"Assisted migration of species" necessary for saving wildlife from global warming

thecheers.org    2008-07-18 07:07:26    

Washington, July 18 : An international team of global warming experts have called for new drastic conservation tactics, such as assisted migration, to save species, in the face of the growing threat of climate change.
An international team of global warming experts have called for new drastic conservation tactics, such as assisted migration, to save species, in the face of the growing threat of climate change.

The team of conservation scientists is from Australia, the United Kingdom and United States, including University of Texas at Austin Professor Camille Parmesan.

The authors argue that both the rapid rate of climate change and the presence of human-made barriers to natural movement will prevent many species from shifting where they live in response to changes in local climate.

They suggest that human-assisted translocation of individuals, often termed "assisted migration" or "assisted colonization," may be necessary to ensure colonization of new geographic regions as parts or all of the historical species' range becomes unsuitable.

"When I first brought up this idea some 10 years ago in conservation meetings, most people were horrified," said Parmesan.

"But now, as the reality of global warming sinks in, and species are already becoming endangered and even going extinct because of climate change, I'm seeing a new willingness in the conservation community to at least talk about the possibility of helping out species by moving them around," he added.

Parmesan and her colleagues point out that assisted migration can never be a major solution for wildlife, but could conceivably be used to help a few species that biologists and the public deem to be important enough for the effort and could otherwise go extinct.

The species would need to be easy to collect, raise or move. Its habitat requirements would need to be well understood, and there would need to be viable habitat options outside of the species' current range.

In their report, the authors present a conceptual framework for just how such decisions might be made.

This framework includes fundamental biological questions which much be addressed before decisions to act can be made, such as risk of extinction if nothing is done versus risk of harm to the new community if the species is moved there.

In addition to biological considerations, their framework includes social dimensions of the issue, such as cost and inherent value people place on the target species.

"Ultimately, the decision about whether to actively assist the movement of a species into new territories will rest on ethical and aesthetic grounds as much as on hard science," said Parmesan.

"Conservation has never been an exact science, but preserving biodiversity in the face of climate change is likely to require a fundamental rethinking of what it means to 'preserve biodiversity'," she added. (ANI)
© 2007 ANI


TAGS: Science   


more
Why the veggie burger tastes just as good as a non-veg one

While a scrumptious non-veggie burger may be treat for your taste buds, the taste for meat could be based in part on expectation rather than reality, says a new study led by an Indian researcher, which shows that personal values deceive taste buds.

Scientists to drill into a crack in the edge of the world

An international consortium of scientists is preparing to drill into a crack in the edge of the world - the South Island's Alpine Fault in New Zealand.

US warrant surrendering Dr. Death to Oz Police imminent
18.Jul 2008
Ending a three-year quest to bring controversial In...read

Icebergs scouring ocean seabed could have severe effects on marine creatures
18.Jul 2008
New data has suggested that due to an increase in ...read

Humming fish gives clues to the origins of vocalization
18.Jul 2008
A male midshipman - a close relative of the toadfi...read



"Assisted migration of species" necessary for saving wildlife from global warming

Antarctica and North America may once have been connected

Indian-origin researchers find way to create heat pumps, energy converters from 'nanosculpture'

NASA's Deep Impact films Earth as an alien world

Men and women really do have different brains