Deer Cave Bats

October 20, 2011 by staff 

Deer Cave BatsDeer Cave Bats, Fifty years ago, human-influenced climate change was not seen as a threat to national parks that arises today, urban pressures were threatening to drown in park units than they are today, much less than 281 million visitors heading to the parks each year.

In fact, when A. Starker Leopold and his colleagues reviewed the practices of wildlife management through the National Park System in 1963, citing the obvious problems, such as moose too Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. He noted the lack of scientific knowledge to make management decisions, and pointed out the obvious, that “the habitat is not fixed or stable entity that can be put aside and preserved behind a fence, like a cliff dwelling or a petrified tree. ”

However, many of the problems and challenges facing the national park system today are different than the 1960. So much are the factors that influence wildlife in national parks changed over the past five decades, in the minds of the Park Service director Jon Jarvis, it’s time to revisit the Leopold report and update for national parks in the 21st century.

For its day, the Leopold report to Interior Secretary Stewart Udall clearly established the role of the Park Service in managing wildlife.

Animals within the parks should not be allowed to inhabit the park and degrade habitat; sacrifice, and even hunting should be used to control the population, and there was a need for a research program “greatly expanded, aimed at management needs … “within the park system.

To this end, Leopold and his colleagues addressed three main issues:

1) What should be the goals of wildlife management in national parks?

2) What general management policies best suited to achieve predetermined objectives?

3) What are some of the methods suitable for implementation in the field of policy?
Some even say that some of the report’s recommendations were too romantic and idyllic, especially as presented in the following passage:

“We recommend that the biotic associations within each park be maintained, or where necessary recreated, as much as possible under the conditions that prevailed when the area was first visited by white men. A national park should represent a vignette of early America. (emphasis added) ”

To its credit, the report’s authors Leopold recognized the greatness of his vision may look and realized that there were limitations to how far they could retrieve configuration management of wildlife.

The restoration of the primal scene is not easily or can be done completely. Some species have become extinct. Over time, an eastern hardwood forest can grow back to maturity, but the nut is missing and so will the sound of the wings of a dove. Drapanid finches colors are not going to hear again in the lowland forests of Hawaii, or the ring hammer ivory bill in the swamps of the south. The wolf and brown bear can not easily be reintroduced to the farming communities, and the factor of human use of the parks is subject to regulation, not elimination. Exotic plants, animals, and diseases are here to stay. All these limitations we fully realize. However, if the target can not be fully achieved that can be addressed. A reasonable illusion primitive America could be recreated, using the maximum capacity, the trial and ecological sensitivity. This in our opinion should be the goal of all national parks and monuments.
While the report has long served as the Park Service in its approach to wildlife management, Director Jarvis, in his recent call to action, was the need to update the report to the challenges of management.

“The report Leopold was really fundamental work, the basis on which we build our whole approach to the conservation and management, at least the world of natural resources,” said Mr. Jarvis the traveler in a recent interview. “Obviously, it is 50 years old and it’s time to revisit.”

While much of the Leopold report is still relevant today, said the director, such as climate change and other human influences on the landscape – as, for example, the Park Service addresses the vegetation, the arrival of plants native species – were not addressed by the team of Leopold.

Some influences of climate change are very urgent in wildlife populations. Wolverines, which depend on the fields of snow, could be expelled from places like Glacier National Park and North Cascades National Park as snow fields disappear. Natural fisheries – freshwater and saltwter – could be devastated by water heated by hot summers. Vegetative changes through Alaska as a result of global warming could raise questions of caribou.

The list goes on and on, playing the charismatic megafauna such as grizzly bears and birds.

Far from climate change, lack of predators in the parks as the Rocky Mountains, Wind Cave, Theodore Roosevelt, Valley Forge, and Gettysburg and have pushed the park managers turn to hunting, sacrifice, and even control birth in efforts to appease the moose deer populations.

To examine these and other influences of the 21st century into a natural park and recommend revisions to the report Leopold, Director Jarvis has assembled a distinguished panel of external experts:

* Dr. Rita Colwell (Chair), Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland at College Park and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Chairman, Canon U.S. Life Sciences, Inc., College Park, Maryland

Scientific Committee Members

* Dr. Susan Avery, president and director at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts

* Dr. Joel Berger, John J. Craighead President and Professor of Wildlife Conservation at the University of Montana, Senior Scientist at the Society of Wildlife Conservation, Missoula, Montana

* Dr. Daniel Botkin, emeritus professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at the University of California at Santa Barbara, president and founder of the Center for the Study of the Environment, Professor of Biology at George Mason University in New York, New York

* Dr. Gary Davis, President of GE Davis & Associates, Westlake Village, California

* Dr. Healy Hamilton, Director of the Center for Biodiversity Research, Research Associate in the Department of Ornithology and Mammalogy at the California Academy of Sciences, an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Human Environmental Sciences at San Francisco State University, research associate in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the University of California Berkeley, San Francisco, California

* Dr. Thomas Lovejoy, Biodiversity Senior Advisor to the President of World Bank Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations Foundation, the president of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics and Environment, Washington, DC

* Dr. Shirley Malcolm, head of the Directorate of Education and Human Resources Programs of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC

* Dr. Ann McMullen, curator at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC

* Dr. Michael Novacek, senior vice president, Dean of Science, Curator American Museum of Natural History in New York, New York

* Dr. Elinor Ostrom, Distinguished Professor, Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science, Senior Research Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University, Founding Director of Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity at the University of Arizona professor in the School of Public Affairs and Environmental Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

* Dr. Richard J. Roberts, Chief Scientific Officer at New England Biolabs, Ipswich, Massachusetts * Dr. Richard Tapia, Director, Center of Excellence and Equity in Education, Associate Director for Minority Affairs, Office of Graduate Studies, Director of Partnerships for Education Graduate and Teaching, the Maxfield and Oshman Professor of Engineering at Rice University, adjunct professor at the University of Houston, Houston, Texas

The Park Service liaison for the team is Dr. Gary Machlis, science adviser to the Director Jarvis.

“They are working under the umbrella of the National Park System Science Advisory Board, for what is essentially advice to me, and the Secretary of Interior, on the future of our national parks management in the light of these challenges,” said the director.

With the growing challenges facing wildlife in the National Park System, its recommendations will be timely.

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