Navigation Links
A human taste for rarity spells disaster for endangered species

The shady pursuit of endangered bird eggs made international headlines in May 2006 when Colin Watson, widely considered Britain's most notorious illegal egg collector, died after falling from a 12-meter tree, allegedly while hunting a rare egg. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds estimates that up to 30 of Britain's most vulnerable species are targeted by collectors. Classical economics theory predicts that such exploitation is unlikely to extinguish a species because the cost of finding the last individuals would outweigh the benefits. But a new theoretical study in PLoS Biology shows that adding human behavior to the equation--specifically, the human penchant for rarity--reveals an unexpected mechanism of exploitation, with alarming implications for species survival.

Franck Courchamp, Elena Angulo, and their colleagues incorporated the assumption that rarity increases a species' value into a classic model of resource exploitation used to manage fisheries. Prizing rarity, they found, triggers a positive feedback loop between exploitation and rarity that drives a species into an extinction vortex.

This phenomenon, the authors explain, resembles an ecological process called the Allee effect, in which individuals of many plant and animal species suffer reduced fitness at low population densities, which increases their extinction risk. The authors' model now shows that humans can trigger an "anthropogenic Allee effect" in rare species through a paradox of value. When rarity acquires value, prices for scarce species can skyrocket, even though continued exploitation will precipitate extinction. And as long as someone will pay any price for the rarest of the rare, market price will cover (and exceed) the cost of harvesting the last giant parrot, tegu lizard, or lady's slipper orchid on Earth.

The authors describe multiple human activities that could precipitate the anthropogenic Allee effect. Hobby collections of the sort Watson alleged
'"/>

Source:Public Library of Science


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Novel technology detects human DNA mutations
2. Current human embryonic stem cell lines contaminated UCSD/Salk team finds
3. UWs Rosetta software to unlock secrets of many human proteins
4. Genome-wide mouse study yields link to human leukemia
5. Found: Missing sequence of the human Y chromosome
6. Study finds more than one-third of human genome regulated by RNA
7. Molecular machine may lead to new drugs to combat human diseases
8. Sea skate experiment sheds light on human cell transport
9. Mouse brain tumors mimic those in human genetic disorder
10. Zebrafish may hold key to understanding human nerve cell development
11. Yale researchers identify molecule for detecting parasitic infection in humans
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: human taste for rarity spells disaster for endangered species

(Date:7/9/2014)... of increasing concern about the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant ... promising new pathway to disabling disease: blocking bacteria,s ... scientists showed how bacterial siderophore, a small molecule, ... fan bacterial growth as well as how ... infection process. Their findings appear in a recent ...
(Date:7/9/2014)... and fever but often can be defeated with antibiotics ... to beat. Now, scientists have built a new weapon against ... in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces , ... more of them than medicine alone. , David Leong, Jianping ... in wait, undetectable in the human body or in places ...
(Date:7/9/2014)... the amphibians with the highest distribution in the Iberian ... where it comes into contact with the red swamp ... by the Spaniard Germn Orizaola from the University of ... have developed a defensive response to the invasive species. ... they co-exist with the crayfish. , Numerous invasive organisms ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Bacteria hijack plentiful iron supply source to flourish 2Frogs have developed rapid defences against the red swamp crayfish 2Frogs have developed rapid defences against the red swamp crayfish 3
... COLUMBIA, MO The American Association for the Advancement ... to Arun Chatterjee, a professor emeritus of plant sciences ... at the University of Missouri. Chatterjee was ... plant bacteriology, particularly for global regulation of virulence factors ...
... that the impact of disease-resistant genetically-modified wheat plants ... have looked at the effects of genetically-modified (GM) ... characterised by numerous insect species forming food webs. ... transgenic disease-resistant wheat lines and their effect on ...
... Madison, WI JANUARY 20, 2011 -- Chronic ... municipal wastewater, and atmospheric deposition from the burning of ... and harmful algal blooms. This nutrient pollution is prevalent ... Bay is the largest estuary in North America and ...
Cached Biology News:University of Missouri professor elected to American Association for the Advancement of Science 2New Anglo-Swiss research questions impact of GM wheat on insects 2Could oysters be used to clean up Chesapeake Bay? 2
(Date:1/15/2014)... England and SAN JOSE, California ... international biotechnology company developing antibody-drug conjugates for cancer, today announced ... Board of Directors. Dr Reynolds has over 20 years, development ... Medical Officer at Seattle Genetics. "I am delighted ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... 2014 More than 5 million Americans ... in 3 seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another ... figures have shocked many Americans into looking for ways ... these tragic age-related cognitive disorders. Jonathan Weisman, president of ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... 2013 was a banner year of ... They saw continued independent research led by the team ... a $1 million grant from the Susanne Marcus Collins ... a peer reviewed journal, Amy Grant highlighted Brainwave Optimization® ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... 2014 Date: Friday, April 11, 2014 , ... Club, 1360 Almshouse Road, Warrington, Pa. , Details: ... dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and improving ... its annual Crystal Ball on Friday, April 11 at Warrington ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 2Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 3Biohack Pure Offers 5 Tips for Increasing Memory in 2014 2Dynamic Innovative Technology Showcased at Scottsdale Company’s Open House 2Dynamic Innovative Technology Showcased at Scottsdale Company’s Open House 3Hepatitis B Foundation to Host Annual Crystal Ball Gala 2
... Danaher Corporation (NYSE:,DHR) announced that President and Chief ... at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in,San Francisco ... The audio will be,simultaneously webcast on http://www.danaher.com ... for one week., Danaher Corporation is ...
... THOR ), a world leader in products ... be participating in the JP,Morgan Healthcare Conference on ... chief executive officer, will provide an,update on the ... (11:30,a.m., Eastern Standard Time)., The presentation will ...
... than 500,000 Total Prescriptions Have Been Dispensed for ... ... 3 Shire plc (LSE: SHP,Nasdaq: SHPGY, TSX: SHQ), the ... from the U.S. Food and Drug,Administration (FDA) for three additional ...
Cached Biology Technology:FDA Approves Additional Dosage Strengths of Shire's ADHD Treatment VYVANSE(TM) (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) Which May Help Physicians Tailor Treatment for Individual Patients 2FDA Approves Additional Dosage Strengths of Shire's ADHD Treatment VYVANSE(TM) (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) Which May Help Physicians Tailor Treatment for Individual Patients 3FDA Approves Additional Dosage Strengths of Shire's ADHD Treatment VYVANSE(TM) (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) Which May Help Physicians Tailor Treatment for Individual Patients 4FDA Approves Additional Dosage Strengths of Shire's ADHD Treatment VYVANSE(TM) (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) Which May Help Physicians Tailor Treatment for Individual Patients 5