A discussion on Conservation Ecology.

Andy Sager

Well-Known Member
#21
There's not much more I can add to Nav's last post because I agree whole heartedly with it.
What you ( The collective you not the specific you) need to understand is that the fish in the hobby are not the fish in the wild. The fish in the hobby that are wild fish "look a likes" are not wild fish. They are different because of the lack of the genetic soup available to keep them in their wild state. So if you are going to Captive Propagate a wild fish NOT under wild conditions, you are creating a different animal. It might look the same but it doesn't have the same properties inside. It is why, in my humbleist of opinions, that if you don't save the habitat of the wild fish, you have destroyed that specie you were trying to protect.

As for the existence of the "inbreeding resistance" gene, I have no clue whether it exists however, as I learned in breeding fish and animals, many factors can result in a trait. A trait found in one animal can be passed on and on and one to other generations and as such, I can only conclude that if the existence of this trait is found in certain fish or animals, it has to have become part of the animal's DNA. Look at the creation of long finned varieties of fish. It is not a normal trait of the wild fish yet it is in the domesticated form. How did it get there? How did it develop? How did it become permanent? Here's the answer: The first one with it was a "freak". (
freak
frēk/
noun
1.1
a very unusual and unexpected event or situation.
"the teacher says the accident was a total freak"
synonyms:anomaly, aberration, rarity, oddity, unusual occurrence;More

  1. 2.
    a person, animal, or plant with an unusual physical abnormality.
    synonyms:aberration, abnormality, irregularity, oddity )




    When given the chance to breed, this freak has now passed on it's "freakness" to another generation. In the wild, this abnormality would probably be a death sentence but in an aquarium, not. The freak trait now has 2 generations where it is found so if carefully nurtured and selectively bred, this freak trait can become a "normal" opposed to freak. How? By only breeding to others with the same freak trait. In my previous example, I said that if only one fish with this ability survived, the specie would die when it died. But if 2 fish, of opposite genders, survived, you have the ability to create this new trait as normal because the fish would have no other fish not having this trait to breed with. That's how you get long finned fish to maintain that trait. By only allowing them to breed to other fish with that freak trait. ( That's my take on it. ;) )

As for the rest of your comment GG, if mankind does not change it's ways, it will slowly kill itself and all that surrounds it. But just like the age of the mammal rose after the age of the dinosaur, some things will survive and take over the planet. Mankind has enough habits that are slowly killing itself. Smoking, over eating, over medicating, over drinking, etc. We choose these things to start and we choose not to stop them. We give them names like Addict or Controlled but in the end, if the action doesn't change, death just comes sooner than later. We all are going to die at some point, it's just a question of how. You see example after example of how texting and driving causes crash after crash and death after death yet people still do it. Why? Because man is too ignorant to understand their own place on the Earth. They could control EVERYTHING if they were smarter. ;) It used to be thought that man was better than animals because it made tools. Now, they find, after years of observation, that many animals use tools and have been all along. Birds and Otters use rocks, Chimps and higher Apes use sticks. Even Rats can outwit a human. Monkeys think, Dogs reason, and the list goes on. I'm afraid that if mankind does not change, all we do is nothing more than putting a 1" band aid on a 10" cut. It only helps a little. It doesn't solve the problem. The root cause of the issue is Mankind. The root solution is to change the cause. Not to sound all doom and gloomy on a beautiful Saturday morning but it's going to be your generation and the generations that follow you that will either solve the problem or continue it until it's gone. My generation started movements like Earth day and Arbor day and look where that has led. :( ( BTW, go outside and hug a tree today......just because it is there. (y) ) Today, things ( a.k.a. destruction) are accelerated not slowed. :( I don't have a better answer for you other than change the cause. Find the 12" band-aid instead of the 1" one. My Great and Great, Great grandchildren and on depend on it. (y)
 
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GreenGo

Well-Known Member
#22
If you research what is being done at the fish ark in Morelia Mexico (University of Michoacan), it is of interest. There, they use giant concrete tubs, basically ponds, to maintain threatened livebearers in large, viable populations.
As long is it gets funding, it will be a great project. Will it still be funded and maintained in 2118? 2218? Compared to the age of the environments we are destroying, that's an afternoon. That is what we somehow have to work toward.
I think there are logistical problems that have to be considered if we answer Green Go's questions.
First, who is "we"?
It is the kicker. I have watched a lot of hobbyist run conservation projects over the years (not many years, really). The Aquatic Conservation Network, the precursors to CARES (the best one running right now), various others run by various clubs. Usually, there is a passionate individual who wins over some of his fellow mammals to give it a try. He or she dies (people tend to figure these things out when much older) and the whole thing falls apart. The late Ivan Dibble, an ordinary working class man who was the heart and soul of the first phase of the fish ark, was writing fundraising e-mails when he died at his desk. Luckily, others stepped up, and he had had the good sense to work his project with a large University.
In our hobby, too many of us don't even know who Myron Gordon, Roger Langton, George Maier, Derek Lambert or Ivan Dibble were, and the work they did.
Certainly, hobbyists working to fund raise for a project like the one in Michoacan would be a good step.
We have to find away around this observation : of the 30 most passionate aquarist fish conservation people I have met since 1990, I estimate 2 or 3 still keep fish. Whatever we do has to involve creating networks larger than ourselves that can easily carry on and flourish if we suddenly fall in love with iguanas.
Captive propogation? I lean the other way. I only buy wild caught fish. I have met and spoken with fishers from Africa and South America. It is a now traditional, small scale cottage industry, employing thousands in regions that provide a lot of fish, and small operators in less popular sources. Here's an anecdote - freshwater stingrays sting waders throughout their range. The sting is agonizing. In many regions, they are rare, because they are killed on sight. But where there is an aquarium fishery to sell rays, all of a sudden they are very common, and are protected by the local people who support their communities by exporting them. They curse and swear and suffer horrible pain when they are stung, but they make a living from the fish and they protect the habitats that produce them.
They don't stand a chance if a corporation arrives to flatten their forest for soy or cattle, but economics are politics.
We have many examples of local people protecting fish habitat and harvesting sensibly when there is a living to be made there. I support that. Sure, it is self interest on my part, but I have provided data to African start ups so they would know where to look for the fish selling in an overseas market they will never see to gauge for themselves. Information is the commodity we can gather as aquarists, and that we can share.
The average hobbyist will buy the cheapest and most colourful fish available. They will buy from fish farms. In time, some of them will see a different direction, and get interested in uncommon fish, which will lead them to wilds. It will lead them to breeding, and learning. If we cultivate the knowledge based hobby, and support local fisheries as much as we can (there are importers who go out of their way to be fair to fisher people - they stay small because that raises the price of the fish), then we may be doing something.
Short term, everyone reading this should learn about the Rio Xingu, in detail. The rapids of the Congo and what Hydro-electric development could do is another issue. We should all take some time and try to understand how species form, how old they are and how they divide and branch out. We should do some reading on ecologies and evolution. It's essential knowledge.
I love this point. I ran into a similar discussion somewhere else that local fisheries could help the survival of habitats. I prefer to do this over captive propagation, but how can a hobbyist, breeder, or aquaculturist tell the difference?

@Andy Sager , so in your mind a fish isn't wild after only one generation? What about if you keep a large enough population that it remains viable, either in Nav's post about the fish ark or by carefully breeding so as to retain the natural variation of a species? It can be done, with enough $$$$$ and time. ;) Yeah, impractical, but I'm curious as to why your stance is so dead set on it being only one generation. Genetic diversity doesn't actually diminish until after two, as the first one could rightly be still considered a natural pairing, as who's to say it wouldn't have happened in the wild? I'm talking about genes that are Identical By Decent (IBD) as per what my for-fun textbook Genetics of Populations by Philip Hedrick discusses, which is along the same lines as what you're saying. As such, if one could reintroduce said fish back into the wild directly after the P generation mated, it could still rightly be considered a 'wild' fish, as there would be no genes IBD until the second generation (F2), and I'm sure you could get more wild blood (or have enough to start with) that you could replicate the wild population so that there still would be little to no (or "natural amounts" of) IBD genes in the organisms' DNA.

Is Identical By Decent genes what you are talking about? I'm trying to figure out the schema from what you're talking about vs what I've read, so please pardon any ignorance on my end.

Otherwise, what you speak of with the supposed gene makes complete sense. Everything we know of for the most part (behaviors in certain situations, even) are dictated by DNA. (y) It really is more important than we all thought, I'm sure. :LOL:
 

Navigator Black

Some odd mod.
Staff member
#23
I don't agree with Andy that in one or two generations, tank bred fish are genetically different from wilds. But I see how it could be a general rule of thumb, as an assumption. If there are no mutations that make tank survival more likely, then there is no genetic drift. But since we can't see, it is probably safer to assume drift has happened if we are doing conservation projects.
One of the key areas where selection happens fast seems to be in egg structures, as a lot of wild Apistogramma, for example, need mineral free water or the eggs are either unfertilized or can't hatch. But in some cases where ten eggs out of a hundred hatch, those ten can be the start of a new line. But there is no guarantee that is not a natural mechanism. I kept a lot of eunotus type Apistos that were relatively unspecialized, in their eggs and water needs. The super specialists can be an evolutionary dead end, and just as water flows around obstacles, so do the genes of survivors. So maybe these minor mutations also happen in nature, but since they offer no advantage, they are just noise.
I know that in Goodeid conservation, the greatest limiting factor isn't inbreeding, but rather tuberculosis. Ditto for rainbowfish.
 

Andy Sager

Well-Known Member
#24
I love this point. I ran into a similar discussion somewhere else that local fisheries could help the survival of habitats. I prefer to do this over captive propagation, but how can a hobbyist, breeder, or aquaculturist tell the difference?

@Andy Sager , so in your mind a fish isn't wild after only one generation? What about if you keep a large enough population that it remains viable, either in Nav's post about the fish ark or by carefully breeding so as to retain the natural variation of a species? It can be done, with enough $$$$$ and time. ;) Yeah, impractical, but I'm curious as to why your stance is so dead set on it being only one generation. Genetic diversity doesn't actually diminish until after two, as the first one could rightly be still considered a natural pairing, as who's to say it wouldn't have happened in the wild? I'm talking about genes that are Identical By Decent (IBD) as per what my for-fun textbook Genetics of Populations by Philip Hedrick discusses, which is along the same lines as what you're saying. As such, if one could reintroduce said fish back into the wild directly after the P generation mated, it could still rightly be considered a 'wild' fish, as there would be no genes IBD until the second generation (F2), and I'm sure you could get more wild blood (or have enough to start with) that you could replicate the wild population so that there still would be little to no (or "natural amounts" of) IBD genes in the organisms' DNA.

Is Identical By Decent genes what you are talking about? I'm trying to figure out the schema from what you're talking about vs what I've read, so please pardon any ignorance on my end.

Otherwise, what you speak of with the supposed gene makes complete sense. Everything we know of for the most part (behaviors in certain situations, even) are dictated by DNA. (y) It really is more important than we all thought, I'm sure. :LOL:
I reread my post and I'm not sure where you saw that I said that they are not wild after 1 generation? In fact, It's usually after the F2 generation that I have experienced a loss of "wild" habits and tendencies. What I was referring to, for example, are fish like, let's take the common Tiger Barb or Zebra Danio. They may look like their wild counterparts but they are certainly 100s of generations from wild. These fish, that have been in the hobby for decades, most likely have lost their wild behavior, habitat likes, natural immunities, and natural susceptibilities, etc. So just because they look wild, how can you think they are still wild? I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that if you put one of today's domestic Tiger Barbs into a tank full of Wild Tiger Barbs, it wouldn't last the day. :^0

I look at this from a breeder's perspective. 2 wild fish produce genetically wild fish but unless those F1 fish experience the wild, they can hardly be called wild in my book. They will eventually know that food comes from that big thing outside the hard clear thing that keeps them from swimming "upstream" at certain periods of the day. They will know that at a certain amount of time, some of their water is going to be changed. They won't have to learn how to avoid predators and they won't have to learn what a predator even is. Is that what you want to reintroduce back into the wild? Yes, you may produce a genetically wild fish but you are not producing a wild fish. Look at what was done with the California Condor program. The chicks were fed by Condor Puppets so that they wouldn't Bond with or connect humans with food. It was a more natural upbringing until they were old enough to fend for themselves. Granted, fish are not birds but hopefully you get my gist.

But if you want to take this further, I see in the wild that there are going to be many parent/offspring pairings if the fish pool has a limited stock. I also see a means for natural line breeding to take place. If you use a punnetts square, how many generations of mixing parent/ offspring fry breeding with lines created by the first not related to the parent/offspring fish would it take to create fish that are 100% identical to the parent fish of the parent/offspring fry if there are no sibling spawnings? Now, think of the parent as the wild fish that was taken from the wild. Are their F3 generations and up really wild?

This is why my thoughts are more for saving the wild over saving the fish. Relocations of many species has not really worked all that well. Just look at Florida. We have so many non native fish thriving here but at the expense of the natural fish that should be here. The same thing will happen unless you have a location that has the exact same fish and critters from where the fish you are relocating, came from. Actually, if you want to see a good example of how relocation can go very badly, just LOOK at Florida. We are the perfect example of how NOT to do it. :^0
 
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GreenGo

Well-Known Member
#25
Ahh, I see your point now Andy. Even if the genetics are "wild" the fish won't be unless you can have predator / prey relations, wild weather, and pretty much everything "wild". This limits it to my idea of a small-ish pool (Olympic Swimming Pool size is my definition of "small" for this :LOL: ) directly next to the main habitat that's set aside for conservation, but even then, you'd have to introduce predators and that would create competition and loss of fry, etc, so unless you were trying to conserve both predator and prey (in which case the habitat must be truly screwed...) it'd be pretty much self-conflicting of your goals. Plus, without some kind of observation, how would you be able to ensure the animal you want to keep alive will remain alive? Good point.

And I was going based off what you said in the past, too. (y) Not just your current post. ;)

However, on the topic of translocation, species will naturally migrate as the climate changes and we keep messing with (aka, screwing up) our environment. Trees and animals will migrate north or south to go to more suitable breeding / living grounds, populations will follow of all types (plants, animals, etc), so who's to say we couldn't help nature along? I read something of the sort, but I don't remember enough to find it via google or bing. If the migrations of trees are too slow, they go extinct. So for those trees that we know will be in unsuitable habitats in 20 years - long before the generation will be reproducing in some cases - why not transplant saplings to their better suited habitats more south / north of their current location?

Along those same lines, why couldn't we move species from Lake Matano to Lake Towuti (which is more downstream of the former lake if I'm recalling correctly, but if not the abstract point still stands), creating a mechanical filter that will isolate the sediment that's polluting the lake upstream from those lakes downstream? Sure, there'll be more competition, possible food shortages, and more predation and new species to contend with, but if they survive (as a last ditch effort) GREAT! If not, well, we tried. Isn't that how evolution works anyway? A Panther Crab (or small population / group of them) could easily migrate to a lake downstream, in theory to find a more suitable habitat as its former habitat became polluted (though hopefully this doesn't happen, of course.), and as long as no predators ate it and nobody killed it before they got there this same situation could've happened naturally given a smart enough group of crabs with the right conditions as to make the trek successful. Even if some died, as long as one male and one female survived they could reproduce. So, why not help it along?

Insofar as the examples I'm illustrating, I'm presenting an abstract concept - instead of doing like we did in FL, where we introduced all kinds of exotic snakes and whatnot from different areas that aren't even on the same continent or same side of the map, what's wrong with condensing species into areas adjacent to the former habitat of that species to see how it does? Sure, it may not work, the species may go extinct anyways, etc. But as a last ditch effort (and only a last ditch effort to save a species), it may just be worth letting the natural mechanisms of this world create a new balance in the slightly modified ecosystem. Who knows, the new balance could work out better and more efficiently than the last. ;)

This is how the world will likely change anyhow as the equator might become too hot to handle much life and the poles start to warm so the cold loving trees have to move more north to find better growing conditions or they'll go extinct.

Thoughts?
 

Navigator Black

Some odd mod.
Staff member
#26
One of the greatest human mistakes, and one that every conservationist I know hates, is the idea of moving a species to another natural habitat. It has been a serious cause of extinction. It's the classic 1950s fisheries error.
Species move, for certain. They also don't move for solid ecological reasons.
You would need to take ring species theory into account. My favourite hobby version is Aphyosemion australe. It's a lovely little, successful Gabon killifish. Back in the 1950s, an aquarist created a golden morph (which he named after himself pretending it was new, as a lot of breeders did back then to muddy the taxonomic waters). For years, gold australes were the ideal beginner's killie - easy to breed, easy to keep. But after 30 years, a line of fish founded by one mutation was getting tired.
The timing was perfect, as hobbyists were going to Gabon and collecting wild australe again. So new blood was brought in. Within 2 or 3 generations, many of the orange lines stopped breeding. Fry died young. A australe was no longer prolific or easy. Yes, there had probably been some drift in the hobby fish, but they were dying like unsuccessful hybrids.
They probably were. In each isolated locality where australe (a fish that does not travel) was found, the fish could be superficially identical. But DNA wise, there were differences. You could have adjoining streams with a ridge between that had not traded genes for a very long times. The fish were genetically different. Any minor contact between localities only led to a circle of differences, a gradation that could be very different depending how far apart, and how isolated the different types of australe were. The conditions that created the new species, related to whatever the ancestor of australe was, were slowly creating new forms of the fish, and we blundered in thinking they were the same in stream A and pond B, because they looked that way.
It can be a lesson for the glib actions of the past, when we saw a fish in 2 environments and switched them back and forth. Whether you believe in a natural or supernatural start to life, there's no denying evolution and geological time since the ball started rolling. That reality makes for some serious and wonderful complexity, but it also destroys notions of us as stewards of nature. We have learned that we don't know a lot about the complexity of what our ancestors thought was simple and static. It's dynamic out there, but at a pace our short lives have traditionally made it hard to grasp. We have to look to habitat, and to the fact we are just part of that habitat.
And btw - years of careful breeding brought the mutant orange australe back around again, although it doesn't seem as easy as it was.

If I were a young conservationist looking at fish, I would look at ring species, Lake Malawi and Haplochromine speciation, the terrible example of Lake Victoria, the new data coming in on Steatocranus in the Congo River, and the horror story of the North American Great Lakes. When I go "deep nerd" I like to read on biogeography, and see how species groups got to where they are. The immensity of time involved, and the randomness and luck involved really set you back. No living thing is static, and none can be preserved in an olympic sized pool. Every bug we step on has a story hundreds of millions of years old, of a complexity humans can barely understand.
 

Arthur

Well-Known Member
#27
The problem is the loss of habitats. In the emerging developing countries, people only think of themselves. He has a lot to catch up and concretes his earth, straightens the rivers, clears the forest and donates industrial waste to the environment. The habitats of many animals are lost.
If someone is able to multiply killifish, the question is whether it will be of any use on the whole. It would also be necessary to organize the Diskont.
The habitats do not come back

We have an example here with the wolf.
After a few centuries wolves appear again. From Russia and Poland.
Many nature enthusiasts are very proud of it.
Much is being done to make the wolves multiply here. Sometimes a farmer loses sheep, goats, calves.
Yes, the wild wolves have to live and eat.
It will be replaced the damage.
If the wolves were fed, they would not be wild wolves anymore.
They are rarely seen and nothing has been reported about human injury. But there is trouble. If someone hunts a wolf, they will be punished.
It sounds good to the nature lover.

But how many square kilometers does a pack of wolves need? Can provided that?

It also has a narrow network of roads, highways, railways. And a lot of enclosures private boundaries.

What should one say? If the space is not there, it can not be done.

If I have only 10 gallons and want to keep some discusfishes, is it animal cruelty? Or is it not?
 

Andy Sager

Well-Known Member
#28
Ahh, I see your point now Andy. Even if the genetics are "wild" the fish won't be unless you can have predator / prey relations, wild weather, and pretty much everything "wild". This limits it to my idea of a small-ish pool (Olympic Swimming Pool size is my definition of "small" for this :LOL: ) directly next to the main habitat that's set aside for conservation, but even then, you'd have to introduce predators and that would create competition and loss of fry, etc, so unless you were trying to conserve both predator and prey (in which case the habitat must be truly screwed...) it'd be pretty much self-conflicting of your goals. Plus, without some kind of observation, how would you be able to ensure the animal you want to keep alive will remain alive? Good point.

And I was going based off what you said in the past, too. (y) Not just your current post. ;)

However, on the topic of translocation, species will naturally migrate as the climate changes and we keep messing with (aka, screwing up) our environment. Trees and animals will migrate north or south to go to more suitable breeding / living grounds, populations will follow of all types (plants, animals, etc), so who's to say we couldn't help nature along? I read something of the sort, but I don't remember enough to find it via google or bing. If the migrations of trees are too slow, they go extinct. So for those trees that we know will be in unsuitable habitats in 20 years - long before the generation will be reproducing in some cases - why not transplant saplings to their better suited habitats more south / north of their current location?

Along those same lines, why couldn't we move species from Lake Matano to Lake Towuti (which is more downstream of the former lake if I'm recalling correctly, but if not the abstract point still stands), creating a mechanical filter that will isolate the sediment that's polluting the lake upstream from those lakes downstream? Sure, there'll be more competition, possible food shortages, and more predation and new species to contend with, but if they survive (as a last ditch effort) GREAT! If not, well, we tried. Isn't that how evolution works anyway? A Panther Crab (or small population / group of them) could easily migrate to a lake downstream, in theory to find a more suitable habitat as its former habitat became polluted (though hopefully this doesn't happen, of course.), and as long as no predators ate it and nobody killed it before they got there this same situation could've happened naturally given a smart enough group of crabs with the right conditions as to make the trek successful. Even if some died, as long as one male and one female survived they could reproduce. So, why not help it along?

Insofar as the examples I'm illustrating, I'm presenting an abstract concept - instead of doing like we did in FL, where we introduced all kinds of exotic snakes and whatnot from different areas that aren't even on the same continent or same side of the map, what's wrong with condensing species into areas adjacent to the former habitat of that species to see how it does? Sure, it may not work, the species may go extinct anyways, etc. But as a last ditch effort (and only a last ditch effort to save a species), it may just be worth letting the natural mechanisms of this world create a new balance in the slightly modified ecosystem. Who knows, the new balance could work out better and more efficiently than the last. ;)

This is how the world will likely change anyhow as the equator might become too hot to handle much life and the poles start to warm so the cold loving trees have to move more north to find better growing conditions or they'll go extinct.

Thoughts?
In nature, the rule is " Survival of the fittest." The weak and the ill usually never make it to procreate and the old are outgunned by younger stronger breeders. In the fish tank, all are welcome to breed even if it makes a weaker animal. This is why hobby fish and wild fish are so different. Without trying to sound too "Hitler-ish", most of the fish in the hobby are abominations compared to their wild counterparts ( if they even have a wild counterpart. Just try to find a balloon any fish in the wild. :whistle: ) That's fine for a hobby ( if you are into that kind of thing) but it has little use in the natural world. IMO

GG, your proposal of putting a separate pool area adjacent to the natural area is more impractical, I think, than realistic. If you could save the area for the pool that is adjacent to the area in question, why not just save the area in question?
The fact of the matter is that as the Earth has aged ( and will continue to age) species came and went and are going to continue to come and go. You can't save them all. What you can control is Man's contribution to their disappearance. Your idea of transplanting a sapling tree to an area that will eventually become the correct area for the tree to live in has a major flaw which you may not see. If that new area could support the tree now, the tree type would already exist there. You can't expect that sapling to just go dormant for 20-30 years waiting for the right conditions to grow. It doesn't work that way. If the tree could survive there now, why doesn't it naturally? Maybe there is a pest or disease or another tree or vine that kills the trees there so it's not going to be able to survive until that pest or disease or other tree or vine dies off? I am a true believer that everything is where it is because it belongs there and nowhere else. * Can these things be changed? Sure, but if they could be successful in the natural world, why haven't they already? Look at the Pacific fish now found all over the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Do the fish live? Yes. Do they live as well as in their "natural" habitat? Actually, they are living better. So what's the problem? They are destroying the natural habitat where they don't belong. This may be a tangent from the topic but it does go back to Man's responsibility to the environment. Man released the fish into the ocean( good intentioned or not) and therefore is responsible for the destruction it has caused. I just can't stop thinking that smarter people will have to someday prevail and "stop the madness."

* EDIT: My stupid computer erased this next sentence after I proofread my comment. :mad: * " They fit exactly there because their needs and the needs of their coinhabiters and habitat are all met 100%.
 
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GreenGo

Well-Known Member
#29
@Andy Sager if the habitat has just been ruined and yet there's a plot nearby that is privately owned, why not try to save some of the species in the lake that require clear water to breed and would thus die in the sediment-filled lake? I would much rather save the lake, but we all know our track record... :cry: (as a counter to Andy's counterpoint of my Olympic-sized pool idea)

Also, with the sapling idea, it wasn't that we would plant it now for when the habitat is ready in 20-30 years, but rather as the range of temps and other ideal factors for that species moved, we'd plant saplings along its new proposed range for the new trees to hopefully become established so we don't lose an important habitat that we're effectively screwing up.
For example, a conifer forest that is located at 50dN that has a range from 48dN to 55dN, as the earth warms that tree (since it's cold loving) will need to move further north to continue living in its ideal habitat and environment. However, if the earth warms to the point of the range becoming 60dN to 75dN in ten years, yet the forest (due to reproductive, wind, and other environmental and biological limitations) can only "migrate" up to 58dN in those same ten years, those forests would die and go completely extinct. That's what I'm talking about with scientists either currently helping species migrate that otherwise couldn't, or that they were considering / discussing it at the time, similar to what we're doing now in this part of the discussion. This not only increases the chance of having those species around for longer, but if they migrate up a mountain (a suitable microclimate) vs migrate further north, they'd be stuck and would still go extinct. See below for the conclusion of what I'm saying as I counter Nav's point. (y)

@Navigator Black, that is very true, thank you. I'm curious as to what you (and others) think about that in the context of the above example. Yes, species do go extinct and some move / don't move for solid reasons, but if we're the cause of extinctions (let alone possibly / probably contributing to global climate change) and certain species are in danger of losing their ideal habitats that they've adapted to living in, wouldn't it be our duty and responsibility to help those species migrate to new suitable habitats in similarly suitable climates (and microclimates) so we don't lose so many? Sure, there would be chaos as the new systems became balanced again, but we're already at threat of losing so many species, so if we do nothing and let crucial habitats and species go extinct then we're definitely, certifiably, screwed, and there'll be absolutely nothing we can do about it. Plus, that is what will happen naturally as mammals migrate, trees migrate, and birds migrate to new suitable climates - there will be chaos as the new systems regain balance. But if shrimp, fish, and crabs / crayfish (let alone clams, other mollusks, and other inverts or plants in general) can't migrate like we will be seeing in the future with those land-based creatures, are we to just let them die when the climate changes further and their habitats change yet they can't migrate since they're restricted to aquatic systems? Like Andy said, I'd rather let my grandkids and their grandkids enjoy the habitats of the future instead of just hearing stories about how great it was before humans royally screwed things up (like we already are).
 

Andy Sager

Well-Known Member
#30
I get where you are trying to go but let me ask, how many situations, do you know of currently, where a clean stream or lake or river or... is right next to a polluted one? Yes, I believe that it is our responsibility to save what MAN destroyed before it's time. I just don't see your solution as the most practical or plausible. Again, I'm not saying I have all the answers. Not by a long shot. I just think there is a bigger picture that needs to addressed first. (y)
 

Navigator Black

Some odd mod.
Staff member
#31
An endangered species will be in every habitat it can adapt to, taking into account its niche, its competitors, etc. Either you save at least some of those habitats, or these species will be photographs for future generations to feel regret about.
As far as transplanting species, and putting them where they are not naturally found, I think this covers it best:
There was an old lady who swallowed a fly;
I don't know why she swallowed a fly - perhaps she'll die!
There was an old lady who swallowed a spider;
That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her!
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly; I don't know why she swallowed a fly - Perhaps she'll die!
There was an old lady who swallowed a bird;
How absurd to swallow a bird!
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider; That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her! She swallowed the spider to catch the fly; I don't know why she swallowed a fly - Perhaps she'll die!
There was an old lady who swallowed a cat
Imagine that! She swallowed a cat!
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird, She swallowed the bird to catch the spider; That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her! She swallowed the spider to catch the fly; I don't know why she swallowed a fly - Perhaps she'll die!
There was an old lady that swallowed a dog
What a hog, to swallow a dog!
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat, She swallowed the cat to catch the bird, She swallowed the bird to catch the spider; That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her! She swallowed the spider to catch the fly; I don't know why she swallowed a fly - Perhaps she'll die!
There was an old lady who swallowed a goat;
She just opened her throat and swallowed a goat!
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog, She swallowed the dog to catch the cat, She swallowed the cat to catch the bird, She swallowed the bird to catch the spider; That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her! She swallowed the spider to catch the fly; I don't know why she swallowed a fly - Perhaps she'll die!
There was an old lady who swallowed a cow;
I don't know how she swallowed a cow!
She swallowed the cow to catch the goat, She swallowed the goat to catch the dog, She swallowed the dog to catch the cat, She swallowed the cat to catch the bird, She swallowed the bird to catch the spider; That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her! She swallowed the spider to catch the fly; I don't know why she swallowed a fly - Perhaps she'll die!
There was an old lady who swallowed a horse;
...She died, of course!

It is probably best of conservationists don't swallow a fly to begin the usual disaster cycle. The experience of Lake Victoria, and a thousand other messes created by well intentioned misunderstandings of ecology really end up sounding like that old rhyme.
 

Andy Sager

Well-Known Member
#32
Great description, Nav (y)
 

GreenGo

Well-Known Member
#33
Okay. What would you suggest we do for trying to help species? Just breed them, help fund conservationists working to help save the habitats, and do our best to reduce our ecological footprint?
 

Andy Sager

Well-Known Member
#34
Okay. What would you suggest we do for trying to help species? Just breed them, help fund conservationists working to help save the habitats, and do our best to reduce our ecological footprint?
Attack the main cause with a vengeance. :whistle:
 

Navigator Black

Some odd mod.
Staff member
#35
Part of me says to think twice about the economics of habitat destruction, and act accordingly. That puts me completely against the current in our current politics, but since you ask what people think we should do....
 

GreenGo

Well-Known Member
#36
I just saw this, and I think it's an interesting idea. What do y'all think? Can this be a solution, and if so, how big can it get?


 

Navigator Black

Some odd mod.
Staff member
#37
It's an interesting move to try to conserve the species for the hobby. "For the hobby" is the key phrase. You have a Genus that appears at least 2.5 million years old, and a species with an average lifespan of about 75 years old trying to breed it in captivity.
Already in fishfarms, there is a virus decimating these guys, is there not?
But I would support this kind of thing as long as we see it as what it is - trying to keep the beasties around for us.
 

GreenGo

Well-Known Member
#38
It's an interesting move to try to conserve the species for the hobby. "For the hobby" is the key phrase. You have a Genus that appears at least 2.5 million years old, and a species with an average lifespan of about 75 years old trying to breed it in captivity.
Already in fishfarms, there is a virus decimating these guys, is there not?
But I would support this kind of thing as long as we see it as what it is - trying to keep the beasties around for us.
I'd like to take the opposite side of the conservation thing than I have been for a second.

Isn't all, or at least most, of we do for conservation and helping species for our own gain? Sure, there are some individuals who are truly eco-centric and believe in the intrinsic value of nature (like myself, which is why I don't want to see these species go extinct), but a lot of people use reasons such as "for my grandkids", or "for the next generation" (etc) as reasons why they support conservation programs. So, isn't there a bit of "for our own / our future generations' enjoyment" in the mix as well no matter what when we support conservation?

The reason I'm asking this is because recently I've been going through a phase where I've wondered just how much of what I do is simply a means to an end. For example, getting a degree (specifically my PhD) has always been about having the credentials to have a pseudo-public aquarium (back in the day I wanted a legit public aquarium). Another example would be my job - or anyone's job, being a means to an end to pay bills. Sure, we want to enjoy things, but just how much of conservation to any of us is just a means to an end of keeping animals around for our enjoyment? After all, aren't we on the verge of printing meat and other advancements that render wildernesses COMPLETELY obsolete? So, is there any point in which this isn't just for us, our enjoyment, or our perceived responsibility for the environment?

And yes, if you believe this world will continue without us I can see how that could be for the world around us, but couldn't that still happen if we utterly destroyed all life on this planet before we ourselves are gone? After all, if evolution is the origin of species as Darwin and the vast majority of others believe, then we don't need anything except what we had in the beginning to get all this back - pretty much nothing.
 

Navigator Black

Some odd mod.
Staff member
#39
Warning: Very political and idealistic content ahead...
I see your argument. To me, we are just one species among many. Certainly, if we destroy our environment as much as we seem bent on doing, then we will become extinct, and new life forms will develop to fill all the niches. We won't be here to miss or be missed.
I've always found such apocalyptic visions both ugly and overly convenient - they do justify doing nothing about our environment, as some Canadian politicians appear to have used them for. We might fizzle out, slowly and pathetically, but in so doing, we will have destroyed something absolutely astonishing - the ecosystem that produced us. It doesn't have to happen.
Maintaining a small captive population of a crayfish for a hundred years or so and letting those as yet unborn wonder at them is a nice idea, and one that is better than nothing. I would prefer to have us maintain an environment where humans might co-exist with our fellow creatures for thousands of years. Once they are gone, that combination of traits won't happen again. The same is true of us.
Maybe, we are like livebearers in a small tank, doomed to breed and populate and strut and show off until we crash in our own stink. I hope not. We are intelligent. How intelligent remains to be seen. There is a chance our population will drop, we'll figure out and stick to an economy that will sustain all life on our planet and we'll stop thinking we are above other animals and live like we are among them. That would be good, and is a goal worth striving for. If we had asked people 200 years ago if slavery, child labour, and fear of starvation would not always be central to our economy, they probably would have laughed at us. Improvement, though never certain as permanent, is possible.
If I were going into conservation I would fight tooth and nail for national parks, for sustainable energy, for increased environmental education, for a serious cost for polluting, for wildlife refuges, for education about family sizes, for environmental concerns to trump economic ones, and for democratic control of the economy ... enough environmental campaigners have ended up getting shot in Brazil that I'd probably end up dead for having such views. I don't see it as hopeless though. My local rivers are cleaner and more alive than they were when I was a kid in the pre-environmental control era, birth rates are dropping in industrialized countries, and we are developing technology that may mitigate some of our short sighted greed.
We figured out the shocking idea our planet wasn't the center of the universe, and we may be sorting out that we aren't the center of our planet. If we blow it, then some wonderful life forms will be lost, including ours. We still live in the Age of Bacteria anyway, and it's their planet at the end of the day. Life will go on. I just happen to love and respect the life that's here now.
 

Andy Sager

Well-Known Member
#40
Wow, I was afraid my comment for this was going to finally get my a*s in trouble on this site. :whistle: Thank you Nav. ;)
Without trying to get too political (ahem):
I look at it like this, since the dawn of the thinking version of mankind, there has been a sense of wonder as to how the world worked. As Nav brought out, the idea that Earth was the center of the solar system has been corrected. The ancient Greeks sat and pondered all things that effected man. The fact of the matter is that even during that time, there was more a sense of how to work within the confines of the world as they knew it versus today. Today, there seems to be a blatant disregard for the environment and the effects on what is being done to it in the name of profits and "advancement" of society. We ravage forests for lumber and clear them for farms to feed the over populations of people around the world. Amazonian Forests are cleared to grow soybeans for China. There is no "My backyard" anymore because everyone's backyard is up for sale. So how can we expect anything to live on past us if that is how we treat them.
Earth has not been a stagnant piece of rock since.........well, EVER!!! Things have come and things have gone. There is no stopping that. But what we can do something about is how we as human beings treat the environment that these things have come from. Think of it in these terms: Do you want to be put into a cage for all future beings to view as once inhabiting the planet? Maybe you do and maybe you don't. I wouldn't want to be there as an example of how NOT to do it because the plaque would also have to read "Man: the reason why the Earth is in the shape it is currently in." We, Mankind, has had a very short spot in the grand scheme of things yet will show to have had the greatest impact on the Planet, not just mankind. And not all for the better. There is no argument that will convince me that what we are doing today, around the globe, is the best thing for the entire amount of species on the planet. Small parts might be delaying the inevitable but not really stopping it. I look at it like this: My neighbor had a bad problem with fire ants around his yard. I kept eliminating the mounds I found on my yard as I found them. Because he couldn't control them on his yard, they would multiply and stretch out onto my yard. Unless I treated every mound on both yards and probably the neighbors on the other side too, I would never be able to control them on just my yard. Now, take the Planet. If everybody doesn't do their part to get to the same goal, the end result will not be the desired outcome....to save the species. Is everybody around the globe doing their part? It's all well and good to want future generations to see what we have seen but in reality, if early caveman grunted the same thing, it didn't happen. The farmers of the 1800s in the US wanted to pass their farms down to their next generations and that too isn't going to happen for all of them. The people of ancient Mesopotamia wanted to pass on their experiences to the next generation but if you look at today, that area is no longer Mesopotamia so the last generation of Mesopotamians were unable to pass on what they saw. It's a nice idea to pass it on but it passes only so far. If we keep going the way we are going, we may have passed so far already. It's not a right to pass it on but should be thought of as a privilege to be able to do. Pass on an ideology where we live in conjunction with the Earth not just view it as a place to exploit.

( After some rethinking, I left out the parts that would have gotten me in trouble. ;) )
 
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