Madagascar’s endangered species have long suffered from habitat destruction. One such endangered species is the aye aye, a unique lemur with countless evolutionary adaptations. The issues facing the aye aye are not limited to just habitat destruction, however. Native superstition of the animal has led to its intentional persecution. I propose research intended to determine the impact of these killings on overall aye aye populations.
Research would be characterized by extensive field work followed by population models. If the research indicates that murder has a significant effect on aye aye populations, then we should educate the Madagascar natives about biodiversity. Conservation education illuminating the qualities of the aye aye would eradicate superstition and protect its populations.
Since the 1950’s the Hawaiian monk seal population has been facing dangerously low population numbers. Only about 1,100–1,200 individuals remain in this monk seal population native only to Hawaii (Antonelis and others 2006). In an attempt to preserve them, research-ers have conducted studies on topics like habitat conditions and predation (Antonelis and others 2006), dietary habits (Longenecker 2010), and genetics (Schultz and others 2009). However, these factors don’t reveal a strong correlation or propose a solution to increase population numbers. I suggest researching the ecological niche of the Hawaiian monk seal pre-1950, when larger numbers inhabited Hawaii. In doing so, a comparative analysis of the past monk seal life-style with current research could help create a restructured solution to the population decline. A more comprehensive recovery plan would lead to an increase in the Hawaiian monk seal population – one of two remaining monk seal populations on the planet.
The West Indian Manatee, found in Jamaican and Floridian waters is considered an “endangered species.” They require special attention, as humans are the sole reason why their existence is threatened in the first place. The UNEP currently estimates the population of manatees in Jamaica to be approximately 50, while population numbers of the same exact species sharing the Caribbean Sea in Florida is about 3000.
If the USFWS can maintain a steady increase in Florida’s population numbers then there is no reason that Jamaica’s population cannot attain the same. The discrepancies between these statistics must be eliminated. The only solution is to create and implement an effective recovery plan to merge the methods of each plan and personalize it to fit the habitat of Jamaica. Taking into consideration the social, cultural and economic factors unique to Jamaica, it is possible to mirror the success of the conservation efforts of the USA through education and awareness, more effective law enforcement and more cohesive management plans.
Since human colonization of New Zealand, the kakapo has been fighting against extinction. A dangerous variety of threats oppose the growth and development of this rare bird, and if no action is taken soon, all of the research done over the years may be in vain. After reviewing general information about the kakapo, the threats it faces, and all of the conservation efforts for the kakapo, a major gap in research has been identified – gender imbalance. With many more males than females, the already very low population is growing at a rate well below optimal. Two theories seek to explain this issue. One is that the imbalance is simply a characteristic of the species, and the other says that it has been onset by supplemental feeding efforts made by conservationalists. In order to determine which one of these theories best explains the actual mechanism in place, a study comparing the offspring of females receiving supplemental food and nutrients will be compared to the offspring of females that engage in totally natural breeding. Performing this study is necessary because if the cause of the imbalance is identified, scientists can begin further work to determine how it can be corrected. This will help re-balance sex in the population because more females would lead to a larger, growing population.