Navigation Links
Global warming experts recommend drastic measures to save species

AUSTIN, TexasAn international team of conservation scientists from Australia, the United Kingdom and United States, including University of Texas at Austin Professor Camille Parmesan, call for new conservation tactics, such as assisted migration, in the face of the growing threat of climate change.

They report their policy ideas in a paper published July 18 in the journal Science.

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," Parmesan said. "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."

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.

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.

The authors argue that the most suitable scenario is when the risk of extinction of the target species is high in its historic range, but the risk to the community into which the species will be imported is low. It might also be appropriate when the likelihood of successful colonization is high, but the time and cost to perform the transplantation is low.

"Passively assisting coral reef migration may be acceptable, but transplanting polar bears to Antarctica, where they would likely drive native penguins to extinction, would not be acceptable," Parmesan said.

"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," she said. "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.'"


Contact: Lee Clippard
University of Texas at Austin

Related biology news :

1. Global Warming and the Habitability of Planet Earth, Sept. 26
2. Green skies: Engineers work may reduce jet travels role in global warming
3. Scientists in first global study of poison gas in the atmosphere
4. North Americas northernmost lake affected by global warming
5. IEEE-USA innovation forum will help prepare US tech leaders to prosper in a global marketplace
6. Majority of Americans want local action on global warming, says poll
7. International team of scientists warns of climate changes impact on global river flow
8. Changing the global dietary environment
9. Global deal fuels QUTs world-changing research
10. NIH hosts event to launch Council of Science Editors global theme issue
11. Agricultural soil erosion is not adding to global warming
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015 NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... on the growing mobile commerce market and creator ... a leading marketplace to discover and buy innovative ... wallet on StackSocial for this holiday season.   ... "Company"), a biometric authentication company focused on the ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... 27, 2015 In the present market scenario, ... for various industry verticals such as banking, healthcare, defense, ... growing demand for secure & simplified access control and ... as hacking of bank accounts, misuse of users, , ... as PC,s, laptops, and smartphones are expected to provide ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... , Oct. 27, 2015 Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... today announced that Google has adopted the Synaptics ® ... controller solutions to power its newest flagship smartphones, the ... Huawei. --> --> ... Google to provide strategic collaboration in the joint development ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... LOS ANGELES and HOLLISTON, Mass. ... Regenerative Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: HART ), a biotechnology ... announced that CEO Jim McGorry will present ... Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. PT. The ... (link below) for 30 days. Management will also be ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Oregon , November 25, 2015 ... Market Research Report is a professional and in-depth ... industry.      (Logo: ) ... overview of the industry including definitions, classifications, applications ... is provided for the international markets including development ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO ... New York on Wednesday, December 2 at ... , president and CEO, will provide a corporate overview. ... at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT . ... will provide a corporate overview. --> th Annual ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- Clintrax Global, Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical research services headquartered ... the company has set a new quarterly earnings record in Q3 ... posted for Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of 2015.   ... , with the establishment of an Asia-Pacific ... United Kingdom and Mexico , with ...
Breaking Biology Technology: