited hunting seasons to 3.5 months
Closed seasons on wood ducks, eiders (5 years), swans, cranes, woodcock (10 years)
Protects nests and eggs
Signed between U.S. and Canada/Britain
Came under fireβ€”state’s vs. federal rights
Federal rights upheld in Missouri v. Holland (1920):
Migratory Bird Conservation Act (1929)
With excessive hunting curbed, attention turned to habitat protection
Created the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission to approve purchase/leasing of refuge lands
Appropriated $7.8 million for this purpose
Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act (1934) ”Duck Stamp Act”
Created to provide the MBCA a constant revenue stream
Required purchase of a federal duck stamp for hunting waterfowl
Today: 120 million stamps sold, raised $800 million, protected 6 million acres
Pittman-Robertson Act (1937) (Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act)
Took an existing 10% excise tax on firearms and ammunition and shifted from the general fund directly to the Sec. of the Interior
Pool of federal dollars is reallocated to the states based on size of the state and hunting license sales
States must match money 3:1
Expanded in 1970s to include handguns and archery equipment – Β½ can be used for education and ranges
Has contributed >$2.5 billion, mostly to habitat programs
Gifford Pinchot
– 1st Chief of U. S. Forest Service
– 3 principles of conservation (Development, Preservation, Common good)
John Muir
Petitioned congress for establishment of Yosemite National Park in 1890
Co-founder and 1st President of The Sierra Club, 1892
Chance meeting with Teddy Roosevelt, 1903
The Land Ethic (Aldo Leopold)
– Man is an interdependent part of nature
– The “land” ethic refers to more than just soil
– Native plants and animals fulfill the correct role in the ecosystem
– Man-made changes to nature are at an unprecedented scale
– True conservation will require recognition of obligations beyond self-interest (e.g., economics)
– Moves towards managing for ecosystem function and away from simple “wise-use”
*A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.*
Game management beginnings
– Aldo Leopold was the first to codify ideas about game management
– Much of the content of Game Management (1933) seems obvious, and we take it for granted…
– …but “modern” wildlife management are simply refinements of these general principles
game management definition, goal, and means
– “the art of making land produce sustained annual crops of wild game for recreational use.”
– The goal is to transfer mortality from “other factors” to human harvest.
– Game management produces a crop by controlling the environmental factors which hold down the natural increase of the seed stock.
Environmental factor examples
cover, water, nest sites, disturbance, food, competitors, density, minerals, predators, disease
The “doomed surplus”
1. Manage for less doom – fewer predators, less disease, etc.
2. Manage for more surplus – better breeding conditions, more food, wintering habitat, etc.

Harvest of game species rests on the premise that more are produced each year than can survive to reproduction
If they’re going to die anyhow, let’s harvest this “doomed surplus”

Limiting Factors examples
harvest, predation,, diseases, disturbance, food , cover
Effective fame management requires ID of the ___ ______ ______ to population growth
most limiting factor
Important biological characteristics when creating management plans
Survival (broken down by age and sex)
Age to reproduction
Annual fecundity
Re-nesting, double-brooding
Nutritional requirements
Physiological tolerances
Mobility (migratory?)
Important ecological characteristics
Habitat requirements
Maximum density
Home range size/territoriality
Interactions with heterospecifics (Competition, Predation, Interdependencies
Joseph Grinnell
first thought of Niche
Wildlife management is fundamentally about understanding ……
what a species needs to be successful, and ensuring those resources are provided
Monitoring wildlife
Counts – transects, point counts, camera traps
Telemetry – behavior, survival
Reproductive monitoring – nests, broods, age ratios
Predator control – things to consider beforehand
– Quantify kill rates – are predators the most limiting factor?
– Could predation be self-limiting? (Prey switching)
– Are predators killing only weak or sick animals?
(This could actually be helpful!)
– What about non-lethal effects? (The ecology of fear)
Why is predator control a generally poor choice for managing wildlife in most contexts
Managing wildlife by killing other wildlife?
Not just mammals (hawks, eagles, owls, snakes, turtles, fish)
Comparatively expensive
Hard to sell to the public (in modern era)
Requires constant effort
Messes with the ecology (Mesocarnivore release)
– Everything from National Parks (NPS), National Wildlife Refuges (USFWS), and private lands
– Typically refuge from disturbance, but could be something else (temperature, precipitation, predation)
(Traditional) Refuges
-Operate under a source-sink model of population dynamics
-The refuge is a source of new animals that disperse into surrounding, less safe sink habitats
– Some species are better suited to management through refuges
– High movement capacity to locate and move between refuges
– Can tolerate high densities
– Are not likely to be killed all at once
Managing limiting factors
– Historically, has always began with reducing direct sources of mortality (Restrictions on hunting, Predator control)
– Next, reservation of game lands (e.g. refuges, national parks) (Passive management)
– Finally, managing the environment to grow additional surpluses for harvest
This is the primary tool of modern wildlife managementβ€”
managing populations by managing habitat
For game species, we can also manage through
For nongame species (more commonly), management action is spurred by
litigation (Endangered Species Act).
North American conservation model
1. Wildlife as a public trust resource
2. Elimination of markets for game
3. Allocation of wildlife by law
4. Kill for only legitimate purposes
5. Wildlife as an international resource
6. Science-based wildlife policy
7. Democracy of hunting
land management agencies
The National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management
wildlife management
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the only federal agency charged with wildlife management
Harvest regulations
Typically made based on scientific data…but tempered by human desires
Set for sustainable harvest
Set to reach management goals
Set to limit nuisance species
The role of harvest in wildlife management
Maintaining healthy ecosystems (helps reduce disease incidence and transmition, reduce human-wildlife conflicts)
Effects of harvest on population ecology
The overwhelming majority of funding for wildlife management (in all forms) comes from
Economic Impact for hunters
– In any given year, hunters contribute $1-2 billion dollars directly to conservation.
– Considering travel, lodging, etc., hunters spend $25 billion per year.
– The total economic impact of hunting approaches $70 billion, supporting 660,000 jobs.
The New Deal
– Refers to a series of domestic programs instituted by FDR during the depression; towards the end of the 30s, the government was by far the largest employer in the country (3.3. milllion)
– The Civilian Conservation Corps employed 300,000 young men (17-28), mostly in cutting trails and expanding outdoor recreation
– The Tennessee Valley Authority built 16 massive dams in the 1930s and 40s
– Historical poster child for shortsighted, misguided “development” at the cost of nature
The pesticide revolution
The rise of pesticides came after WWII, when DDT and other organochlorides were made available to the public.
It’s impossible to overemphasize how pervasively these were used.
Oil-soluble endocrine disrupter
Difficult to metabolize (half life of 6-10 years in tissue), so high potential to bioaccumulate
Soil half life ranges from a few days to 30 years
In humans, symptoms appear at 6-10 ppm, lethal at 236 ppm
Silent Spring
Likely the most influential publication in the history of conservation biology (Rachel Carson, 1962)
Led directly to the ban of DDT (1972) and other pesticides
Indirectly spurred the environmental movement of the 1970s, including the endangered species act
Endangered Species Act (1973)
Passed unanimously into law in 1973
Probably the broadest, strongest wildlife law in existence: the “teeth” of conservation
Reflects increasing focus on non-game species and their habitats
Ushered in the era of conservation by litigation
Created entire legal industries
Redefined the mission and focus of the USFWS
ESA – Definitions of “species” varies by taxa
Vertebrates: populations
Invertebrates: subspecies
Plants: full species
Critical habitat: required for species survival and recovery
ESA – criticisms
Protects species, not ecosystems
Not applied evenly across taxa
Delisting is extremely difficult; ~1% of species have been delisted (28 of 2100)
Delisting after recovery removes protection on recovery!
Massive backlog of listing petitions, USFWS dramatically understaffed to handle ESA issues
National Environmental Protection Act
Passed in 1970; the environmental Magna Carta
Requires all government projects to prepare environmental impact statements
Must identify mitigation options for unavoidable impacts
Prescribes a period for public comment
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Flora and Fauna Species Act (1969)
Lists 5,000 species of animals and 29,000 species of plants; enforcement mainly for megafauna
1985 Farm Bill
Swampbuster: Farmers who drain wetlands are ineligible for federal subsidies and benefits
Sodbuster: Farmers who till highly erodible land are also ineligible for benefits
North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA)
Passed in 1989, provides competitive federal funding for wetland conservation
NAWCA projects are typically ~$1 million each
Federal dollars MUST be matched 1:1
Most are leveraged at 3:1 or more
Current funding levels are at $75 million/year
Congressional appropriation
Fines from the MBTA
Interest collected on P-R funds
Also, currently, some additional BP money from DWH spill
The three pillars of wildlife management
animal populations, their habitats, and the human stakeholders.
Ξ» is
the finite rate of increase in discrete time
r is
the instantaneous growth rate in continuous time
𝑁_𝑑=𝑁_0 𝑒^π‘Ÿπ‘‘
Estimates N at ay point in the future
When Ξ» > 1, r > 0 and the population is
When Ξ» < 1, r < 0 and the population is
logistic growth
Allee effects
An Allee effect describes a situation where populations decline at low density
Mate selection
Group vigilance/defense
Group foraging
Minimum colony size
Genetic effects