ArticlePDF Available

Species Endangerment Patterns in the United States

Authors:
... According to different studies ranking threats to biodiversity for various taxa, invasive species are the second biggest cause of endangerment after habitat loss (Wilson 1992;Baillie et al. 2004;Venter et al. 2006;Evans et al. 2011). Identical rankings have been identified for the United States despite the different taxa and data sources used (Flather et al. 1994;Schemske et al. 1994;Czech and Krausman 1997;Richter et al. 1997;Foin et al. 1998;Wilcove et al. 1998;Lawler et al. 2002;Wagner and Van Driesche 2010). Wilcove et al. (1998) in particular stated that invasive species had contributed directly to the decline of 49% of imperilled species in the United States. ...
... It has also been pointed out that this study was based on anecdotal data (Gurevitch and Padilla 2004;Chew 2015), as stated by Wilcove and colleagues themselves. Moreover, information about threats to endangered species is either absent or limited (Flather et al. 1994;Schemske et al. 1994;Tear et al. 1995;Easter-Pilcher 1996;Foin et al. 1998;Wilcove et al. 1998;Lawler et al. 2002) for the species listed in The United States Endangered Species Act (ESA) 1973, which provides a legal framework for the protection and recovery of species in order to reduce the risk of extinction (NRC 1995). ...
... As regards spatial distribution, the imperilled species impacted negatively by invasive species were located mainly in the States of Hawaii, California, Florida and Arizona. These areas correspond with identified biodiversity hotspots (Dobson et al. 1997;Richter et al. 1997;Flather et al. 1998). They also host higher numbers of invasive species as a result of economic activity (Czech et al. 2000). ...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive species are considered to be a leading cause of the decline of threatened species. However, this view has been disputed because much of the evidence base is anecdotal. This systematic review, through an extensive, repeatable search using agreed selection criteria, examined the available scientific evidence on invasive species’ interactions with the 1363 endangered and threatened species protected under the United States Endangered Species Act (ESA). The review found scientific evidence available for 116 endangered or threatened species (8.5% of the ESA list). Of these, 85 species (6.2%) were reported as being negatively impacted by invasive species: 39 located on the continental US and 39 on islands, with seven marine species. The relative percentages of species impacted differed according to location: 4.3% (n = 906) on the continental US, 9.3% (n = 420) on islands. It was found that predation by invasive vertebrates on birds on islands and competition between invasive plants and endangered or threatened plants on the mainland were the main mechanisms of impact. The results of this study contrast markedly with a previous study which found that 49% of imperilled species in the United States were threatened by invasive species. Further research is essential in order to evaluate the impact of invasive species on imperilled species on the ESA list; this would help to reduce the high degree of uncertainty regarding the threat of invasive species due to the lack of empirical information.
... In this time period, about 110 plant species may have gone extinct in Hawaii according to records of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Nature Conservancy. Estimates of plant extinctions in the continental United States range from below 25 (IUCN, 1998) to above 90 (Davis et al., 1986;Flather et al., 1994). The discrepancy in estimates is due to incomplete systematic surveys, limited monitoring activities, and poor information on viable seed banks. ...
... Between July 1976 and August 1992, about 21 species per year were added to the U.S. endangered species list. In the second half of that 16-year period, 33 species per year were added to the list (Flather et al., 1994). More than 200 plant species are being petitioned for future listing in the United States. ...
... Over half of the rare and endangered plants of the continental United States grow within the borders of 12 western states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming; Figure 2) (Flather et al., 1994). However, among U.S. states Hawaii is the hot spot of endangerment: about 950 native plant species of Hawaii are extinct, endangered, or threatened (Raven et al., 1986). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
The growing public concern about endangered plants is well founded. It is estimated that there are between 235,000 (. Raven et al., 1986) and 380,000 (. IUCN, 2010) species of vascular plants (including ferns and fern allies, gymnosperms, and flowering plants) in the world today; two-thirds of these species are found in the tropics (. Raven et al., 1986). The World Conservation Union (. IUCN, 2004, 2010) currently lists 42,490 species (13.8% of the world's flora) as threatened, and 8903 species of plants (2.9% of the world's flora) as endangered. Threatened plants are found among 363 plant families in 294 countries. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports 645 endangered species and 151 threatened species of flowering plants in the United States (U.S.) as of 7 October 2010.
... A potential solution to this classification shortcoming is to define ecosystems that warrant conservation focus based on geographic and environmental attributes shared by species that are currently listed as threatened or endangered. Distributional information and environmental associations have accumulated for enough species so that geographic patterns of species endangerment can be discerned ( Flather et al. 1994, Dobson et al. 1997). In this article, we use this information to delineate regions in which listed species are concentrated. ...
... This article represents an update of a report written to support the US Forest Service's Renewable Resources Planning Act reporting requirements ( Flather et al. 1994). We would like to thank the resources program and assessment staff of the Forest Service for funding this work. ...
Article
Full-text available
An estimated global extinction rate that appears to be unprecedented in geological time (May 1990) has heightened concern for the increasing number of rare species. Moreover, this elevated extinction rate is being attributed to the activities of humans rather than to some calamitous natural disaster (Pimm et al. 1995). Conservation efforts to slow biodiversity loss have traditionally focused on species with few remaining individuals, based on the assumption that they are the most vulnerable to extinction (Sisk et al. 1994). Consequently, rarity has been used as an important criterion for identifying which species should be the focus of conservation efforts.
... Many rare, threatened, and endangered species in the U.S. are found within the boundaries or in the vicinity of military installations (Flather, Joyce, & Bloomgarden, 1994;Flather, Knowles, & Kendall, 1998;Stein, Scott, & Benton, 2008). 3 The Department of Defense (DoD) allocates a significant amount of capital, human resources and land for conservation efforts toward protecting and managing wildlife habitat in and around military installations. ...
... For the merits of establishing multiple reserves seeZhou and Wang (2006).3 Although the total amount of land controlled by the DoD is only 3.4 percent of the federally administered lands, 26 percent of the threatened and endangered species occurs on the military lands(Flather et al., 1994).4 In 2006, for instance, the DoD spent $4.1 billion on environment related expenses of which $1.4 billion was for environment restoration and $204.1 million was for conservation. ...
Article
Compactness and landscape connectivity are essential properties for effective functioning of conservation reserves. In this article we introduce a linear integer programming model to determine optimal configuration of a conservation reserve with such properties. Connectivity can be defined either as structural (physical) connectivity or functional connectivity; the model developed here addresses both properties. We apply the model to identify the optimal conservation management areas for protection of Gopher Tortoise (GT) in a military installation, Ft. Benning, Georgia, which serves as a safe refuge for this ‘at risk’ species. The recent expansion in the military mission of the installation increases the pressure on scarce GT habitat areas, which requires moving some of the existent populations in those areas to suitably chosen new conservation management areas within the boundaries of the installation. Using the model, we find the most suitable and spatially coherent management areas outside the heavily used training areas.
... These forest priority areas were identified by sequentially combining the highest ranked forestlands within each state (Fig. 3) until each protection target was met. Currently protected forestlands shown here are GAP 1 and 2. 31,32 and causes a major decrease in biodiversity due to processes such as degradation and competition 33 . Logging also has deleterious impacts on biodiversity 34 and is a large source of carbon emissions in the western US, particularly in the Pacific Northwest 35,36 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Forest preservation is crucial for protecting biodiversity and mitigating climate change. Here we assess current forest preservation in the western United States using spatial data and find that beyond the 18.9% (17.5 Mha) currently protected, an additional 11.1% (10.3 Mha) is needed to achieve 30% preservation by 2030 (30 × 30). To help meet this regional preservation target, we developed a framework that prioritizes forestlands for preservation using spatial metrics of biodiversity and/or carbon within each ecoregion. We show that meeting this preservation target would lead to greater protection of animal and tree species habitat, current carbon stocks, future carbon accumulation, and forests that are important for surface drinking water. The highest priority forestlands are primarily owned by the federal government, though substantial areas are also owned by private entities and state and tribal governments. Establishing Strategic Forest Reserves would help protect biodiversity and carbon for climate adaptation and mitigation.
... India is ranked at sixth place for having the largest number of threatened plant species in the above IUCN Red List. It is well understood to extinction and by understanding the processes that contribute to their rarity, future loss of diversity may be deferred or reduced (Flather et al., 1994). ...
Article
Full-text available
The present study was carried out in Holi Forest Range of district Chamba, which is the north-west district of Himachal Pradesh and is located between latitude 32o17’412’’ to 32o26’541’’N and longitude 76o31’504’’ to 76o35’385’’E. The territory is completely mountainous with altitude varying from about 2,000 feet (610 m) to about 21,000 feet (6,400 m) above the mean sea level. The quantitative information of herbs was collected from different sites i.e., Deol, Kut, Dal, Lahaud Dhar. Frequency (%), Density (plants m-2), Basal Area (cm2), Importance Value Index (IVI) and A/F ratio of plant species at different sites were recorded. Poa alpina was found to have highest frequency (90%) closely followed by Jurinea dolomiaea (80%) and Biebersteinia odora has the lowest frequency of 10%. Poa alpina has the highest density (60.6 plants m-2) at Dal followed by Gentiana kurrooa (35.8 plants m-2). Moschela esculenta was found to have highest basal area (1.234 cm2) at Kut. Viola serpens was the dominant species with highest value of IVI (78.77) closely followed by Poa alpina (65.91), Gentiana kurrooa (65.37) and Jurinea dolomiaea (65.36). Most of the species were distributed randomly followed by contagious pattern of distribution and least species were reported for regular distribution pattern.
... MTAs are known to play an important role for conservation as they harbor disproportionally high numbers of threatened and endangered species (Stein, Scott, & Benton, 2008;Warren et al., 2007). Biodiversity on these sites is often high even compared to national parks (Arimoro et al., 2017;Aycrigg et al., 2015;Flather, Joyce, & Bloomgarden, 1994;Groves et al., 2000;Stein et al., 2008;Warren et al., 2007). The conservation effect of MTAs is often linked to an artificially maintained patchiness favoring species richness in plants (Jentsch, Friedrich, Steinlein, Beyschlag, & Nezadal, 2009;Molino & Sabatier 2001), invertebrates (Cizek et al., 2013;Warren & Büttner, 2008), and birds (Gazenbeek, 2005). ...
Article
Full-text available
Wolves (Canis lupus) are currently showing a remarkable comeback in the highly fragmented cultural landscapes of Germany. We here show that wolf numbers increased exponentially between 2000 and 2015 with an annual increase of about 36%. We demonstrate that the first territories in each newly colonized region were established over long distances from the nearest known reproducing pack on active military training areas (MTAs). We show that MTAs, rather than protected areas, served as stepping‐stones for the recolonization of Germany facilitating subsequent spreading of wolf territories in the surrounding landscape. We did not find any significant difference between MTAs and protected areas with regard to habitat. One possible reason for the importance of MTAs may be their lower anthropogenic mortality rates compared to protected and other areas. To our knowledge, this is the first documented case where MTAs facilitate the recolonization of an endangered species across large areas.
... The spread and establishment of non-native species is considered to be one of the greatest threats to native and imperiled species worldwide (Flather et al., 1994; Wilcove et al., 1998; Stein et al., 2000; Sieg et al., 2003). We found a difference in the response to fire that seems to favor the non-native over the native species. ...
Article
Full-text available
Fire is a natural component of, and serves as a tool for, the restoration of forested ecosystems worldwide; however, disturbance due to fire also has been implicated in the proliferation of invasive species. How these fires affect occupancy and use of the forest by wildlife is of great concern, in particular, the differential response of non-native and native species. In the North American Southwest, prior to European settlement, frequent wildfires helped to maintain forest structure. We examined the effect of a large wildfire on an introduced population of the Abert’s squirrel (Sciurus aberti) that has invaded the high elevation forests inhabited by the critically endangered Mt. Graham red squirrel (Tamiasciurus fremonti grahamensis). We found that introduced Abert’s squirrels were more common than native red squirrels in burned areas. Abert’s squirrels did not abandon burned areas but nested, foraged, and did not adjust their home range size in burned areas. This suggests that invasive Abert’s squirrels are better able to exploit burned areas than native red squirrels and that fire can favor non-native species. This interaction between non-native species, native species, and fire adds new insight into the complexities of conservation and restoration of ecosystems and helps to inform conservation activities worldwide.
... They can displace native plants and animals, outcross with native flora, alter nutrient cycling and other ecosystem functions, and even change an ecosystem's flammability (Walker and Smith 1997). After habitat loss, the spread of exotic species is considered the greatest threat to imperiled species in the United States (Flather et al. 1994;Wilcove et al. 1998;Stein et al. 2000). Many exotic invasives thrive in North America because they were introduced from other continents without natural controls, such as ins;& predators, plant fungi, competing plants, and herbivores ). ...
Article
Full-text available
This technical document supports the Forest Service’s requirement to assess the status of renewable natural resources as mandated by the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974. It updates past reports on the trends and geographic patterns of species formally listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. We compare the geographic occupancy of threatened and endangered species at the county-level against the geographic occupancy of a broader set of species thought to be at risk of extinction. This is done to determine if new areas where species rarity may be concentrated emerge. Here we document whether past trends and geographic occupancy patterns have changed over time, thereby providing resource planners and conservation practioners with updated information on where they should focus biodiversity conservation efforts.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.