Manatees have been protected by the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act since 1978 (Spivey). This act prohibits annoying, molesting, harassing, or disturbing any manatee to be found in or near the state. It also specifies that anyone who tries to kill, hunt, pursue, or capture a manatee would have serious repercussions. Even with all these laws there is still a growing number of manatee deaths throughout the state. When manatees were put on the endangered species list in 1973 they were also put under the protection of the endangered species organization. This organization has enforced four laws so far to protect manatees from future harm (Swart). This entitles the manatee population to a number of new laws and requirements put on the state of Florida to protect them . For manatees this included new speed zones for boats and different water pollution regulations put into place at all bays where manatees are known to be. These things caused the number of injured manatees to go down for a few years but since then the numbers have slowly climbed back up to where they were before. The rules and regulations put in place by both the state of Florida and the endangered species organization did the trick for a while but the follow through on most of them was gone away causing them to no longer be of any help to the manatee
This exceptionally charismatic megafauna has become synonymous with Florida along with “snowbirds”, orange juice, and Mickey Mouse but the Florida manatee may not be as permanent as its counterparts. Since being declared as endangered, the Florida manatee, a subspecies of the West Indian manatee, has been at the center of conservation efforts throughout the east coast of the United States. While human involvement has been at the crux of the increasing population, it can be argued that the best way to save this species is by taking humans out of the picture altogether.
Some species may see increases from declines of loggerhead sea turtles. Loggerhead turtles are species generalists and compete with other carnivorous predators whose diets overlap with theirs (Bjorndal 2003). Juvenile loggerheads and Kemp’s ridleys in waters around Long Island have substantial diet overlap and a decline in loggerhead sea turtles may reduce the amount of competition for prey, allowing the Kemps ridleys access to more
Georgia has been invaded by numerous species that are known as harmful exotic plants and animals. It is so costly to attempt to control invasive species and the damages they inflict cost the United States annually an estimated $137 billion (Georigia Invasive Species Task Force, 2005). For example, in South Georgia there is an estimate of 7 million acres of Kudzu vine that originated in Japan and China. The damage that arises with the Kudzu vine is that it grows up to one foot per day and overgrows and shades out trees, covers houses, barns and road signs (Georigia Invasive Species Task Force, 2005). In order to make this a top priority some things congress needs to change is the revision of current United States policy on importation of live plants and animals and when considering, reviewing, or approving trade agreements they address specific invasive species. In addition, the implementation of prescribed burnings in areas with invasive species will help eliminate and control the spreading of such invasive species.
The Everglades National Park protects the largest wild life area east of the Mississippi River. The Everglades are the largest remaining sub-tropical wild life area in 48 states sitting on 1.5 million acres preserved at Florida’s tip off shore. The Everglades contain various ecosystems such as rivers, lakes ponds, marshes, etc. These wild life areas feature both fresh and saltwater areas, open prairies, pine rock lands, tropical hardwood forests, offshore coral reefs, and mangrove forests. This paper will summarize how humans contributed to the destruction of the Everglades and how man is working to save the Everglades. Since the Everglades is comprised of both fresh and saltwater areas the vast range of wildlife species in the Everglades include but not limited to reptiles, mammals, aquatic birds, etc. The vast spectrum of wildlife living in the Florida Everglades include but not limited to aquatic animals, mammals, reptiles, etc. Of this vast spectrum of wildlife living in the Florida Everglades there are 56+ species who are either endangered or are in jeopardy of being endangered. The Everglades are home to two National Parks, four National Wildlife Refuges, and one National Marine Sanctuary that bring almost 2 million visitors every year to experience this natural beauty located minutes from Miami Florida. The powerful environmental forces of sun, water, wind, and fire greatly affect the development and lifecycles of these
Iconic Cape Cod Massachusetts is named after the Atlantic Cod. For centuries, this fish has provided food and trade for New Englanders. In this time, there have been several instances of overfishing by humans from the aboriginal era to colonial times but none so drastic as the present conditions of cod fisheries (Jackson, Kirby, Berger, and Bjorndal, 2001). Overfishing is a human induced occurrence where humans are fishing more than a body of water can sustain. In other words, humans are catching more adult fish preventing the existing population from growing to replenish the fish that were caught (Overfishing: A Global Disaster, n.d.). Worldwide, over 80% of the fish stocks are “fully- to over-exploited, depleted, or in a state of collapse” (Overfishing: A Global Disaster, n.d.). The results of this careless behavior has reduced the biodiversity in the Gulf of Maine and landed the Atlantic Cod on the endangered species list as being “vulnerable” (Cod, n.d.). In the neighboring region of Newfoundland, Canada, communities are already feeling the effects of overfishing. In 1992, at the beginning of the fishing season in the Grand Bank region, there were suddenly no more cod. The local economies collapsed and to this day, the region has not quite recovered (Brennan and Withgott, 2005).
Although the first three stages of an invasion are important to understanding the invader, the impact stage of invasion is more important because it includes all the effects an invader has on the invaded ecosystem. For the rusty crayfish, Orconectes rusticus, the impacts it has on an invaded area are a result of its natural behavior (McCarthy et al. 2006). Although this behavior is similar to native crayfish, the rusty crayfish is faster and more resilient than any other native crayfish (Kuhlmann 2008). As a result, the rusty crayfish not only outcompete other native crayfish, but also extensively preys on species that are used to the more passive and slower native crayfish (McCarthy et al. 2006). The impacts of the rusty crayfish on new environments include the direct and indirect effects of decreases in local populations, and hybridization with native crayfish species due to its ability to outcompete native crayfish.
In this research paper I will talk about how a large decrease in the algae population in the Chesapeake Bay will cause problems for not just fish and other species but the people who fish and make a living off of it. A large decrease in algae population will have a domino effect on the food chain. Having a major decrease in algae will hurt how others species live and protect themselves.
An invasive species has entered Maryland’s waters and threatens to dramatically alter the balance of the aquatic ecosystem. The Northern Snakehead fish, native to Asia and Africa, is a voracious predator, competing with native fish at all stages of its life. The juveniles will consume zooplankton, insect larvae, small crustaceans and other fry fish. Adults eat fish, crustaceans, frogs, small reptiles and even birds and mammals. Snakeheads aggressively protect their young. They are also air-breathers which allow them to survive on land for as long as four days and migrate up to a quarter mile over land making control difficult. Snakeheads carry a disease, Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome, and there is concern this disease may be transmitted to native fish. The snakehead fish was probably intentionally released in the U.S. by aquarium owners and through the live food fish trade attempting to establish a local food source. To date, the snakehead fish is found in seven states with reproducing populations documented in Maryland and Florida. In Maryland, they have been captured in the Potomac River and tributaries. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Biological Resources Division of the U.S.G.S. are all involved in monitoring and eradicating the snakehead fish. Maryland anglers can help by learning to identify the snakehead fish and by removing it from the ecosystem. As further incentive, Maryland DNR has offered
The definition of an endangered species is a vulnerable species that is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as likely to become endangered unless the circumstances threatening its survival and reproduction are improved. Fishing, directed and bycatch, has always been one of the major threats to Atlantic cod and remains one of the major threats to the northern Laurentian population. High natural mortality caused by predation and adverse environmental conditions is considered a significant threat. The Atlantic cod population north of Laurentian has decreased between 76% and 89% over the last three
This research will evaluate possible behavioral distinctions of manatees to oncoming water vessels with individual variation, such as manatees raised in captivity opposed to wild, multiple boat scars versus no noticeable boat scars, and age class variation. Geographical comparison of multiple species of manatees will determine behavioral disparity in areas with high watercraft mortality and areas where the threat is less predominant. An array of behaviors will be analyzed including communication, predator response, and feeding. This research will strongly build upon previous research, and has robust conservation implications for capture and release, as well as rehabilitation programs for this endangered marine mammal. The Environmental Science and Policy doctorate program at George Mason University will grant me the expertise needed to excel in this field of
Clover’s stance on overfishing may seem over dramatic, but Clover’s statement is correct in pointing out that the real danger to the ocean’s wildlife is overfishing. Overfishing is when fish and other sea animal populations are being depleted to the point that sea animals cannot keep up with being fished by reproduction. Fishing massive amounts is degrading the oceans, yet there are both developed and developing countries whose economies rely heavily on fishing.