Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Species vs. Species

24.09.2003


Shrike conservation threatened foxes on a California island



Because loggerhead shrikes on San Clemente Island are critically endangered, the foxes that prey on their nestlings should be controlled. Right? Wrong. The problem is that the foxes are also at-risk. A new analysis shows that instead of pitting the shrike against the fox, both species could have been protected with an ecosystem-wide conservation plan.

"This endangered species conflict might have been avoided through a more balanced ecosystem approach," say Gary Roemer of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces and Robert Wayne of the University of California at Los Angeles in the October issue of Conservation Biology. Roemer is also the World Conservation Union (IUCN) island fox coordinator.


The San Clemente loggerhead shrike is one of the most endangered birds in the world, with about 50 in the wild in 2003. Until this year, the shrike’s federal recovery program included controlling all its predators – even the San Clemente island fox, which is listed as threatened in California. The fox has declined by about 60% in the last decade and was down to about 400 in the year 2000.

In 1999, foxes were killed to protect the shrike. After that, foxes in shrike nesting areas were inadvertently caught in traps set for feral cats or held in captivity during the breeding season. Either way, these foxes were not breeding and so were not bolstering the population. In 2000, more than a tenth of the foxes were held in captivity during the breeding season. In 2003, fox control efforts finally stopped.

Besides having hurt the foxes, the shrike recovery program does not do enough to help the birds. While the feral goats and pigs that degraded the island’s habitat have been eradicated, there has been little habitat restoration. Consequently, there are not enough shrubs, which provide foraging perches for the shrikes, and too many non-native grasses, which are taller and denser than native grasses and so presumably make it harder for the shrikes to hunt insects.

The shrike recovery program costs a lot – $2.3 million in 1999 – and Roemer and Wayne suggest a way to benefit both the birds and the foxes without spending any more. The answer is simple: shift the money that was spent on controlling the foxes to restoring the island’s habitat. "Such efforts may actually allow for species co-existence," say the researchers.


###
CONTACT:
Gary Roemer: 505-646-3394, groemer@nmsu.edu
Robert Wayne: 310-206-0334, rwayne@protos.lifesci.ucla.edu

Gary Roemer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://leopold.nmsu.edu/faculty/roemer_vita.htm
http://www.iws.org/
http://conservationbiology.org/

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
23.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Understanding animal social networks can aid wildlife conservation
23.06.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>