Two major issues in conservation biology are serving endangered species and reducing the numbers and damage from introduced species. A. Identify an endangered species native to the United States and discuss the reasons why the population is so low. B. Discuss what has been done and is currently being done to help this species. C. Identify a non-native introduced species in the United States and discuss the impact it is having in the surrounding ecosystems. Response: A. Various wolf species on the North American continent have experienced near extinction. There are an estimated 7000 wolves in Alaska and about 5000 in the lower 48 states.
Around the world there is an estimated 200,000 compared to 2 million in earlier times. Wolves were once common throughout North America but were killed in most areas of the United States around 1930. The wolf’s population numbers were dramatically reduced because of habitat loss and overexploitation. Wolves are hunted mainly for sport, their fur coats, to protect livestock, and in rare cases to protect humans. Wolf populations have been reduced to Canada and 9 states in the United States. B. Currently there are laws protecting wolves from being over exploited.
Wolves are currently protected under the Endangered Species Act in the lower 48 states of the United States; except for in Minnesota where wolves are list as threatened. There are also laws that regulate wolf hunting so wolves won’t be over hunted. Wolves are also being reintroduced into protected habitats like in Yellowstone National Park. At Yellowstone park wolf numbers are becoming biologically stable because of all the food, space, and water available in the area. C. The Japanese Honeysuckle is a species of honeysuckle native to Eastern Asia and is classified as an invasive species in many countries.
It has been introduced in many countries like Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. This plant species is overtaking native plants and trees in whatever region it is introduced, it has caused many problems for the surrounding ecosystem. The honeysuckle species is really aggressive and can actually kill certain plant and tree species. It forms a tall dense woody layer that displaces all native species of plants. Efforts to control honeysuckle growth have been inefficient. Simply cutting it out is not good enough, experts suggest chemical sprays or controlled fires to remove the pesky plant species.