BIOC63Fall2013 Lecture 21.docx

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Biological Sciences
Karen Williams

BIOC63Fall2013 Lecture 21: Ex situ conservation For many species, in situ conservation is too-little-too-late o Examples  black softshell turtle, Guam rail, Hawaii raven etc. o Efforts undertaken to save species through captive breeding/ex situ conservation o Future plan  alleviate causes for extinction and reintroduce species into the wild IUCN categories  Extinct (EX) o no individuals remaining  Extinct in the wild (EW) o Survives in captivity or as a naturalized population outside its historic range  Critically endangered (CR) o Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild  Endangered (EN) o High risk of extinction in the wild  Vulnerable (VU) o High risk of endangerment in the wild  Near Threatened (NT) o Likely to become endangered in the near future  Least concern (LC) o Lowest risk  Not evaluate (NE) o Has not yet been evaluated against this criteria Ex situ conservation Captive breeding o Def: Conserve a species that is incapable of surviving in the wild o Aim is to increase numbers in a safe haven o Maintain genetic diversity and minimize inbreeding o Last resort captive breeding is almost always connected with problems o Ex situ success = reintroduce the population to the wild o major players in captive breeding  Zoos  Centers for public education and captive breeding  In US zoos  19% of mammals and 10% of birds have successful breeding in captivity o 90% of mammals which are breedable in captivity are maintained in the zoo, 74% of birds added to collection since 1985 (born in captivitiy)  Game farms  Propagate game in semi-natural setting  Reduce hunting pressure in the wild  Excess animals  Source for other breeding programs or for re-introductions  Aquaria  Some success with fish and small marine mammals o Especially dolphins and manatee  Less success with orcas, sea lions and seals Rules for successful re-introduction o Self-sustaining captive population  Enough breeding stock to provide surplus  Lots of space required for big animals  hard to have enough area in order to keep animals from inbreeding o Good genetic management  Studbooks  Compilation of genealogical data of individual animals  Starting with founders (original wild animals)  Cross least related and most vigorous animals  Exchange fit and unrelated specimens or do artificial insemination  California condor 1  Chondrodystrophy in some founder birds o Recessive mutation  fatal if homozygous so it is important to know which parents to cross together in order to avoid homozygous state in baby which would lead to death o Suitable habitat for reintroduction  Determine amount and type of habitat required by new pop  Habitat restoration  Population must be protected from whatever caused its previous decline o Prepare animals for reintroduction  Predator avoidance behaviour  Ability to find and process food  Interact properly with conspecifics  How to find/construct shelter o Post-release monitoring and evaluation  Constant monitoring provides opportunity to evaluate and modify programs  Can tag individuals with GPS signals which can be picjed up  Educat
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