Share This Article:

Stressor analysis approaches for endangered species assessments

Abstract Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:606KB) PP. 27-35
DOI: 10.4236/ns.2013.55A004    4,224 Downloads   5,886 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The US Endangered Species Act is legislation with the power to limit human activities that may have deleterious effects on the viability of threatened and endangered species of fauna and flora. However, because most endangered species face multiple threats, it is often unclear whether limiting specific activities will improve the likelihood of long-term survival, particularly when the relative importance of different stressors is uncertain. Wildlife managers responsible for protecting these species face the challenge of determining the optimal allocation of limited funds and personnel among risk management and conservation priorities, in the absence of a good understanding of the relative importance of these stressors. We present an analytical framework that can serve as a technical basis for evaluating multiple risks to endangered species. Predictive and retrospective causal analysis applications are considered. The former address proposed projects where the potential exists for adverse interaction between the project and an endangered species. The latter involve existing projects or products for which a determination is being or has been made concerning the threats posed to an endangered species. The causal analysis method described herein is a well-established procedure that is widely used in other scientific fields and offers a practical and logical process through which threats to endangered species can be assessed and recovery actions prioritized.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Salatas, J. , Gard, N. , Wickwire, T. and Menzie, C. (2013) Stressor analysis approaches for endangered species assessments. Natural Science, 5, 27-35. doi: 10.4236/ns.2013.55A004.

References

[1] US Fish and Wildlife Species Reports (2013) Summary of listed species listed populations and recovery plans. Environmental conservation online system. http://ecos.fws.gov/tess_public/pub/Boxscore.do
[2] Animal Welfare Institute v. Beech Ridge Energy LLC (2009) No. RWT 09cv1519.
[3] Center for Biological Diversity v. EPA. (2006) No. 021580-JSW (JL).
[4] Washington Toxics Coalition v. EPA. (2005) No. 413 F.3d 1024.
[5] Schwarz, MW. (2008) The performance of the Endangered species act. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 39, 279-299. doi:10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.39.110707.173538
[6] Menzie, C.A., MacDonell, M.M. and Mumtaz, M. (2007) A phased approach for assessing combined effects from multiple stressors. Environmental Health Perspectives, 115, 807-816. doi:10.1289/ehp.9331
[7] Linder, S.H., Delclos, G. and Sexton, K. (2010) Making causal claims about environmentally induced adverse effects. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, 16, 35-52. doi:10.1080/10807030903459288
[8] Menzie, C.A., MacDonell, M.M. and Mumtaz, M. (1997) A phased approach for assessing combined effects from multiple stressors. Environmental Health Perspectives, 115, 807-816. doi:10.1289/ehp.9331
[9] US Environmental Protection Agency (2000) Stressor identification guidance document. US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water and Office of Research and Development, Washington DC, EPA-822-B00-025.
[10] Cormier, S.M., Suter II, G.W. and Norton, S.B. (2010) Causal characteristics for ecoepidemiology. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, 16, 53-73. doi:10.1080/10807030903459320
[11] Suter II, G.W., Norton, S.B. and Cormier, S.M. (2002) A methodology for inferring the causes of observed impairments in aquatic ecosystems. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 21, 1101-1111. doi:10.1002/etc.5620210602
[12] Suter II, G.W., Norton, S.B. and Cormier, S.M. (2010) The science and philosophy of a method for assessing environmental causes. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, 16, 19-34. doi:10.1080/10807030903459254
[13] US Environmental Protection Agency (1998) Guidelines for ecological risk assessment. US Environmental Protection Agency, Risk Assessment Forum, Washington DC, EPA-630-R095-002F.
[14] Wilcove, D.S., Rothstein, D., Dubow, J., Philips, A. and Losos, E. (1998) Quantifying threats to imperiled species in the United States. BioScience, 48, 607-615. doi:10.2307/1313420
[15] Lawler, J.J., Campbell, S.P., Guerry, A.D., Kolozsvary, M.B., O’Connor, R.J. and Seward, L.C.N. (2002) The scope and treatment of threats in endangered species recovery plans. Ecological Applications 12, 663-667. doi:10.1890/1051-0761(2002)012[0663:TSATOT]2.0.CO;2
[16] US Fish and Wildlife Service (2002) Recovery plan for the California Red-Legged Frog (Rana aurora draytonii). US Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland.
[17] Davidson, C., Shaffer, H.B. and Jennings, M.R. (2001) Declines of the California red-legged frog: Climate, UVB, habitat, and pesticide hypotheses. Ecological Applications, 11, 464-479. doi:10.1890/1051-0761(2001)011[0464:DOTCRL]2.0.CO;2
[18] Davidson, C., Shaffer, H.B. and Jennings, M.R. (2002) Spatial tests of the pesticide drift, habitat destruction, UVB, and climate-change hypotheses for California amphibian declines. Conservation Biology, 16, 1588-1601. doi:10.1046/j.1523-1739.2002.01030.x
[19] Davidson, C. (2004) Declining downwind: Amphibian population declines in California and historical pesticide use. Ecological Applications, 14, 1892-1902. doi:10.1890/03-5224
[20] Kiesecker, J.M. and Blaustein, A.R. (1998) Effects of introduced bullfrogs and smallmouth bass on microhabitat use, growth and survival of native red-legged frogs (Rana aurora). Conservation Biology, 12, 776-787. doi:10.1046/j.1523-1739.1998.97125.x
[21] Lawler, S.P., Dritz, D., Strange, T. and Holyoak, M. (1999) Effects of introduced mosquitofish and bullfrogs on the threatened California red-legged frog. Conservation Biology, 13, 613-622. doi:10.1046/j.1523-1739.1999.98075.x
[22] Doubledee, R.A., Muller, E.B. and Nisbet, R.M. (2003) Bullfrogs, disturbance regimes, and the persistence of California red-legged frogs. Journal of Wildlife Management, 67, 424-438. doi:10.2307/3802783
[23] McConnell, L.L., LeNoir, J.S., Datta, S. and Seiber, J.N. (1998) Wet deposition of current-use pesticides in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, California, USA. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 17, 1980-1916. doi:10.1002/etc.5620171003
[24] LeNoir, J.S., McConnell, L.L., Fellers, G.M. and Cahill, T.M. (1999) Summertime transport of current use pesticides from California’s Central Valley to the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 18, 2715-2722. doi:10.1002/etc.5620181210
[25] Sparling, D.W., Fellers, G.M. and McConnell, L.L. (2001) Pesticides and amphibian population declines in California, USA. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 20, 1591-1595. doi:10.1002/etc.5620200725
[26] Sparling, D.W. and Fellers, G.M. (2009) Toxicity of two insecticides to California, USA, anurans and its relevance to declining amphibian populations. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 28, 1696-1703. doi:10.1897/08-336.1
[27] Hill, B.A. (1965) The environment and disease: Association or causation? Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 58, 295-300.
[28] Bradford, D.F., Stanley, K., McConnell, L.L., TallentHalsell, N.G., Nash, M.S. and Simonich, S.M. (2010) Spatial patterns of atmospherically deposited organic contaminants at high elevation in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, USA. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 29, 1056-1066.
[29] Witte, C.L., Sredl, M.J., Kane, A.S. and Hungerford, LL. (2007) Epidemiologic analysis of factors associated with local disappearance of native ranid frogs in Arizona. Conservation Biology, 22, 375-383. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00878.x
[30] Davidson, C., Benard, M.F., Shafer, H.B., Parker, J.M., O’Leary, C., Conlon, J.M. and Rollins-Smith, L.A. (2007) Effects of chytrid and carbaryl exposure on survival, growth and skin peptide defenses in foothill yellowlegged frogs. Environmental Science and Technology, 41, 1771-1776. doi:10.1021/es0611947
[31] Bancroft, B.A., Baker, N.J. and Blaustein, A.R. (2008) A meta-analysis of the effects of ultraviolet B radiation and its synergistic interactions with pH, contaminants, and disease on amphibian survival. Conservation Biology, 22, 987-996. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.00966.x
[32] USDI (2003) Biological Opinion and letter of concurrence for effects to bald eagles, marbled murrelets, northern spotted owls, bull trout, and designated critical habitat for marbled murrelets and northern spotted owls from Olympic National Forest program of activities for August 5, 2003, to December 31, 2008. USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, Lacey, Washington.
[33] US FWS (2007) Biological opinion on the Ohio Department of Transportation’s statewide transportation program for the federally-listed endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis). US Fish and Wildlife Service, Ohio Ecological Services Field Office, Reynoldsburg.
[34] Wickwire, W.T., Menzie, C.A., Burmistrov, D. and Hope, B.K. (2004) Incorporating spatial data into ecological risk assessments: The spatially explicit exposure model (SEEM) for ARAMS. In: Kapustka, L.A., Galbraith, H., Luxon, M. and Biddinger, G.R., Eds., Landscape Ecology and Wildlife Habitat Evaluation: Critical Information for Ecological Risk Assessment, Land-Use Management Activities, and Biodiversity Enhancement Practices. ASTM International, West Conshohocken, 297. doi:10.1520/STP11955S
[35] Wickwire, W.T. and Menzie, C.A. (2003) New approaches in ecological risk assessment: Expanding scales, increaseing realism, and enhancing causal analysis. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, 9, 1411-1414. doi:10.1080/10807030390250903
[36] Von Stackelberg, K., Wickwire, W.T. and Burmistrov, D. (2005) Spatially-explicit exposure modeling tools for use in human health and ecological risk assessment: SEEM and FISHRAND-Migration. In: Aral, M.M., Brebbia, C.A., Maslia, M.L. and Sinks, T., Eds., Environmental Exposure and Health. WIT Press, Southampton, 279.
[37] Freshman, J.S. and Menzie, C.A. (1996) Two wildlife exposure models to assess impacts at the individual and population levels and the efficacy of remedial actions. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, 2, 481-496. doi:10.1080/10807039609383628
[38] Johnson, M.S., Wickwire, W.T., Quinn, M.J., Ziolkowski, D.J., Burmistrov, D., Menzie, C.A., Geraghty, C., Minnich, M. and Parsons, P.J. (2007) Are songbirds at risk from lead at small arms ranges? An application of the Spatially Explicit Exposure Model (SEEM). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 26, 2215-2225. doi:10.1897/07-068R.1
[39] McGowan, C.P. and Ryan, M.R. (2009) A quantitative framework to evaluate incidental take and endangered species viability. Biological Conservation, 142, 31283136. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2009.08.012

  
comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2018 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.