Download 4.2.6 Case histories of Species and Natural Area

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Wood Bison as an example of an endangered
species whose conservation status has been
improved by intervention.
Wood Bison (WB):
1800's: 60,000,000 total and 168,000 wood bison (WB)
1889 : 800 total and 550 WB
due to hunting (meat and hide) and disease?
First protective laws 1877-93
1925/28- 6673 diseased plains buffalo (PB) sent to WBNP (Wood Bison National Park)
infected WB and compromised their genetic integrity
ie PB X WB; the concern? Are there any "pure" WB
1959/63- discovery of "pure" WB in WBNP
37 WB are the ancestors of all "pure" WB
1975-WB Recovery Programme
1977-International Commercial Trade Prohibited under CITES (Convention on
International Trade of Endangered Species)
1979- classified as "endangered" by COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of
Endangered Wildlife in Canada)
1983- WBNP made a World Heritage Site by UNESCO
1988- downgraded to "threatened"
1990- Northern Diseased Bison Environmental Assessment Panel
Threats 1. Disease-bovine tuberculosis/anthrax/bovine viral diarrhea
 2. Habitat Loss- advancement of agriculture/logging/ roads/
3. Genetic Diversity-are there pure WB left? Hybridization
with PB.
Even if pure they came from only 37 individuals ie bottleneck
effect. Therefore the dilemma between maintaining genetic
integrity and increasing gene pool.
Predation: wolves and poachers
Domestication- further hybridization with PB and cattledoes not promote genetic integrity
Red Tape- prov. and fed. Gov't-env./resources/ agriculture
1st Nations/ Interest Groups(Greenpeace) / Industrieslogging/agriculture/tourism
International Agencies-UNESCO, WWF
Money required to study and protect WB
Biological Significance of a
Natural Area
 Eg.
Wood Bison National Park (WBNP)1922
 -1983 WHS by UNESCO
 location: Boundary between Alberta and
Northwest territories. Wilderness area of
Northern Boreal Plains Vegetation- white spruce/black spruce/prairie
grasses species/sphagnum moss/meadows
 Conservation value-WB/ whooping crane
 Threats- contamination of "pure" WB by PB and
 extermination of all bison to eliminate
disease and start with fresh bison
drying up of delta due to Bennett Dam and
water quality of Peace River affected by pulp
and paper mills upstream of park
changing water levels affect nesting sites of
whooping crane
native land claims